There’s a reason a drink becomes a classic.
It could be an incredible flavor, like a mojito. Or maybe it’s been a drinker’s staple for centuries, like Guinness. Classic beverages are classics for a reason.
But what does it take for a drink to become a new classic? And what can we make that hasn’t already been done – without going overboard?
Luckily, there are some trailblazers in this world who are going the extra mile to try to elevate new drinks into an already-expansive pantheon of liquid courage. From advancing the aging process to bizarre filtering and everything in between, we’re ready to take one down and pass it around.
1. 20-year-old rum aged in seven days.
At the Lost Spirits distillery in Los Angeles, Calif., master distiller Bryan Davis creates an amazingly smooth, well-aged navy rum. The 136-proof grog is created by an aging reactor that can give rums and whiskeys the flavor and nature of being aged 20 years, all on a molecular level.
With many different inspired styles.
But you can’t know the secret to the process, it’s a patented technology invented by Davis himself.
2. Beer made with 45 million year-old yeast
If the concept sounds like something out of Jurassic Park, you’re not wrong. In the 1990s, a molecular biologist and a college professor successfully extracted a yeast from a 45 million-year-old leaf that was preserved in Amber.
And they decided to brew beer with it. Fossil Fuels Brewing Company is brewing a beer that could have been shared with the mammal forerunners of apes, pigs, and elephants. The craft brewers even developed a younger strain of yeast to brew at just 25 million years old.
3. Liquors filtered on the breasts of a Playboy model
At G Spirits, they promise what no other booze distiller can. Every drop of their whisky, rum, and vodka is guaranteed to be poured down the tits of a leading men’s magazine model before bottling.
Playmate of the year 2012 Alexa Varga flavors the cask strength, 59.7% ABV 12 year-old single malt Scotch whiskey. Playmate Amina Malakona flavors the 10-year-old bourbon cask-aged rum. The six-times distilled vodka from French winter barley is flavored by Penthouse Pet Evelin Aubert. GSpirits claim they meet standard health and safety requirements set by the German public health department.
4. A Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon flavored by meteorites
The Tagua Tagua Observatory in San Vincente, Chile is known for winemaker Ian Hutcheon and his technique for pairing wines with a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite. According to Atlas Obscura, he says he tried a number of different pairings to find a grape that would pair well with the meteorite.
The product is Meteorito, a wine married to the Cabernet after fermentation and during the aging process. A golf-ball sized chunk of meteorite is then lowered into the barrel. Hutcheon says it really brings out the flavor of the cabernet, but we’d have to taste it to know for certain.
5. Whisky made from urine of aging diabetics
Ok, so this might be testing the limits of “I’ll try anything once.” Since it looks like it’s more of an art concept than a whisky for sale, we may not have to worry. Artist James Gilpin takes the urine of his elderly type-2 diabetic parents, replete with sugars and bacterial growth and makes “Gilpin Family Whisky.”
Gilpin himself is a Type-1 diabetic and filters the urine through the same process as Britain’s water supply. The sugar in the urine is separated and then purified before being added to the mash stock. The rest of the process is just like any other whisky made for public consumption.
6. $1.3 Million Vodka
Russian luxury car manufacturer Russo-Baltique created a unique vodka, packaged in a special bottle to celebrate its 100 years of making cars. Shaped like the radiator guard on their vehicles, it was made from gold and silver. The front was decorated with white leather, and the cap is a Russian Imperial Eagle encrusted in diamonds.
It was the world’s most expensive bottle of vodka – and it was stolen from a Copenhagen bar in early 2018, only to be found empty on a Danish construction site.
Blake Stilwell is a traveler and writer with degrees in television and film, international relations, public relations, and graphic design. He is a former Air Force combat cameraman whose work includes ABC News, NBC, HBO, and the White House. In his previous life, he was Communications Director for the Near East Foundation in the Middle East and Africa. Blake is based in LA but often found elsewhere.