The Best Premium and Bargain Liquors

The best brands for your budget (and your palate). Plus, 8 liquors not to buy.

By Amanda Hinnant
Pitchers of summer cocktailsQuentin Bacon
"You don't need to buy the premium stuff for mixing most drinks," says Dale DeGroff, master mixologist and author of The Craft of the Cocktail. Sample a range of each kind of liquor, and splurge on the ones where you can tell the difference.

1. Bourbon

Premium: Maker's Mark
Bargain: Old Forester

2. Gin

Premium: Beefeater
Bargain: Gordon's

3. Rum (Light)

Premium: Bacardi
Bargain: Castillo

4. Scotch (Blended)

Bargain: White Horse

5. Tequila

Premium: Porfidio
Bargain: Sauza Hornitos, Jose Cuervo

6. Dry Vermouth

Choose a French brand; Noilly Prat is high-quality but inexpensive.

7. Sweet Vermouth

Go for Martini & Rossi―premium in taste but not in price.

8. Vodka

Premium: Belvedere
Bargain: Smirnoff


Read More About:Food & Drink

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