Where To Travel Based On Your Favorite Liquor
Pick your poison, pirates! No vacation is complete without a glass or two (or twelve?) of the strong stuff. But what you drink often depends on where you travel.
So instead of wandering the streets of Beijing looking for a decent margarita, why not plan your next vacation according to your favorite liquor? Then you can enjoy your beloved beverage at its best! Find your alcohol of choice in the list below and get inspired!
Editor's Note: If you are, in fact, currently wandering the streets of Beijing looking for a decent margarita, we hear the ones at The Taco Bar are nice.
Somewhere along the way, Prague developed an association with absinthe that means you can now find the infamous beverage at bars throughout the city. Bright green alcohol served with flaming sugar cubes is all well and good, but if you’re looking to experience the Green Fairy at its finest, Paris should at the top of your travel bucket list.
At the height of its popularity in the 19th century, absinthe could be found in bars, cafés and cabarets all over the French capital. So brush off that high school French with a visit to Montmartre to catch some can-can dancing at the Moulin Rouge and sip on a glass of divine French absinthe in one of the neighborhood’s cozy bohemian cafés.
Kentucky, United States
Nothing says Kentucky like bourbon. The corn-based whiskey evolved in the 19th century after distillation was introduced to the American South by European settlers. It may not have been the United States’ first spirit (that honor actually goes to rum), but bourbon developed into what many think of as the quintessential American liquor.
So whether you prefer Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey or Jim Beam, Kentucky is the place to go for bourbon-based travel. Still trying to figure out where your brand loyalties lie? Head out on the Kentucky Bourbon trail and try them all!
England, United Kingdom
It’s no secret that the English love their gin, but did you know that the juniper-flavored beverage was actually invented in the Netherlands? Derived from the Dutch spirit jenever, gin became hugely popular in England during the 17th and 18th centuries (a little too popular, actually – by the mid-1700s the average Englishman was drinking over two gallons of gin a year!)
Things may have calmed down a bit, but gin is still the national liquor of England and there's no shortage of watering holes offering up some of the finest gin and tonics in the world. If you want to learn more about your favorite tipple (or just want to drink more of the stuff), why not escape the hustle and bustle (and prices) of London with a trip to Bombay Sapphire's sleek glass distillery in rural Hampshire county.
Check out this map of gin distilleries for more inspiration!
Fun fact: India is the world's largest consumer of rum per capita. But chances are, if you're looking for a rum-soaked getaway, you're dreaming of swaying palm trees, Caribbean breezes and thatched bars serving up colorful cocktails with little umbrellas. There are many takes on the sugarcane-based beverage – from the crisp, dry spirit of Cuba, to the smoky, vanilla-y notes of Guyana's liquor – but if you're looking for the OG of rums, you're best best is Barbados, birthplace of Rihanna and (probably) rum.
Home to Mount Gay, the world's oldest rum brand, Barbados also is famous for its rich history, welcoming people and gorgeous beaches. Whether your dream vacation involves wearing pieces from the Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Lifestyle collection, or sipping on afternoon tea and catching a game of cricket, Barbados has you covered. Either way, come evening (or noon? It's always 5 o'clock somewhere) you can't go wrong with a glass of the dark stuff.
Ah, tequila. First produced by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century as a replacement for brandy, the agave-based liquor comes primarily from the Mexican state of Jalisco. This region outside of Guadalajara should be stop numero uno for anyone looking to delve deeper into the world of Mexico’s favorite spirit.
One of the easiest ways to experience “tequila country” is aboard one of the tequila-themed trains that run from Guadalajara. The Tequila Express will take you to the town of Amatitán, home of the Herradura distillery, while the Jose Cuervo Express takes you to the town of Tequila and the Cuervo distillery.
Can’t imagine a trip to Mexico without the beach? Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast is about five and a half hours from Guadalajara by car.
New York, United States
The history of vodka, unlike the alcohol itself, is unclear. Russians and Poles both claim the liquor as their own, but the fact is that both groups have been drinking some form of vodka since the Middle Ages.
You could settle the debate over which nation makes the better spirit with a multi-country trip to Eastern Europe — or you could simply head to New York and spend a few days drinking your way through the Big Apple’s thriving Russian and Polish enclaves.
Polish communities in Greenpoint, otherwise known as Little Poland, and Ridgewood, Queens are sure to have strong opinions on the superiority of Polish vodkas. Meanwhile, the residents of Brighton Beach (home to the largest Russian-speaking community in the United Stated) will have much to say in favor of Russian varieties.
Ireland & Scotland, United Kingdom
We're not even going to touch the debate on this one. Scotch and Irish whiskies are alcohols with strong characters and rich histories. So chances are, if you have firm opinions on the merits of Scotch vs. Irish whiskey, you're set in your whisky/whiskey ways.
But it never hurts to keep an open mind, which is why fans of either beverage should consider a two-for-one trip to both countries for a good ol' Gaelic drink-off.
Head out on the Irish Whiskey Trail to sample the best of Ireland's "brown stuff," while exploring the rolling hills and green pastures of the Irish countryside. Then jet to Scotland to drink your fill of smoky amber liquors and experience the country's misty moors, brooding castles and rugged landscapes.