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The subject of the world’s strongest alcoholic drinks is interesting on several levels. First and foremost, almost nobody ever bothers to read the label on the bottle, especially not the tricky small letters, so if you stumble upon one of these super-alcoholic drinks, the fun may go way over the top. Reading the label afterwards may be all too late.

So, take this article as a kind of a cautionary tale: drinking is surely a lot of fun, but we all have to be very careful, both for our own and for the sake of others. The world’s strongest straight drinks (we will be discussing the strongest mixed drinks and cocktails in one of our following articles) are:

Sierra Silver Tequila

Sierra Silver Tequila

Also known as “The Rock That Bites” and the “Heart of Mexico”, this vicious fiery water of Guadalajara is definitely a Rolls-Royce among tequilas, despite the bizarre cork designed as a red sombrero. Produced from Blue agave (Agave tequilana, Weber azul) with a touch of fruits and pepper, the clear, slightly chilly 150 proof tequila is strong enough to be the weakest on our list.

Bacardi 151

Bacardi 151

As its title suggests, Bacardi 151 boasts handsome 75.5% alcohol by volume or 151 proof. This fiery rum of Puerto Rico is usually used to enforce the very sweet drinks and cocktails (Hurricane, Caribou Lou, Malibu Rum and the German Feuerzangenbowle, to name a few). Bacardi 151 is the only rum in the world sold with the stainless steel flame arrester attached on the bottle – that fact alone can hint at what we’re dealing with here.

Absinthe

Artemisia Absinthium Absinthe

Also known as the Green Fairy due to its distinctive green color and the alleged psychoactive effects, absinthe is a Swiss spirit that comes within a healthy range of 45–74% alcohol by volume, or 90-148 proof. It was popular in France in the early 20th century and spread throughout the world, until it was banned in the United States and much of Europe by 1915. Its psychedelic properties were largely overstated and when it was confirmed that absinthe nothing more dangerous than any other spirit, the ban was lifted and absinthe is now produced by many distilleries all around the world.

Devil Springs Vodka

Devil Springs Vodka Ad

Normal vodkas produced in the vodka belt countries (Russia, Poland, Latvia, Finland, Ukraine et al.) come with 38-50% alcohol by volume or 76 to 100 proof, but the New Jersey Devil Springs Vodka comes with hefty 160 proof! If you drink it straight you may probably regret it very soon, but it is simply irreplaceable when it comes to cocktails and making your own flavored vodka.

Everclear

Everclear 190 Proof Label

And now the winner – with 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof), Everclear takes it all. Banned in thirteen American states (only the weaker, Everclear 151 proof version can be sold and bought), this is a genuine liquid fire – no odor, no taste, just like the best vodka should be. Can be dangerous if drunk straight, but great for mixing.


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