Liquor in the front…

For some reason on my way to lunch the other day I was pondering which of the liquors is the most manly of them all. I decided to list them in descending order of macho and give the reasoning for each. Enough talk, lets get to it.

The Top 12 Liquors for Real Men

12. Vermouth

Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with herbs and spices. There are three types, Dry, Sweet and Red.


Puts the Dry in Dry Martini.


Vermouth is a sidekick. It’s like the Robin of liquors, and pretty much everybody thinks Robin is gay. Plus, one of the options is Sweet? Get out of here. In fact, I don’t even think vermouth is considered a liquor. Next!

My Pick:

Any dry vermouth will do.

11. Sambuca/Ouzo

These are not the same, but pretty close. They are both anise flavored liqueurs, popular in the Mediterranean.


Tastes like black licorice, which means most chicks hate it. Also, the Greeks shout “Opa!” when they take a slug of Ouzo. Any drink that gets its own cheer is alright by me.


Anise is an unfortunate name for a plant. I was once in line behind an older lady at the grocery store. She was only buying a few items including anise. The young check out clerk saw it and said, “Whoa! What is that, some kind of alien broccoli??” The lady responded quietly, “No, it’s anise.” He said, “ANUS!? Anus ain’t no plant I ever heard of!” The lady turned bright red and said, “An-ISS.” He then shouted to another kid bagging at another register, “Yo, Jamal, you ever heard of an ANUS plant?” Jamal responded with a “Naw man.” Meanwhile, the lady was pleading, “It’s an-ISS! An-ISS. Fennel! It’s also called Fennel!” He then looked at me and said, “Man, you ever heard of an ANUS plant??” I said, “Yeah, anise, it’s what they flavor black licorice with. And Sambuca.” He said, “No kidding. I never knew ANUS tasted like licorice. This job is crazy.”

My Pick:

I swear I once had Sambuca in a bottle that said “Zambooka” on it. I can’t seem to find any evidence of it on the internet though. I recall a black label with the word in big silly letters down the side. For the longest time I thought that was how it was really spelled. If it exists, that’s my pick. If it doesn’t, it should.

10. Jägermeister

JägermeisterJäger is a strong dark liqueur made of secret ingredients.


Jägermeister means “Master Hunter.” Master Hunter sounds more bad-ass than Master Chief in Halo, and we all know that’s pretty damn bad-ass. Also, legend has it that Jäger is made with real deer blood. I doubt that is true, but you know it’s a manly drink when there is a stag on the bottle, and it has a bad-ass name, and it’s ingredients are not only secret, but might contain animal blood. I bet if you drink enough you’ll want to run off into the woods and chase down more deer, kill them with your bare hands, then howl at the moon while you eat your prey.


Even with all that testosterone inducing theory, the fact remains that Jäger is a liqueur, not a liquor. It’s 70 proof, which is good for a liqueur, but paltry for a liquor. So, while it may beat up on the Kahlua, Chambord, and Schnapps, once it gets into the ring with some real drinks, it’s suddenly not such a tough cookie.

My Pick:

Uhhhh… how about Jägermeister?

9. Rum

RumRum is made from sugarcane and primarily hails from the Caribbean.


Rum gains points for being the favored drink of pirates. It would have gained more points if it were the favored drink of ninjas. However, sake is the favored drink of ninjas and sake is a rice wine, not a liquor.

But, back to the rum. It’s nearly impossible to slur the word “rum” when you are drunk, thus allowing you to maintain an appearance of sobriety when needing another drink. “More rum” can be said by the drunkest of us, although there may be a tendency to hum the last bit: “More rummmmm.” This effect can be counteracted around Christmas if you slyly add “pum pum pum” to the end. A bartender may think you are sober enough to remember the words to The Little Drummer Boy, so you must be sober enough for more rum.

Another pro is the sheer proof rum can obtain. Rum averages 80 proof, however, many go higher. Bacardi 151 is a popular example, but other “overproof” rums go as high as 160 proof! I’ve had the overproof rums. You taste much less sugar and feel a lot more of the cane. A burning cane being shoved down your throat. Good times.


I think rum is the favored drink of a lot of women. This is most likely because it is made from sugarcane and thus a bit sweet. It also mixes well with many a fruit. Let’s face it, daiquiris and piña coladas don’t top the list of manly drinks. So, despite it’s potential toughness and links to treasure and wenches, rum rates low on the list.

My Pick:

Appleton Estate V/X – Distilled in Jamaica since 1749, they know what the hell they are doing.

8. Grain alcohol

Almost pure ethenol, grain alcohol is not made for it’s flavor, but rather for it’s bite.


Weighing in at a wopping 190 proof, grain alcohols are only for the strongest of the strong. When not being used as a cleaning agent, grain alcohol has been known as the number one ingredient of a nasty fruit punch known as Jungle Juice. Jungle Juice is generally made in a large trash barrell and consumed by binge drinking college kids. You know only a man would offer up his trash bin to make a party drink and only another man would think that it was one heck of an idea.


Many a poor sap has chugged grain alcohol to prove their manhood and found themselves waking up dead. That’s not manly, it’s just stupid.

My Pick:

Everclear is the grain alcohol of choice, wherever it hasn’t been banned.

7. Brandy

CognacBrandy is distilled wine, generally between 80 and 120 proof.


Somebody out there thought, “This wine is okay, but let’s kick this stuff up a notch!” You know that had to be a man. Brandy also is a great compliment to a great cigar. That’s pretty damn manly. Also, brandy is the determining factor in a great eggnog. Nog. That word was definitely made up by a man. You know some guy was sitting at home and the only things in the fridge were some milk and eggs. He mixed it together, threw in some brandy and as his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth he grunted, “Nog.” And it was good.


Chicks are named Brandy all the time. That can’t be a good sign.

My Pick:

There are several types of brandy depending on where it is distilled (Cognac, Armagnac, etc). I don’t know too much about brandy, but Busta Rhymes said “Pass the Courvoisier” so if it’s good enough for Busta, it’s good enough for me.

6. Vodka

vodkaVodka is colorless, and supposedly odorless and tasteless, but I think vodka has a distinct smell and flavor.


Averaging from 80 to 100 proof, vodka can do some damage. Many a night’s memory has been lost to me due to some 100 proof Shmirnoff.

Vodka can be mixed with about anything including OJ, tonic, cranberry juice, etc. You name it, there is probably a vodka drink for that ingredient.

Vodka is also the favored drink of burly Russian men who have no concept of the word cold because they have never felt warmth, besides the heat of vodka in their bellies. I don’t know, maybe it’s not always that cold in Russia, but Napoleon and Hitler didn’t fail there because of the light winters.


The versatility of the vodka is a highlight and a drawback. Because you can really fru-fru up a vodka drink, women definitely do not shy away from it. Including my drunk Russian neighbor. I know what you are thinking, “But you just said Russians add credibility to Vodka!” You’re right, but my drunk Russian neighbor is a woman, or at least resembles one on occasion. So, if vodka is the drink of choice for lady drunks, or at least the only one I know, then I think vodka takes a hit.

Also, vodka comes in a lot of different flavors including Vanilla, Orange, Lemon and other made for women flavors. The regular vodkas can thank their fruity counter-parts for holding them back.

My Pick:

I’m going to go with a popular favorite: Grey Goose. I know a lot of people swear by Kettle One, but I’ve never noticed a discernible difference.

5. Tequila

TequilaMade in Mexico from the blue agave plant.


Tequila is one of those drinks that you either love or you hurl instantly upon smelling it. Most men’s first foray into alcohol induced puking is a result of one too many shots of Jose Cuervo. It’s understandable, because shots of tequila are cheap and exciting. You lick the salt off your hand, throw back the shot and bite into the lime and hold on for dear life. If you survive, you can feel the new chest hairs growing and you suddenly realize you have grown a moustache. Men from Mexico shave their moustaches daily, so you can tell who the real drinkers are by the size of their stache at the end of the day.


I could really only think of one con: Margaritas and Tequila Sunrises. Both of these drinks tend to be fruity and sweet and enjoyed by the ladies. Not that there is anything wrong with drinking margaritas, but if the drink doesn’t make a chick say, “Ew, gross” it’s not topping the testosterone charts.

My Pick:

Patrón Añejo. If you’ve sworn off tequila, taste some of this and understand what it means to drink good tequila.

4. Mezcal

Tequila’s oft misunderstood cousin. Basically, it’s any spirit made from an agave plant other than the blue agave.


It has an MF’n worm in it!


It has an MF’n worm in it!

My Pick:

Pick the one with the biggest worm, drink the whole bottle, then eat that sucker!

3. Absinthe

AbsintheHallucinogenic spirit flavored with anise.


Unlike Sambuca and Ouzo, Absinthe kicks serious ass. Also, it’s actually a liquor, not a liqueur. Let’s get this straight, absinthe is so hardcore it was banned in the USA. And 2 Live Crew thought they were the only ones. Absinthe is made with Wormwood which is reportedly a hallucinogen. On top of that, the alcohol percentage ranges from 45 to 95 percent. That makes the weakest 90 proof! The strongest, 190 proof! The proof scale ends at 200, folks.

Not only is it strong, but it has it’s own rituals for drinking it. One method requires that you put a sugar cube on a slotted spoon, pour the absinthe over the sugar and then light the sugar cube on fire! It’s like you are making an offering to the absinthe gods!


That leads us to our cons, because the sacrifice is sugar, and the absinthe god is not a god at all. It’s a pixie known as the Green Fairy. Perhaps if you burned a hunk of meat over the absinthe and the god was known as Gozer the Destroyer, it would make this drink the manliest of manly drinks. But, there is nothing manly about fairies.

My Pick:

Whatever kind we had shipped over here in a box marked “Paper” so it could make it through customs. It was the clear Blanche/la Bleue style from Switzerland as opposed to the green Bohemian style absinthe made in a bathtub in the Czech Republic (which is most likely colored with anti-freeze).

2. Whiskey/Bourbon/Scotch

Maker’s MarkWhiskey includes a broad range of spirits distilled from grains or corn and then aged in wooden casks. Bourbon is whiskey from Kentucky, Scotch is from Scottland, and so on. There are distinct differences between them, but they are all equally manly.


Whiskey is a man’s drink. Whiskey’s are named after men. Jack Daniels. Jim Beam. George Dickel. Johnny Walker. You get the idea. If you are a cowboy and you are in a saloon, you order a whiskey, gulp it down, and then you shoot a guy. That’s just how it goes. Nobody says anything about it because they understand that you just had a shot of whiskey and that other guy probably had it coming.


There are really no cons. Even the most feminine sounding bourbon drink, the Mint Julep, is rich in Southern heritage and downed by rich men at horse races. Perhaps the only downside of whiskey is the associated redneck factor. And I’m not even sure that that should be considered a downside.

My Pick:

Maker’s Mark Bourbon. The perfect balance of smoothness, bite, and flavor.

1. Gin

MartiniGin is a clear liquor made with juniper.


Gin is a man’s drink. That’s all there is to it. The girls of Sex & the City tried to ruin the image of the martini with their Cosmos (which are NOT true martinis). Women are always taking our things and turning them girly. They’ve done it with our names (Beverly, Shannon, Stacy – all tough guy names at one time) and they tried to do it with our martini glass, but it won’t work. Pin up girls belong IN martini glasses, not drinking them.

All one has to do is remember that a gin martini is a glass full of straight up gin and a little bit of vermouth. Got that? Straight up gin. That’s not girly. That’s hardcore. There’s a reason James Bond gets all those women, and one of those reasons is that he drinks gin martinis. Gin doesn’t get mixed with fruit. Ever. “What about Gin and Juice?” you might ask. Gin & Juice is consumed by hardcore gangster rappers in the hood. Nothing non-manly about that. Gin tastes like the sweat of a pine tree and grows hair on your chest. Gin and Tonic glows in a black light because it’s practically radioactive, it’s that dangerous. Gin wins.


There are none. Gin rules. End of story. If you disagree, go cry about it to your mamma.

My pick:

Hendrick’s Gin. Super smooth and usually difficult to find.

There you have it. You might disagree with my list, but you better have a damn good reason for doing so. If you find this list sexist, you are either a woman, or need to drink more gin or whiskey.



14 Responses to Liquor in the front…

  1. kaostheory says:

    Brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of gin myself, but you make a persuasive argument. Good show.

  2. Shelby says:

    I’ll pass up the bait and say nothing about the ladies vs. manly men.

    You know I love Licorice Altoids so Sambuca is way up there on the list of liquors I will drink. Vodka is weird to me. It’s made from potatoes or rice or corn–how is that even possible? And all the flavored vodkas are fake tasting. Love brandy. Hate Jager. But oh dear god just looking at the Marker’s Mark bottle make my mouth water. And gin, well, you know what they say about gin . . .

  3. Justin says:

    I just found a blog stating that the ban on Absinthe has been lifted the beginning of last month. That info would have been helpful BEFORE I hit the Publish button, not 30 minutes later.

    Also, what do they say about gin? Other than how awesome it is?

  4. An excellent Number One Choice. I just did a taste comparison of a few gins on my blog. I agree with your choice of Spirits but, Bond’s a fag. He requests vodka in his martinis and also has them shaken. A martini is gin and dry vermouth, stirred with a lemon peel garnish.

  5. Justin says:

    A James Bond Martini is 3:1 Gin to Vodka. So, at least it’s mostly gin. But yeah, it looks like Bond does need to man up a little and quit cutting his gin with vodka.

  6. Love the list, love the gin and now I have to figure out how to find some Hendricks. To support vodka though, one day I was in a seedy bar and a russian dude walked in carrying a metal box. Inside the box he had a bottle of vodka he smuggled over to Italy and he ended up letting me and the bartender have a shot. The bartender bought the whole bottle from him for some large sum of money and I remember little else from the day. But I woke up with chest hair. Sorry, smuggled vodka seems fairly manly.

  7. Justin says:

    Just because vodka fell to number 6 doesn’t make it non-manly. Just less manly than the 5 below it.

  8. JEFF says:

    Where did you come up with Bond’s Vodka Martini’s being made with gin? 007 orders a Vodka Martini shaken not stirred meaning a splash of vermouth rolled around the inside of a shaker then thrown away then a few ounces of Kettle One added and shake with a hand full of ice. Not 3 parts gin and 1 part vodka, that drink I believe is called the vomit.

  9. Justin says:

    I got the idea from this link which describes Bond’s martini from the first Bond book Casino Royale.,_not_stirred

    “Bond insisted on ordering Leither’s Haig-and-Haig ‘on the rocks’ and then he looked carefully at the barman.

    ‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’

    ‘Oui, monsieur.’

    ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s (GIN), one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’

    ‘Certainly, monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleasant with the idea.”

    Also, there is this:

    “007’s drinking habits mirror those of his creator, Ian Fleming. Fleming as well as Bond throughout the novels had a preference for bourbon. Fleming himself actually had a fondness for gin, drinking as much as a bottle a day; however, he was converted to bourbon at the behest of his doctor who informed him of his ever failing health.

    In contrast, James Bond in the films has a fondness for vodka that is normally accompanied by product placement for a brand. For instance, Smirnoff was clearly shown in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies in which Bond sits drinking a bottle while in his hotel room in Hamburg. Other brands featured in the films have included Stolichnaya and Finlandia.”

    So, yes, in the movies the product placement people decided Bond drinks vodka, but his creator meant for him to drink gin. BTW – the drink is called the Vesper and actually finally made an appearance in the latest Bond movie named after the first book, Casino Royale.

  10. orangeninja says:

    You really did your research!!

  11. […] here’s a fun post about various liquors by the Cordoroy […]

  12. […] here’s a fun post about various liquors by the Cordoroy […]

  13. Old nik says:

    im pretty drunk at the moment drinking budweiser, but i have to say moonshine kicks more butt than gin. Now i agree that gin has a manly bite to it, i like gin. But, wheat moonshine is an atomic bomb in your stomach, plus the severe drunkness. However, corn moonshine blows wheat away, clearly knocking your pecker in the dirt.. excuse my language. It has less of a bite, but more of a boom in your stomach, and goes down quite smoothly, actually! thanks for reading this! us southerners arent so much as they portray us on tv!

  14. Justin says:

    Hey Old Nik, you’re right, moonshine should have been included in this list. But keep in mind, I didn’t base the list strictly on the proof! But I agree, moonshine would have definitely been at or near the top. Thanks for reading!

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