49 American Drinks You’ll Love: Spirits | Cocktails | Wine | Beer | No-Alcohol

America’s drink scene is as diverse as its culture, offering everything from spirited bourbons and cocktails to refreshing sodas, hearty beers, and elegant wines. This list gives you a glimpse into the wide array of American beverages, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

But remember, this vast country’s mix of traditions means we’re just scratching the surface of what’s out there. So, let’s take a look at some popular American drinks, keeping in mind there’s always more to taste and enjoy.

1.) American Spirits

1.1.) American Liquor

1. Whiskey

American whiskey is renowned for its diverse styles, including bourbon, Tennessee, and rye, each distinguished by unique ingredients, aging processes, and regional characteristics. Bourbon is celebrated for its rich, sweet flavors derived from corn, while Tennessee whiskey is known for its smooth, charcoal-mellowed taste. Rye whiskey offers a spicier profile, preferred in classic American cocktails.

Examples of popular and interesting American whiskey brands/labels:

  • Bourbon Whiskey:
    • Maker’s Mark: Known for its hand-dipped red wax seal and smooth, sweet flavor profile with notes of vanilla and caramel.
    • Buffalo Trace: Offers a complex aroma with hints of vanilla, mint, and molasses, popular for its deep and resonant flavor.
  • Tennessee Whiskey:
    • Jack Daniel’s: Iconic for its charcoal mellowing process, known as the Lincoln County Process, offering a smooth, distinctive taste.
    • George Dickel: Stands out for its chill-filtering method, providing a smoother, more mellow whiskey with a rich character.
  • Rye Whiskey:
    • Rittenhouse Rye: Bottled in Bond, delivering a spicy, fruity flavor profile, perfect for classic cocktails like the Manhattan.
    • Bulleit Rye: Offers a high rye content, giving it a bold, spicy character with a smooth, clean finish.

2. Brandy

American brandy, particularly apple and grape brandy, showcases the country’s rich fruit heritage. Distilled from fermented fruit juice, these brandies vary from sweet to dry, often aged in wood barrels, which contribute to their complex flavors and aromas. Apple brandy, like those from Virginia, captures the essence of local apple varieties, while grape brandy is often linked to regions known for wine.

  • Apple Brandy:
    • Laird’s Applejack: America’s oldest apple brandy, known for its blend of apple brandy and neutral spirits, offering a crisp, apple-forward flavor.
    • Clear Creek Apple Brandy: Made from Oregon apples, it’s known for its pure expression of apple flavor and traditional European distillation methods.
  • Grape Brandy:
    • Korbel California Brandy: Crafted using traditional methods and aged in oak barrels, known for its rich, fruity character and smooth finish.
    • Germain-Robin Brandy: Utilizes traditional Cognac distillation methods with California grapes, offering complex, nuanced flavors.

3. Vodka

American vodka, both plain and flavored, is prized for its versatility and smoothness. Distilled from grains or potatoes, American vodkas are often multiple times distilled and filtered, resulting in a clean, neutral spirit perfect for cocktails. Flavored vodkas introduce a wide array of tastes, from classic citrus to innovative savory profiles, expanding the possibilities for mixology.

  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka: Distilled from corn, Tito’s is known for its micro-distillation process and smooth, slightly sweet profile.

4. Rum

American rum includes white, spiced, dark, and overproof varieties. White rum is often used in cocktails for its light, clean taste, while spiced rum adds warmth and complexity with its blend of spices. Dark rum is aged longer, offering deeper flavors, and overproof rum provides a potent, high-alcohol option for bold concoctions.

  • White Rum:
    • Cruzan Aged Light Rum: Aged for a minimum of two years, offering a smooth, medium-bodied profile ideal for mixing. This rum originated in the Virgin Islands and is still produced there.
  • Spiced Rum:
    • Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum: Boasts a higher proof and a bold spice blend, making it a favorite for those who prefer a stronger kick. Also produced in the Virgin Islands.
  • Craft Rum:
    • Privateer Rum: Based in Massachusetts, Privateer produces high-quality, true American rum with a focus on natural ingredients and traditional methods, offering both silver and aged varieties with complex, nuanced flavors.
    • Bayou Rum: Distilled in Louisiana, Bayou Rum uses locally sourced sugarcane in traditional copper pot stills, resulting in a range of rums that capture the unique spirit and flavors of the American South.

5. Gin

American gin has seen a resurgence, with craft distilleries experimenting with botanicals to create unique flavors. From classic dry gins perfect for a martini to more modern interpretations with local botanicals, American gin is diverse and innovative.

  • Dry Gin:
    • Seagram’s Gin: Known for its mellow taste and versatility, Seagram’s is a classic American gin that has been a bar staple for decades.
  • Craft Gin:
    • St. George Spirits: Based in California, St. George Spirits is known for its range of artisanal gins, including the “Terroir Gin,” which is famous for its unique botanicals that reflect the landscape of the West Coast.
    • New Amsterdam Gin: A modern American gin from New York, New Amsterdam is known for its exceptionally smooth profile and subtle citrus notes, making it versatile for a wide variety of gin-based cocktails.

6. Tequila

While tequila is inherently Mexican, the American market has embraced and significantly contributed to its global popularity. Many brands have significant ties to the American market through their American founders and distribution. American-owned brands and distilleries in Mexico cater to the US palate with a wide range of smooth blancos, rich reposados, and aged añejos.

  • Patrón: The Patrón tequila brand was co-founded by an American, it is extensively produced for the American market, and has significant American influence in its marketing and distribution.

7. Moonshine & Everclear

American moonshine and everclear represent the spirit of American ingenuity and the frontier of distillation. Moonshine, traditionally unaged and made from corn, harkens back to the days of Prohibition, embodying a rebellious spirit. Everclear, known for its extremely high alcohol content, is used in a variety of potent concoctions and infusions, showcasing the versatility and experimental nature of American spirits.

  • Moonshine:
    • Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine: Offers a range of flavored moonshines, capturing the authentic spirit of Appalachian distilling traditions.
    • Midnight Moon Moonshine: Inspired by bootlegger recipes, it’s distilled from corn for a smooth, clean taste, available in various flavors.
  • Everclear:
    • Everclear Grain Alcohol 190 Proof: One of the most potent spirits available, it’s used cautiously in cocktails and infusions for its neutral profile and high alcohol content.

1.2.) American Liqueurs

8. Sweet Tea Vodka

  • Infused vodka with sweet tea flavor

Sweet Tea Vodka, like Firefly, is a fusion of classic American flavors, combining the comforting taste of sweet tea with the smoothness of vodka. This liqueur is perfect for crafting refreshing cocktails, offering a taste of Southern hospitality in every sip. Its versatility in mixology makes it a favorite for summer gatherings and porch sittings, embodying the essence of American leisure.

9. Southern Comfort

  • Smooth whisky with fruit and spice

Southern Comfort is a unique blend of whisky, fruit, and spices, offering a smooth, sweet flavor profile that’s distinctly American. Often enjoyed on the rocks or in mixed drinks, it provides a comforting warmth and complexity that celebrates the spirit of the South. Its rich history and versatile taste make it a staple in American liqueurs.

10. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

  • Cinnamon-spiced whisky liqueur

Originally from Canada, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, a fiery staple in bars across the USA, is known for its bold cinnamon kick and smooth whisky base. It’s a go-to for shots and creative cocktails, igniting taste buds with its spicy warmth. This liqueur has become synonymous with festive nights out, making it a must-have for anyone looking to add a little spice to their drink repertoire.

2.) American Cocktails & Mixed Alcoholic Drinks

2.1.) American Cocktails

2.1.1.) Whiskey-Based Cocktails

11. Manhattan
  • Rye whiskey cocktail with sweet vermouth

The Manhattan is a sophisticated cocktail made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters, often garnished with a maraschino cherry. This drink is usually stirred, then strained into a cocktail glass, offering a perfect balance between the spicy flavors of the whiskey and the sweet, herbal notes of the vermouth. Originating from the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, this cocktail has become a staple of American cocktail culture.

12. Mint Julep
  • Bourbon cocktail with fresh mint

The Mint Julep is a refreshing cocktail that combines bourbon, sugar, water, and fresh mint. Traditionally served in a silver or pewter cup filled with crushed ice, the Mint Julep is synonymous with the Southern United States and is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. The drink’s preparation involves muddling the mint with sugar and water to release the essential oils, making it a beloved choice for its aromatic and cooling properties.

13. Whiskey Sour
  • Tart whiskey cocktail with lemon

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail made with whiskey (often bourbon), lemon juice, and sugar, creating a perfect harmony of sweet and sour flavors. This drink is typically shaken and served either straight or over ice, often garnished with a slice of orange or a maraschino cherry. The Whiskey Sour has a long history, with its first recorded mention in the mid-19th century, and remains a favorite for its refreshing and balanced taste.

14. Sazerac
  • Classic New Orleans rye whiskey cocktail

The Sazerac is a New Orleans classic, often referred to as America’s first cocktail. This drink is made with rye whiskey, absinthe, a sugar cube, and a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. The Sazerac is known for its rich history and complex flavor profile, combining the spicy notes of the rye with the herbal tones of the absinthe.

15. Old Fashioned
  • Whiskey cocktail with bitters and sugar

The Old Fashioned is a classic American cocktail that combines whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters. This drink is traditionally served in a short, round, tumbler-like glass, which is called an Old Fashioned glass, named after the drink. The Old Fashioned is known for its rich history, dating back to the early 19th century, making it one of the oldest known cocktails. It is appreciated for its simplicity and depth of flavor, often garnished with an orange slice or twist.

2.1.2.) Vodka-Based Cocktails

16. Cosmopolitan
  • Cranberry and citrus vodka martini

The Cosmopolitan, or “Cosmo”, is a chic cocktail that blends vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice. Served in a large cocktail glass, also known as a martini glass, the drink is recognized for its pink hue and is often garnished with a lime slice or twist. The Cosmopolitan gained immense popularity in the 1990s, partly due to its frequent appearances on the television show “Sex and the City.”

17. Long Island Iced Tea
  • Potent mix of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, and triple sec

The Long Island Iced Tea is a high-octane cocktail made with vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a splash of cola, which gives it the tea-like appearance. Despite its name, there’s no actual tea in this drink. Known for its potent punch and deceptive taste, the Long Island Iced Tea is a popular choice for those looking to maximize their cocktail experience.

18. Bloody Mary
  • Tomato-based vodka cocktail

The Bloody Mary is a robust cocktail made with vodka, tomato juice, and various spices and flavorings including Worcestershire sauce, hot sauces, garlic, herbs, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, and/or celery salt. It’s renowned for its complex flavors and is often garnished with celery stalks, olives, or pickles. This iconic drink is a staple of American brunches, celebrated for its savory taste and its supposed curative properties for hangovers.

2.2.) Hot American Alcoholic Beverages

19. Peppermint Patty
  • Minty hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps

The Peppermint Patty is a decadent winter cocktail that blends the rich taste of hot chocolate with the cool, refreshing flavor of peppermint schnapps. Topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed peppermint candy, this drink is a festive favorite, offering a perfect balance of warmth and minty freshness.

20. Hot Toddy
  • Warm whiskey remedy with honey and lemon

The Hot Toddy is a comforting, warm drink traditionally made with whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water. Often considered a remedy for colds or flu, this soothing beverage is known for its warming properties and its ability to ease symptoms of congestion and coughs. The Hot Toddy is a classic choice for chilly evenings or as a nightcap.

21. Hot Buttered Rum
  • Spiced rum drink with butter and hot water

Hot Buttered Rum is a rich, warming cocktail made with dark rum, butter, hot water or cider, and a blend of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This indulgent drink is known for its creamy texture and comforting, spiced flavor, making it a favorite during the winter months or holiday season.

22. Hot Apple Cider
  • Warm, spiced apple cider 

This cozy beverage is perfect for autumn and winter, offering a delicious blend of sweetness and spice, sometimes enriched with some rum. It’s often garnished with a cinnamon stick or apple slices, adding to its festive appeal.

23. Spiked Hot Chocolate
  • Rich hot chocolate with a splash of liquor

Spiked Hot Chocolate takes the classic comfort of hot cocoa and elevates it with the addition of liquor, such as rum, whiskey, or Baileys Irish Cream. This decadent drink is known for its rich, creamy texture and the added depth from the alcohol, making it a luxurious treat for cold days or special occasions.

3.) American Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Beverages

3.1.) American Beer

American beer is a testament to the nation’s brewing heritage, blending traditional methods with modern innovation. The landscape is rich and varied, featuring everything from the large-scale production of classic lagers to the creative craft brews that have put American beer on the global map. With a focus on both commercially successful brands and craft breweries, the U.S. beer scene caters to a wide array of tastes and preferences.

The main types of American beer include:

24. American IPA

Celebrated for its bold hop flavors, American IPAs offer a diverse palette ranging from citrusy and piney to floral and earthy.

  • Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA: Known for its hop-forward approach, delivering a complex blend of aromas and flavors.
  • Stone IPA: Stands out for its intense hop bitterness balanced with a solid malt foundation.

25. Pale Ale

These beers strike a balance between malt and hops, providing a refreshing and nuanced flavor profile.

  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: This pioneering craft beer is noted for its distinctive hop character and has become a benchmark for the style.
  • Dale’s Pale Ale: Recognized as one of the first craft beers in a can, offering accessibility without compromising on quality.

26. Lager

American Lagers range from the light and crisp to the dark and hearty, offering a clean, smooth drinking experience.

  • Budweiser: “The King of Beers,” Budweiser is an iconic American lager with widespread appeal and a smooth taste.
  • Yuengling Traditional Lager: As America’s oldest brewery, Yuengling delivers a classic amber lager with a rich heritage.

27. Pilsner

American Pilsners provide a crisp and refreshing option with a more pronounced hop character than their lager counterparts.

  • Coors Light: Known as “The Silver Bullet,” it’s celebrated for its light, refreshing taste and wide availability.
  • Victory Prima Pils: Offers a crisp, hoppy flavor that redefines the American take on this classic style.

28. Stout

From dry to sweet, American Stouts are known for their depth, often infused with flavors like chocolate and coffee.

  • Founders Breakfast Stout: Rich and complex, brewed with coffee and chocolate for a robust flavor profile.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout: Esteemed for its luxurious bourbon barrel-aging process, enhancing its depth and richness.

29. Sour Beers

Known for their tartness, American Sour Beers range from lightly sour to deeply funky, often with fruit additions.

  • Russian River Supplication: A complex sour aged in wine barrels, known for its nuanced acidity and fruitiness.
  • The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale: Inspired by Flanders Red Ale, this beer is lauded for its sour cherry notes and rich complexity.

This comprehensive view of American beer showcases the breadth and diversity of the brewing industry in the U.S., from the ubiquitous presence of commercial brands to the innovative spirit of craft brewers, ensuring there’s an American beer for every taste and occasion.

3.2.) American Wine

American Wine is celebrated for its diversity and quality, spanning from the robust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons to the delicate Pinot Noirs of Oregon. With distinct wine-producing regions across the country, American wines offer a rich palette of flavors, aromas, and experiences, catering to every wine enthusiast’s palate.

The main types of American wine include:

30. Cabernet Sauvignon

A full-bodied red wine known for its deep flavor profiles with hints of dark fruits and spices, predominantly produced in California’s Napa Valley.

  • Robert Mondavi: A benchmark for Napa Valley Cabernet, known for its complex layers of flavors and aromas.
  • Silver Oak: Celebrated for its velvety texture and rich, dark fruit flavors, a staple in American Cabernet.

31. Pinot Noir

A versatile red wine with a lighter body, known for its flavors of red fruits and earthy undertones, with Oregon being a notable producing region.

  • Domaine Drouhin: A pioneer in Oregon Pinot Noir, known for its elegance, balance, and Burgundian style.
  • La Crema: Offers a fruit-forward, approachable Pinot Noir, highlighting California’s cooler wine regions.

32. Merlot

A soft, approachable red wine, popular for its plum and cherry flavors, with a smooth finish, widely produced across California.

  • Duckhorn Vineyards: A leader in American Merlot, known for its complex, Bordeaux-style wines.
  • Stags’ Leap Winery: Offers a lush, velvety Merlot with rich fruit flavors and a hint of spice.

33. Zinfandel

A quintessentially American wine, Zinfandel red wine ranges from fruity and spicy to robust and full-bodied, with California as its primary region.

  • Ridge Vineyards: Known for its single-vineyard Zinfandels that showcase the grape’s versatility and depth.
  • Seghesio Family Vineyards: Specializes in Zinfandels with bold, rich flavors and a long history in Sonoma County.

34. Chardonnay

America’s favorite white wine, known for its wide range of flavors from buttery and oaky to fresh and fruity, mainly produced in California.

  • Kendall-Jackson: Renowned for its rich, creamy texture with tropical fruit flavors and a hint of oak.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle: Washington State’s leading Chardonnay producer, known for its crisp apple and citrus notes.

These categories and brands represent the excellence and diversity of American wine, offering a range of experiences from casual sipping to fine dining accompaniments.

3.3.) Other Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Drinks

The American landscape of brewed and fermented alcoholic drinks extends beyond beer and wine, embracing traditional beverages like hard cider and mead, as well as adopting international traditions with American-produced Sake. This diversity reflects the country’s melting pot culture and the innovative spirit of its producers.

35. Cider and Perry

  • Fermented apple or cider juice

Cider and Perry represent America’s rich tradition of fermenting fruit into alcoholic beverages. Cider, made from fermented apple juice, ranges from sweet to dry with a crisp, fruity flavor. Perry, or pear cider, is crafted from fermented pear juice, offering a softer, more nuanced taste profile compared to its apple counterpart.

  • Angry Orchard: Angry Orchard is known for its wide range of apple ciders and has also explored pear ciders, showcasing the brand’s commitment to variety and quality.
  • Ace Cider: Known as “The California Cider Company,” Ace produces a lineup of premium ciders including a Perry cider, which is celebrated for its light, refreshing taste and subtle pear sweetness.
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider: Woodchuck offers a range of ciders from traditional to innovative, emphasizing natural ingredients and craftsmanship.

36. Mead

  • Fermented honey water

Mead, one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, has gained popularity in the U.S. for its honey-based sweetness and versatility, from still to sparkling, and dry to sweet.

  • Meadery of the Rockies: Located in Colorado, this meadery is known for its traditional and fruit-infused meads, showcasing the natural sweetness and complexity of honey.
  • B. Nektar Meadery: Based in Michigan, B. Nektar is renowned for its creative approach, producing a wide array of meads that often incorporate unique ingredients and flavor combinations.

4.) American Non-Alcoholic Beverages

4.1.) Cold American Non-Alcoholic Beverages

37. Arnold Palmer

  • Half lemonade, half iced tea blend

The Arnold Palmer, named after the legendary golfer, is a refreshing mix of equal parts iced tea and lemonade. This beloved beverage offers a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors.

38. Shirley Temple

  • Non-alcoholic mixed drink with ginger ale

The Shirley Temple, named after the child actress, is a sweet, non-alcoholic drink made with ginger ale, a splash of grenadine, and garnished with a maraschino cherry, popular among children and adults alike.

39. Cola

  • Classic carbonated soft drink

Cola is the quintessential American soft drink, known for its dark color, sweet flavor, and refreshing carbonation. Originating in the late 19th century, cola has become a global favorite, often associated with classic American culture, fast food, and cinema.

40. Root Beer

  • Sweet, sassafras-flavored soda

Root Beer, with its rich, creamy taste and sassafras root flavoring, is a unique American beverage. Originally a medicinal tonic, root beer has evolved into a beloved soda, often enjoyed with vanilla ice cream as a “root beer float.”

41. Iced Tea

  • Chilled, brewed tea, often sweetened

Iced Tea is a staple in American refreshment, especially in the South where it’s commonly sweetened and dubbed “Sweet Tea.” Its versatility allows for various flavors, making it a popular choice year-round.

42. Milkshakes

  • Creamy, blended ice cream drink

Milkshakes are a classic American treat, combining ice cream with milk and often flavored with syrups or fruits, resulting in a thick, creamy beverage that’s a staple at diners and ice cream shops.

43. Smoothies

  • Blended beverage with fruits and/or vegetables

Smoothies are a healthy American favorite, blending fresh fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients like yogurt or protein powder, to create a nutritious, on-the-go meal or snack.

44. Lemonade

  • Refreshing mix of lemon, water and sugar

Lemonade is the epitome of refreshment, made with lemon juice, water, and sugar. This classic drink is a summer favorite, offering a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness.

45. Soda

  • Flavored, sweetened, carbonated soft drink

In America, “soda” refers to a broad category of non-alcoholic beverages that are usually flavored, sweetened, and carbonated. These soft drinks are sold in cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, and as fountain drinks. American sodas come in a wide array of flavors, including but not limited to cola, root beer, orange, and lemon-lime. Soda holds a significant place in American culture, often associated with social gatherings, dining out, and everyday refreshment.

4.2.) Hot American Non-Alcoholic Beverages

46. Coffee (various brews and styles)

  • Hot brewed beverage from roasted coffee beans

Coffee is a cornerstone of American culture, with a variety of brewing styles from the classic drip to espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, reflecting the country’s diverse coffee scene.

47. Tea (Green, Black, Herbal)

  • Brewed beverage from tea leaves or herbs

Tea, whether green, black, or herbal, offers a range of flavors and health benefits, making it a beloved beverage for relaxation and wellness in the American diet.

48. Hot Chocolate

  • Warm, chocolate-flavored drink with milk

Hot Chocolate is a beloved American comfort drink, made with milk and cocoa, offering warmth and sweetness, often topped with whipped cream or marshmallows for an extra treat.

49. Apple Cider (Hot)

  • Spiced, hot apple drink (alcohol-free)

Hot Apple Cider, a fall and winter favorite, is made from simmered apples and spices like cinnamon and cloves, providing a warm, comforting beverage perfect for chilly days.

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