The best cheap bottle of alcohol is hard to define. It really depends on a mix of price, taste, and accessibility. Which of these factors is the most important? We’ll cast a vote for accessibility, followed by price and taste in either order. We could tell you about an amazing small-batch whiskey being made in Germany but if you’re in Salt Lake City, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot.
Today we’re taking a look at accessible bottles of booze that clock in under $30 per bottle and still taste extraordinary. There are literally hundreds of options that fit those parameters when you group brandy, tequila, vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey together. Even winnowing it to 30 becomes a daunting prospect. Still, we have to try.
We’ve compiled a list of 30 bottles of booze that you can buy pretty much anywhere. The key here to remember is that these are not the best of their class. They’re the best easy-to-find bottles at this specific price point. Are there regional distilleries making better booze at the same price tag? Could be. But don’t fault us for wanting to shout out the bottles you can buy right now at your nearest liquor store.
30. Korbel Brandy
Is this the best brandy? Oh, no. But it is a great mixing brandy for a very specific regional cocktail: Wisconsin’s Brandy Old Fashioned. For a mere 12 bucks, you can whip up a unique and very tasty cocktail with Korbel. That’s great bang for your buck. Just make sure not to try it neat unless you’re primed for a hangover.
29. Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Vodka is a tricky spirit to judge. There’s a lot of nuances that are very particular to the distillation process. The distance between a good vodka and a great one is small in the flavor department but huge in texture (no one wants oily vodka).
Texas’ Tito’s Handmade Vodka is goddamn tasty. You know what you’re getting here with a nice clear, light taste with a nice peppery bite at the end.