A glass of alcoholic liquid. Source — CheltenhamFestival.net

Ranking every type of alcoholic beverage I’ve ever tried from worst to best

Because someone has to

By its very nature, there is almost no way I’m going to remember every type of booze I’ve ever had.

I think I may have had Poitin but I have no memory of its taste or function, or what it actually is, so there’s no way I can feature it on this list.

So this list is incomplete, but still worthwhile, if only for my own interest.

For each I will give it rating on three scales: taste, ease of drinking, fun had.

Rule is basically that it can only be a type of booze, not a brand (unless I don’t know what the type is, like Pernod. Wtf is Pernod?) and no cocktails (two ingredient drinks outside the bounds of a long drink is okay. You’ll see).

And I’ll tell you a little story for each one, to give you a bit of context.

Oh, and of course, a health warning. Don’t drink. It’s bad. If you do drink, don’t do it a lot. This is not an article promoting the benefits of alcohol — in fact until about half way through the list, it’s very much the opposite.

Sambuca

Fuck this shit mate. You offer me a sambuca in a club, I’m not having it. You insist. Seriously, I’m not having it. Go on, have a sambuca. Goddamn it no, leave me alone, you fucking peer pressuring wanker.

My first sambuca was on my 18th birthday, which sounds quite late really, but I can’t think of any other time I’d have had it prior.

My mates and I got them free with the birthday curry we’d just had.

Until about the age of 20, I found myself drinking sambuca on most big nights out. I never once liked it, but I thought that was the point.

Then I realised I didn’t have to drink something that actively repulses me.

So I don’t any more.

RATINGS:

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 2/10

Fun had: 1/10

Campari

What I imagine nail polish remover tastes like.

Drunk once, at my own house at the age of about 17. Raided the parents booze cupboard, and picked this out for some reason.

Campari and Lemonade was my Nan’s favourite drink apparently.

Then again, she did grow up during the war. Probs not much else about.

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 2/10

Fun had: 2/10

Absynthe

Hmm.

No one likes it.

Taste-wise, absolutely atrocious, but has one mildly redeeming feature and that is it can lead to absolute messes of nights, which can alternate between fun and horrifying. So at least it has the potential to be interesting.

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 0/10

Fun had: 4/10

Grappa

An Italian gave me some at a house party.

We’re not friends anymore.

Taste: 1/10

Ease of drinking: 2/10

Fun had: 1/10

Ouzo

One of the first things I ever got drunk on, at a (too) young age.

I genuinely haven’t drunk it since then.

Taste: 1/10

Ease of drinking: 1/10

Fun had: 3/10

Pernod

Seriously, what the fuck is this stuff? Bitter and aniseedy urgh yuck even thinking about it makes me want to gag.

As with most of these bottom of the table beverages, I’ve only drunk it once, and that was when I stole it from my Dad’s booze cupboard.

Taste: 2/10

Ease of drinking: 2/10

Fun had: 1/10

Hierbas

Spanish for piss. Probably.

Fucking awful drink that they sell in the airport in Mallorca.

Another Magaluf special, supposed digestif, which basically means it makes you gag so much you throw up your dinner and don’t have to digest it.

Taste: 1/10

Ease of drinking: 3/10

Fun had: 1/10

Gin

“Oh Toby and I tried this wonderful little Gin bar in Pompous Street last week, they had elderflower and sloe and oh it was so cute and naughty wasn’t it Toby. I got a little squiffy, I have to say, and Toby had to carry me home. I really was a tad guzzumped by it, but oh that’s gin for you. Shat myself on the stairs, but you know, what goes in must be gin, what comes out makes you shout in fecal agony, and all that”.

Fuck off Gin wanker.

Only reason this is so high on the list, is because I’ve seen other people get proper wankered on the stuff, which within reason, can be funny.

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 1/10

Fun had: 4/10

Tequila

Ah dios mothafuckin mio, I hate this stuff.

Went through an odd phase where I not only tolerated it, but insisted on drinking it on every night out.

Funnily enough, that coincided with the couple of years I suffered from debilitating hangovers and vomited so much I had permanently burst blood vessels in my cheeks.

University ended this one, thankfully.

So right now, it’s a big no. A nope nope nope. But it gets nostalgia points.

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 0/10

Fun had: 6/10

Vodka

On it’s own, nah mate, nah.

With anything else, yeah not too bad. Inoffensive. Basically takes on the properties of its cup fellow.

So when I went through my Vodka and Orange juice phase, it was bad, because too much orange juice on its own makes you feel sick.

Now that I love a good Bloody Mary, Vodka is just fine by me.

Never had an outstanding night on Vodka alone.

Never had a truly shit night on it either.

So yeah, the baseline, the marker.

Taste: 0/10

Ease of drinking: 4/10

Fun had: 4/10

Jager

Gets in here a couple of times. Once on its own, once because of its pumped up version (more on that later).

Jager on its own isn’t particularly nice, but of all the 30–40% spirits available, it’s probably one of the most tolerable and downable.

No real great nights drinking it on its own, but then what weirdo spends a whole night drinking straight Jager?

Taste: 2/10

Ease of drinking: 6/10

Fun had: 1/10

IPA

Alright you like IPA. Great. I’m really pleased you’ve found something to make this 70 or so years of existence more tolerable.

But please, shut the fuck up about it.

Taste: 4/10

Ease of drinking: 6/10

Fun had: 0/10

Warm ale

Right, I know someone is gonna go “what do you even mean by warm ale?” — here’s what I mean, anything that’s not a Stout, a lager or Pale ale, that’s a warm ale to me.

Yes I know this covers a broad range from Reds and Ambers to whatevers and I don’t give a fuckers, but quite frankly ale is frigging ale. To a greater or lesser extent, they all taste like they’ve been filtered through the old men’s (or these days hipsters’) socks who so frequently drink them.

I’ve had a nice pint of ale. It was still less enjoyable than a nice pint of Guinness.

Taste: 3/10

Ease of drinking: 5/10

Fun had: 2/10

Bourbon

Hmm.

If I was American, I’m sure I’d do a little jig and frig myself into a froth over why Bourbons are so Goddamn amazing and should be enshrined in the bill of rights etcetera.

I’m English and they’re okay.

Taste: 4/10

Ease of drinking: 5/10

Fun had: 2/10

Whisky

The funny thing with booze, that I’m beginning to see as I go through this, is some drinks in particular have their full blown aficionados, and some just exist.

Whisky (or whiskey. I don’t care) is one of those that has a fandom, along with the IPAs and Gins of above.

I have mates my age who drink whisky, but I don’t think I’d call any aficionados. I have relatives older than me, who I most certainly would.

Those older codgers who love it, they had to work on it.

I’m not there yet.

I try every year. I’m getting closer.

But not quite.

Simply put, it’s an old man’s game.

Taste: 7/10

Ease of drinking: 2/10

Fun had: 2/10

White Rum

Innately tropical. Has to be had with some form of pineapple or coconut.

For Pina Coladas and Mojitos alone, it’s my favourite of all the clear spirits.

Fun fact: if you order something called a Mojito Royal that comes with champagne instead of soda water, expect it to cost a fucking arm.

Taste: 5/10

Ease of drinking: 4/10

Fun had: 4/10

Dark Rum

My Uncle’s favourite drink is a Rum and Black. Which is dark rum. And blackcurrant cordial. That’s it. No water or anything.

I downed a lot of these at a family gathering once, and I had a lovely time, so scores pretty highly on fun points. That’s about it really.

Taste: 4/10

Ease of drinking: 4/10

Fun had: 7/10

Spiced Rum

Ooh now we’re talking.

A certain brand of Spiced Rum (hint: not Captain Morgans) used to be my favourite tipple when I were a lad. I mixed it with apple juice and it tasted like those drumstick lollies.

Then they went and changed the recipe and now it’s not as good (but still alright).

Lots of nights had on this one.

Taste: 7/10

Ease of drinking: 6/10

Fun had: 7/10

Schnapps

I bloody love schnapps.

It’s just so yummy.

I like it with mixer (lemonade is pretty good) or on its own, and it’s the perfect pre-drink.

Reminds me of drinking abroad.

Taste: 8/10

Ease of drinking: 7/10

Fun had: 7/10

Rose Wine

My least favourite type of wine, only because I once drank a bottle very quickly and was unsurprisingly quite ill.

Still, wine is wine.

Taste: 7/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 7/10

White Wine

Actually, Rose and white wine are basically the same thing. So I’ll give them the same score.

Taste: 7/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 7/10

Alcopops

Bacardi breezers and wkds, like for many English people of a certain age, were my formative drinks.

I actually can’t remember the last time I had one, but they rank highly purely for their nostalgic value.

Taste: 8/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 8/10

Sangria

We’re now getting to the part of the list that is actually enjoyable for me to write about.

I had Sangria as recently as a couple of weeks ago, and it’s bloody lovely.

I genuinely think it is the perfect summer drink.

Even cheap shite (Don Simon, I’m looking at you) is infinitely more tolerable than a cheap cider or lager of the equivalent strength.

Taste: 8/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 8/10

Brandy

Learned from my Uncle, brandy is a quiet favourite of mine.

Unlike whisky, I’ve never had to work to enjoy it, it’s just always worked for me.

Some of my best times have been supping on a brandy after a huge meal in some little Spanish restaurant with mi familia.

One caveat: I don’t drink it too often. The less I drink it, the more I like it.

Taste: 7/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 9/10

Fizzy wine

Fuck me I love this shit.

I don’t care if it’s prosecco or cava or champagne. Gimme it. Now.

It’s something I’ve grown fonder and fonder of over the years, to the point that I’m happy to drink it in almost any (boozing) situation.

That’s the mark of a proper drink.

Taste: 9/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 8/10

Jagerbombs

Ooh nelly.

These fuckers.

These are my greatest ally and my biggest foe. My social lubricant and my shirt lubricant. They make me the best I can be. And they make me the worst person ever.

Jagerbombs=life

Taste: 8/10

Ease of drinking: 9/10

Fun had: 9/10

Cider

Ar, yo awrite there me ol pal. Yo look like yo need to have a ciderrrrrrr.

Too fuckin right mate.

Oh cider. Get insider me. Cider is just my bud, my pal, my muse.

Add a touch of blackcurrant and you’ve got yourself a party. Snakebite? Don’t mind if I do.

Taste: 8/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 10/10

Guinness

Black yumminess.

I’m very, very fond of Guinness. It’s like drinking a hug. It’s the best possible thing you can have on a cold November day in a country pub. Fact.

But… it’s not always been this way.

Yes, alas, I used to not care for the ebony nectar. I was a fool, and I admit it.

Perhaps my palate has matured, perhaps I have, but Guinness is now my first drink in the pub from when the leaves turn orange until I start wearing shorts.

Taste: 9/10

Ease of drinking: 8/10

Fun had: 9/10

Red Wine

Like Guinness, not a drink for kiddies.

Red Wine is probably the most nuanced, sophisticated drink there is that’s also available for £2.99 from a corner shop.

When I drink Red Wine, I feel like I’m a grown up (debatable).

I don’t drink Red Wine with my friends. I drink it with family. Or with my girlfriend. It’s for dinner parties and conversations about the Economy.

All in all, a lovely drink (subject to picking the right bottle — bad Red Wine is badder than other drinks).

Taste: 9/10

Ease of drinking: 9/10

Fun had: 8/10

Lager

Alright mate, pint of lager yeah?

Couple of pints of lager, few games of pool, then we’ll head out yeah?

Lager=lads (not exclusively of the male kind). No matter how many rebrands or marketing campaigns the industry tries, lager is a just middle of the road, bog standard, suitable for any situation, any place, any(ish) time.

And that’s why it’s so great. No other alcoholic drink could pull of such ubiquity.

Drinking a lager by the pool at 11am on holiday with your Mum is perfectly okay. Imagine doing the same with a glass of Port (I forgot to do Port, didn’t I. It’s alright. Let’s leave it at that).

Lager is just solid.

It’s that mate who’ll always lend you a tenner for a cab. It’s the local takeaway that gives you extra garlic sauce. It’s football on Saturday and a roast on a Sunday.

It’s pure, simple, pleasure. No frills, no extras. Just a glass of good, honest, alright.

Taste: 9/10

Ease of drinking: 9/10

Fun had: 10/10

Fruit Cider

Because fuck you, that’s why.

Taste: 10/10

Ease of drinking: 10/10

Fun had: 10/10

Jackson does do things other than drink. You can find out what by following him on twitter.