Food & Drink

The 10 Liquor Wonders of the World

For centuries, the Seven Wonders of the World have epitomized the pinnacle of human ingenuity. But you can’t get a decent drink at the Pyramids of Giza. Luckily, the drinking world has plenty of magnificent sites too. Here, the liquor wonders of the world.

World’s Oldest Distillery

The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim, Ireland, may have registered its trademark in 1784, but the facility itself has been distilling whiskey since 1608. All of the whiskey produced by the Bushmills brand still comes from this same, ancient distillery.

World’s Highest Bar and Highest al Fresco Bar

Located on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, the Ozone Bar is the world’s highest bar, towering over the city at a height of more than 1,500 feet. If Hong Kong feels too distant behind all that glass, head to 1-Altitude Gallery and Bar in Singapore for 360-degree views from the world’s highest al fresco bar at 850 feet.

The Underwater Club in the Maldives

At Subsix, patrons don’t sip cocktails by the sea, they enjoy their happy hours underneath the ocean. The world’s first underwater club sits 20 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean, and is accessible only by speedboat from the nearby Per Aquum Niyama hotel. Once below deck, guests watch fish float by while drinking cocktails like Dhoni’s Sailor, made with house-aged rum, sweet vermouth, Cointreau and pomegranate syrup.

The Icebar in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Over the years, many (mostly gimmicky) ice bars have come and gone, but the first (and best) is the Icebar in Jukkasjärvi, which was founded way back in 1994. The bar is housed within the world’s largest ice hotel, so guests can pop over in their parkas for a warming nightcap before snuggling into their reindeer fur-padded ice beds.

World’s Largest Cocktail

Nick Nicora set the Guinness World Record for the largest cocktail in history when he created a 10,000 gallon Margarita in 2012. Like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, you can no longer visit Nicora’s record-breaking creation, but its glory lives on in stories told over bottles of tequila.

Volcano-Powered Distillery

On the untamed Icelandic coast, beneath the shadow of the imposing Mt. Hafnarfjall, the Reyka Vodka distillery harnesses the power of the island’s natural lava field to make vodka. Subterranean hot springs heat the spirit, which is then filtered through lava rocks, making for an entirely geothermal distillation process.

World’s Strongest Spirit

College partiers may swear by Everclear as the quickest way to up the ABV content of Jungle Juice, but the high-proof standby isn’t the booziest liquor out there. Spirytus Delikatesowy, a grain alcohol brand from Poland, beats Everclear by 1 percent, clocking in at 192 proof, making it the strongest liquor in the world.

World’s Most Expensive Cocktail

Joel Heffernan of Club 23 in Melbourne, Australia, set the Guinness World Record for most expensive cocktail in 2013 when he stirred up a drink worth about $13,000. Named after Winston Churchill, the drink included Grand Marnier Quintessence, Chartreuse Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé, a dash of Angostura Bitters and two ounces of the prime minister’s favorite spirit, brandy. Specifically, Heffernan used Croizet 1858 Cuvee Leonie Cognac, which happens to be the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s most expensive Cognac.

World’s Largest Scotch Collection

Until 2008, the world’s largest collection of scotch lived not in the spirit’s homeland but in South America. Brazilian collector Claive Vidiz amassed a staggering 3,384 bottles over 35 years, which he sold to Diageo, who rightfully returned the collection to Scotland. Today, the bottles are displayed in a high tech vault at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh.