Pull that shaker from the cupboard and dust it off. These World’s Best Spirits winners will liberate your inner mixologist. You’ll be shaking and stirring in no time.
Hosted annually, the World’s Best Spirits competition features an international panel who judge liquor on both taste and design. Using only the finest, hand-crafted ingredients, these sophisticated options will enliven any cocktail. But, with such detailed attention to every note and flavour, these top-shelf drinks are even better “neat” or “on the rocks.”
From this year’s contest, we offer our favourite selections. So, fill your glass and taste one of the following World’s Best Spirit winners.
World’s Best Gin – Martin Miller’s Gin Westbourne Strength
As the “strength” in the name implies, this gin (and juice?) is enough to have even Snoop Dogg “laid back” in no time. At 90 proof, Martin Miller developed a world’s best gin that packs an extra punch, making it ideal for mixing. Unlike most gins, Martin Miller’s blend is distilled in a single pot using only pure Icelandic spring water. The stronger finish allows the juniper to dominate and give a richer, spicier flavour that doesn’t overpower the clean herb and fruit fragrances. Enjoy in a cocktail or just sipping. (Maybe with your mind on your money and your money on your mind.)
World’s Best Rum – Bundaberg Rum Master Distiller’s Collection Blenders Edition 2015
While we can’t think of any more songs to turn into terrible puns, this world’s best rum definitely has a lot to “rap” about. This Australian-made rum balances a complexity of profiles that judges still praised for its “pleasing simplicity throughout.” After experimenting with different rum types and ingredients, this distilling company chooses one favourite each year to represent its line of “Blenders Editions.” This year’s selection displays numerous flavours, including spices, raisins, chocolate cake, cooked bananas and tobacco that merge as one, cohesive taste.
World’s Best Tequila – Tequila Corazón de Agave Reposado
Tequila is always better south of the border, and this is no exception. Aged in oak barrels, this Mexican-made tequila has a depth often reserved for cognac or single malt scotch. This produces a warm, oaky flavour that combines with subtle agave, toffee and vanilla. What sets this world’s best apart, however, is the process. The entire growing and manufacturing comes from a family-owned estate where its cultivated, distilled and hand bottled using only the best ingredients.
World’s Best Vodka – Valentine Vodka
This world’s best is a vodka on a mission. Its creator, Rifino Valentine, began this distillery with a singular goal: to take a stand against “mass produced spirits” by proving that American “ingenuity and quality” are still alive. Quitting his Wall Street job, Valentine became committed to his cause, and it’s paid off. In addition to being a 2016 world’s best, this vodka has been crowned both a Gold and Double Gold Medal winner in the United States. His copper pot-distilled mix features mild banana-coconut pudding and pastry aromas derived from a three-grain blend.
World’s Best Liqueur – Master of Malt 30 Year Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur
Good things come to those who wait. In this case, this world’s best has waited 30 years. Created around a core of sherry, whisky and nutty flavours, this whisky is blended with sugary fruit notes once it matures. While it mixes several honeys and syrups, it relies mostly on orange peel, cinnamon, and grapefruit for its balance. The ultimate elegance, enjoy only neat or on ice and let the flavours stand on its own.
World’s Best Premix – The Handmade Cocktail Company: The Boulevardier Cocktail
No assembly required! If you aren’t a skilled bartender or a mixologist, then this is the award winner for you. This pre-made option is allowed to “marry” within the bottle, creating a perfect cocktail without the effort. Crafted with top quality bourbon and a blend of sweet vermouths, this mix is both buttery and deliciously bitter. All you need to provide is the glass, ice and, if inclined, a cherry on top.