Lifestyle

8 Spirits From Around the World You Need in Your Drinks Cabinet

Sweden: Absolut Elyx, £43

Absolut Elyx Vodka

The prestige of the Absolut range, named aptly as ‘Elyx’ is a martini lover’s dream. Produced from a single estate in Southern Sweden where they’ve been cultivating wheat since the 1400s there is history and heritage packed into every bottle. To top that off, every drop is distilled in a vintage copper column dating back to 1921 – talk about wow-factor! Vibrant, sophisticated, and rather sexy in design, this smooth sensation offers white chocolate, dry spice and a macadamia, walnut, and hazelnut complexity. Count me in.

Available at Ocado.

Jamaica: Appleton Estate 15-Year-Old, £70

Appleton Estate 15 Year Old

They say that rum in the tropical climate of Jamaica can age up to five times faster than scotch, so the Appleton 15-Year-Old is something to be desired. Completing its first distillation all the way back in 1749, Appleton prides itself on terroir-forward expressions, being one of just a few in the world to offer this when it comes to rum. Made using limestone-filtered water taken from the river that flows alongside the estate, this rum is packed full of personality. Aromas of toasted almonds and chocolate hazelnuts burst from the glass, while delicate flavours of orange zest marmalade, Madagascan vanilla and fresh espresso with sticky brown sugar entice your palate.

Available at Royal Mile Whiskies.

France: Remy Martin XO, £164

Remy Martin XO

When it comes to the spirits of France, it doesn’t get much better than cognac. Here we have one of the iconic houses of the region and their crème de la crème of serves. This stunning blend of over 100 eaux-de-vie which have been aged for a minimum of 12 years offers complexity, wonder and elegance. One sip reveals candied apricots, fresh cocoa, cedar wood and warm spices with a sensational mouthfeel and divine cigar-box finish.

Available at The Whisky Exchange.

Japan: KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin, £48

KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin

This could be one of the coolest gins on the planet. The opus of the Tokyo Distillery, the artisanal gin is a vibrant and delicious representation of everything that is Japan. Yuzu, lemon, sanshō pepper, ginger and gyokuro tea sit at the heart of the botanical mix, each one sourced at the peak of their foraging period to ensure maximum taste. Exceptionally dry with a Japanese accent, this liquid is pure, balanced, and full of life.

Available at Majestic.

Mexico: Mijenta Reposado, £64

Mijenta Reposado Tequila

Sometimes the liquid just speaks for itself: and that’s exactly what you have here. This elegant Reposado begins its journey by being aged for six months in a blend of American white oak and European acacia casks. This unusual barrel ageing creates a distinct flavour, offering notes of roasted agave, cacao nibs, bergamot, vanilla honey, and orange blossom with dried apricots. It comes from one of the few haciendas supporting female distilling talent, and the brand is dedicated to minimising its environmental impact, ensuring every step of the process is sustainable, from procurement to packaging. A win-win for all the right reasons.

Available at Master of Malt.

Taiwan: Kavalan Concertmaster Port Finish, £63

Kavalan Concertmaster Port Finish

Immediately hushing sceptics that don’t believe quality liquid could ever come from Taiwan, Kavalan has been a force of nature in the single malt world. Their innovation is astronomical and each year a new delight graces our palates. Aged under the intense local climate, this treasure is laid in ex-bourbon casks before the final leg of its journey takes place in port pipes. Super complex and concentrated, you can expect to discover spiced chocolate, dried mango and apricot, black pepper, and raspberry.

Available at Master of Malt.

America: Whistlepig 15-Year-Old, £240

Whistlepig 15-Year-Old

As one of WhistlePig’s oldest expressions, this Estate Oak Rye is a gleaming diamond of whiskey joy. Its life is spent within Vermont Estate oak sourced from WhistlePig’s very own 500-acre farm. The result is a taste of true local terroir with every sip. Expect to find rich caramel and burnt toffee apple with allspice, sticky marmalade, and butterscotch. It’s a warm sticky toffee pudding in a glass with tobacco and an invitingly long toffee-fudge finish.

Available at The Whisky World.

New Zealand: the Reid Single Malt Vodka, £50

The Reid Single Malt Vodka

You’ve heard of single malt when it comes to whiskies, but it’s a term that isn’t often seen in the vodka world. In 2011 Desiree Whitaker dreamt of building a distillery and so Cardrona Spirits was born. The Reid is its flagship luxury vodka, offering a single malt crafted from 100% malted barley. Its smooth texture offers hints of pear drops, biscuits, toffee and a burst of vanilla. Absolutely stunning in martinis.

Available at Hedonism.

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About the author

Aidy Smith

Aidy Smith is a wine and spirits personality and one of the presenter trio behind Amazon Prime TV Series, The Three Drinkers. In better times, he is often found scouring the globe for his next tipple. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @sypped.