Sep 6, 2012 — Everybody has a bad drunk story; the sort of tale that begins with something like, “All we had left was Jägermeister and cheese whiz” and ends with, “The doctors had no idea how they got up there…but at least I got my keys back.”
It’s not pretty, but it seems to be an inherent quality of human beings to strive for new potent concoctions that soothe our souls and make us think we can leap over a parking meter at 3am. In fact, man’s been hard-boozing since before the Stone Age – seriously, archaeologists have found beer jugs dating back 10,000 years BCE – which suggests we had bartenders even before we had the wheel (Mammoth-riding while intoxicated was a big fine back in the day).
But that got us thinking: what are the strongest alcoholic drinks out there? And seeing as how we at Party Earth like to consider ourselves quite the tastemakers, we didn’t want to focus on obvious choices like Long Island Iced Teas, Everclear, or illicit concoctions crafted in a backwoods cabin that double as fuel for an arc welder.
But we also wanted to pick drinks that you could actually find without having to trek to some undiscovered monastery in the Qinling Mountains. After all, what’s the point of a drinks list if you can’t actually drink it? This potency-meets-accessibility guideline led us to the following five choices for the most formidable fire water out there.
We think…it’s kinda hazy…where did we put our keys?
1. Devil’s Springs Vodka
The town of Clifton, New Jersey is known for a few things. There’s the old sewage system, nicknamed “The Gates of Hell,” that beckons urban explorers with the labyrinthine majesty of miles of open turd tunnels. There’s Rutt’s Hut, thought by many to be one of the better hot dog joints in the state. And there’s the headquarters of Devil’s Springs Bottlers, who churn out fifths of vodka so strong the label actually reads, “Do not drink at full proof!”
Not surprisingly, the warning has inspired many an IQ-deficient college kid to try and pound a bottle, which they somehow managed to upload to YouTube before the paramedics arrived.
The label also says, “At 160 proof, vodka is inflammable”…which we just found out means the same thing as flammable. English is stupid.
2. Aunt Roberta Cocktail
Next time you’re out drinking, sidle up to the grizzly dude manning the bar and tell him you want to suck down Aunt Roberta. Then pray he doesn’t actually have an aunt named Roberta.
We love this cocktail for a few reasons: First, rumor has it the powerful potion was originally developed by a prostitute in the 1800s who concocted the drink with her own brand of moonshine and sold it on the side. Let’s hope ol’ Roberta was better at her day job, because more than thirty people allegedly died after drinking it.
Second, it combines four of the stronger hard alcohols out there, mixing vodka, absinthe, gin, and brandy together before sweetening the whole thing with a dollop of blackberry liqueur.
Finally, the rumor goes on to suggest a raccoon hunter named Billy Joe Spratt stole Roberta’s original recipe and ended up making a fortune pedaling it at a series of bars he opened in New York City.
Men are pigs.
3. DeLeón Tequila Extra Añejo
DeLeón is hardly the strongest drink out there, but the Extra Añejo line of this higher-end tequila brand belongs on this list for one very simple reason: that wonderful little blue agave plant has never come close to packing a punch like this.
At 102-proof, the Extra Añejo eats the average tequila for breakfast and is still good to drive, yet at the same time, this blend of honey, buttered almonds, cherries, and cedar essences give off a smooth finish with very little bite whatsoever.
As such, it’s wayyyyyyyyyy too easy to drink.
Add that to the fact that this stuff is made in the Mexican town of Purísima del Rincón, which translates to “purest of the corner,” an appellation inspired by none other than the immaculate conception.
A few sips of the Extra and even the most diehard atheists will start to believe in God. A whole bottle…and they’ll probably meet Him.
4. Hapsburg Turkey Cocktail
This one is a Party Earth original. Don’t ask how we came up with it, because we don’t remember…except we know it had something to do with drinking too many pints of Strongbow cider during a Chelsea soccer match in London and loudly professing both our love of American football and desire to see the Queen naked.
Anyway, when we woke up in the hospital, it just came to us: take the UK’s strongest brand of absinthe, meld it with the All-est of All-American Kentucky straight bourbons (with a splash of schnapps to quell the burn) and serve over the bag of ice strapped to our throbbing head.
Hapsburg Premium Reserve Absinthe – at roughly 90% alcohol – was the easy choice, especially since it’s the UKs strongest absinthe brand. Take one part Hapsburg Premium, cut it with one part 108-proof Wild Turkey, throw in two splashes of DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps, and serve on the rocks.
Any spirit so strong it was actually banned in Ireland for hundreds of years deserves to be on this list, which brings us (stumbling) to Poitín.
This delectable, potato-based Irish moonshine got the mark of the outlaw all the way back in the 1600s, and wasn’t legally sold again until the 1990s – and is STILL illegal in Northern Ireland.
The name means “small pot” in Gaelic, a reference to the tiny stills originally used to make the stuff, which has a flavor often compared to single-varietal vodka.
It’s hard, but not impossible, to find it in the U.S., especially as its popularity continues to grow and more small-batch producers sprout up, while anyone in the UK should simply ask for Knockeen Hills Poteen, a brand made by the Knockeen distillery in Canterbury that packs a walloping 180-proof punch.
Anyone doubting Poitín’s potency take heed! Denizens in rural Ireland have another use for it besides drinking: They actually rub it on their bodies as a muscle rub.
Try that with your Smirnoff!