The UBC just held an interesting contest, determining which spirits are best suited to making proper classic cocktails. I often find myself agonizing over which spirits to call when ordering, so this list might help in a pinch.

There are some valuable lessons to be found within, like a $12 bottle of Polish vodka making the best Bloody Mary, so showing up to brunch with a batch of excellent Bloodies just got cheaper, Cointreau really is the best orange liqueur hands down, and Bulleit Rye has already established its place on the bar after only a month on the market.

Gin:
Extra Dry Martini – Beefeater London Dry Gin United Kingdom, 47%, $19.00
Gin & Tonic – Beefeater 24 Gin United Kingdom, 45%, $30.00
Aviation – Plymouth Gin United Kingdom, 41.20%, $30.00
Negroni – No. 3 London Dry Gin United Kingdom, 46%, $39.99

Vodka:
Bloody Mary – Vesica Potato Vodka Poland, 40%, $11.99
Cosmopolitan – Absolut Citron Flavored Vodka Sweden, 40%, $20.00
Vodka & Tonic – Luksusowa Vodka Poland, 40%, $14.99

Tequila/Mezcal:
Margarita – Olmeca Plata, 100% Agave Tequila Mexico, 40%, $24.00
Paloma – Izkali Reposado, 100% Agave Tequila Mexico, 40%, $33.00
Tequila Sunrise – 901 Silver, 100% Agave Tequila Mexico, 40%, $40.00

Rum:
Daiquiri – Banks 5 Island White Rum West Indies, 43%, $27.99
Mojito – Banks 5 Island White Rum West Indies, 43%, $27.99
Mai Tai – Holey Dollar Silver Coin Premium Rum Australia, 40%, $25.00

Cachaça:
Caipirinha – Leblon Silver Cachaça Brazil, 40%, $30.00
Batida de Fresa – Leblon Silver Cachaça Brazil, 40%, $30.00
Caipirinha de Uva – Leblon Silver Cachaça Brazil, 40%, $30.00

Cognac/Brandy:
Sidecar –  Camus VS Elegance Cognac France, 40%, $26.00
Stinger – Camus VSOP Elegance Cognac France, 40%, $42.00
Brandy Julep – Remy Martin VSOP Cognac France, 40%, $40.00

Pisco:
Pisco Sour – Macchu Single Grape “Puro” Pisco Peru, 40%, $23.00
Pisco Punch – Macchu Single Grape “Puro” Pisco Peru, 40%, $23.00
Cocktail Algeria – Macchu Single Grape “Puro” Pisco Peru, 40%, $23.00

Irish Whiskey:
Blackthorne – Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey Ireland, 40%, $27.99
Wild Irish Rose – Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey Ireland, 40%, $27.99
Irish Coffee – Jameson Gold Blended Irish Whiskey Ireland, 40%, $60.00

Scotch Whisky:
Rob Roy – Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotland, 43%, $45.99
Blood & Sand – Highland Park 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotland, 43%, $45.99
Rusty Nail – The Macallan Fine Oak 10 Years Old Single Malt Scotland, 43%, $40.99

Canadian Whisky:
Scoflaw – Black Velvet Reserve 8 Years Old Canada, 40%, $13.99

US Whiskey:
Manhattan: Bulleit Rye Whiskey United States, 45%, $24.99
Old-Fashioned – George Dickel #12 Tennessee Whiskey United States, 45%, $19.99
Mint Julep – Bulleit Rye Whiskey United States, 45%, $24.99

Champagne/Prosecco/Sparkling:
Champagne Cocktail – Piper Sonoma Brut, Sonoma County US, 13.50%, $19.99
French 75 – Piper Sonoma Brut, Sonoma County United States, 13.50%, $19.99
Bellini – Piper Sonoma Blancs de Blancs, Sonoma County US, 13.50%, $19.99

Liqueurs:
Orange Liqueur/Triple Sec in Margarita – Cointreau Liqueur France, 40%, $36.99
Orange Liqueur/Triple sec in Sidecar –  Cointreau Liqueur France, 40%, $36.99
Orange Liqueur/Triple Sec in Cosmopolitan – Cointreau Liqueur France, 40%, $36.99

Caveat: competitions like this charge brands a substantial fee to enter, so it isn’t a particularly democratic process.  There may be brands better suited who were too small to afford, or chose not to enter the competition.

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