2020 Best of Year Winners

Author: The Editors at Tastings.com

After reviewing thousands of wines, beers, and spirits this year, Beverage Testing Institute is proud to present the 2020 Best of Year award winners! These products, representing the best in their categories, were evaluated blind by panels of trade buyers and category experts, generating reviews that have proven to be the most trustworthy and consistent in the industry.

Giambellino Peach Bellini, Germany

2020 Best Sparkling Flavored Wine: Giambellino Peach Bellini, Germany

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Auburn Road 2017 Vintage Ruby Fortified Wine, Chambourcin, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Fortified Wine: Auburn Road 2017 Vintage Ruby Fortified Wine, Chambourcin, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Florida Orange Groves Winery NV Barrel Selection Peach

2020 Best Fruit Wine: Florida Orange Groves Winery NV Barrel Selection Peach

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Maddalena 2018 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

2020 Best Zinfandel: Maddalena 2018 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jarvis 2016 Estate, Tempranillo, Napa Valley

2020 Best US Tempranillo: Jarvis 2016 Estate, Tempranillo, Napa Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Campo Viejo 2015 Reserva, Tempranillo, Rioja

2020 Best Rioja: Campo Viejo 2015 Reserva, Tempranillo, Rioja

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Wildwood Oak Winery 2017 Abba Vineyard "Mamma Mia", Syrah, Lodi

2020 Best Syrah: Wildwood Oak Winery 2017 Abba Vineyard "Mamma Mia", Syrah, Lodi

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Golden Rule Vineyards 2016 Commonwealth Rhone Blend, Willcox

2020 Best Rhône Varietal Blend: Golden Rule Vineyards 2016 Commonwealth Rhone Blend, Willcox

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Carletto 2018 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

2020 Best Montepulciano d' Abruzzo: Carletto 2018 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Oak Farm Vineyards 2017 Genevieve, Lodi

2020 Best Red Meritage: Oak Farm Vineyards 2017 Genevieve, Lodi

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cedar Mountain 2017 Sblendorio Vineyard Reserve, Primitivo, Livermore Valley

2020 Best Primitivo: Cedar Mountain 2017 Sblendorio Vineyard Reserve, Primitivo, Livermore Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Red Thread 2018 Pinot Noir, Carneros

2020 Best Pinot Noir: Red Thread 2018 Pinot Noir, Carneros

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Collina San Ponzio 2016 Barolo Fossati, Barolo DOCG

2020 Best Barolo: Collina San Ponzio 2016 Barolo Fossati, Barolo DOCG

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jacob Franklin 2015 Leeds and Pesch Vineyard, Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

2020 Best Petite Sirah: Jacob Franklin 2015 Leeds and Pesch Vineyard, Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Auburn Road NV Volume One, Petit Verdot, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Petit Verdot: Auburn Road NV Volume One, Petit Verdot, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Porterhouse Winery 2016 Reserve Lot Red Blend, Santa Ynez Valley

2020 Best US Red Blend: Porterhouse Winery 2016 Reserve Lot Red Blend, Santa Ynez Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jip Jip Rocks 2019 Shiraz Cabernet, Padthaway

2020 Best Shiraz: Jip Jip Rocks 2019 Shiraz Cabernet, Padthaway

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Sharrott Winery 2018 Merlot, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Merlot: Sharrott Winery 2018 Merlot, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Oak Farm Vineyards 2018 Malbec, Lodi

2020 Best Malbec: Oak Farm Vineyards 2018 Malbec, Lodi

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Alamos 2016 Selección, Malbec, Mendoza

2020 Best Argentine Malbec: Alamos 2016 Selección, Malbec, Mendoza

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Emporium 2017 Appassimento, Salento IGP

2020 Best Italian Varietal Blend: Emporium 2017 Appassimento, Salento IGP

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Crux Winery 2016 Grenache, Russian River Valley

2020 Best Grenache: Crux Winery 2016 Grenache, Russian River Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Bellview Winery 2018 Estate Bottled, Chambourcin, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Chambourcin: Bellview Winery 2018 Estate Bottled, Chambourcin, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Yorkville Cellars 2017 Rennie Vineyard, Carmenère, Yorkville Highlands

2020 Best Carmenère: Yorkville Cellars 2017 Rennie Vineyard, Carmenère, Yorkville Highlands

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Anayón 2015 Carignane, Cariñena

2020 Best Spanish Red: Anayón 2015 Carignane, Cariñena

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Reynolds Family Winery 2015 Reserve 300 Series, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

2020 Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Reynolds Family Winery 2015 Reserve 300 Series, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Monte De Oro 2016 Deportola Vineyard, Cabernet Franc, Temecula Valley

2020 Best Cabernet Franc: Monte De Oro 2016 Deportola Vineyard, Cabernet Franc, Temecula Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Sixteen Appellations 2016 Red Blend, Napa Valley

2020 Best Bordeaux Varietal Red: Sixteen Appellations 2016 Red Blend, Napa Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

San Simeon 2016 Stormwatch, Paso Robles

2020 Best Red Bordeaux Varietal Blend: San Simeon 2016 Stormwatch, Paso Robles

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jas Des Vignes 2019 Rosé, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

2020 Best French Rose: Jas Des Vignes 2019 Rosé, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cantina Zaccagnini 2019 Dry Rosé Wine, Terre di Chieti IGT

2020 Best Rose: Cantina Zaccagnini 2019 Dry Rosé Wine, Terre di Chieti IGT

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Ruggeri 2018 Giustino B. Extra Dry, Prosecco Superiore DOCG

2020 Best Prosecco: Ruggeri 2018 Giustino B. Extra Dry, Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Risata 2019 Moscato d’Asti DOCG

2020 Best Moscato d'Asti: Risata 2019 Moscato d'Asti DOCG

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Bellview Winery NV Pet Nat, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Pet Nat: Bellview Winery NV Pet Nat, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Heritage Prince Henri D’Orléans NV Blanc de Blancs, Champagne

2020 Best Champagne: Heritage Prince Henri D'Orléans NV Blanc de Blancs, Champagne

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cupcake NV Cava DO

2020 Best Cava: Cupcake NV Cava DO

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

William Heritage 2017 Blanc De Blancs, Outer Coastal Plain

2020 Best Blanc de Blancs: William Heritage 2017 Blanc De Blancs, Outer Coastal Plain

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

St. Clair Winery 2018 Bellissimo, New Mexico

2020 Best Sweet Wine: St. Clair Winery 2018 Bellissimo, New Mexico

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Corte Bella Rosso

2020 Best Sweet Wine: Corte Bella Rosso

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Medal Royal 2018 Late Harvest with Natural Botrytis, Muscat, Curico Valley

2020 Best Late Harvest Wine: Medal Royal 2018 Late Harvest with Natural Botrytis, Muscat, Curico Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Drapo NV Bianco Vermouth, Italy

2020 Best Bianco Vermouth: Drapo NV Bianco Vermouth, Italy

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Drapo NV Rosso Vermouth, Italy

2020 Best Red Vermouth: Drapo NV Rosso Vermouth, Italy

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Alexandria Nicole 2019 Crawford, Viognier, Columbia Valley

2020 Best Viognier: Alexandria Nicole 2019 Crawford, Viognier, Columbia Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Mount Pleasant Estates 2019 Vignoles, Augusta, Missouri

2020 Best Vignoles: Mount Pleasant Estates 2019 Vignoles, Augusta, Missouri

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Domaine Beausejour 2019 Les Silex, Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine

2020 Best International Sauvignon Blanc: Domaine Beausejour 2019 Les Silex, Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Reynolds Family Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

2020 Best US Sauvignon Blanc: Reynolds Family Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Wakefield/Taylors 2019 Riesling, Clare Valley

2020 Best Riesling: Wakefield/Taylors 2019 Riesling, Clare Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Portlandia 2019 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

2020 Best Pinot Gris: Portlandia 2019 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Ca’ Montini 2018 Single Vineyard, Pinot Grigio, Trentino DOC

2020 Best Pinot Grigio: Ca' Montini 2018 Single Vineyard, Pinot Grigio, Trentino DOC

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Pillsbury Wine Company 2018 Bonnie Lee, Malvasia, Cochise County, Arizona

2020 Best Malvasia: Pillsbury Wine Company 2018 Bonnie Lee, Malvasia, Cochise County, Arizona

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

St. Clair Winery 2017 Special Reserve, Chenin Blanc, New Mexico

2020 Best Chenin Blanc: St. Clair Winery 2017 Special Reserve, Chenin Blanc, New Mexico

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Publix Premium 2017 Limited Edition, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

2020 Best Chardonnay: Publix Premium 2017 Limited Edition, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Alexandria Nicole 2019 Affinity, Albarino, Columbia Valley

2020 Best Albarino: Alexandria Nicole 2019 Affinity, Albarino, Columbia Valley

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Kringle Cream NV Latte

2020 Best Cream Cocktail: Kringle Cream NV Latte

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Greenhouse NV Pink Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, California

2020 Best Hard Seltzer: Greenhouse NV Pink Grapefruit Hard Seltzer, California

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Aldi NV Orange Mimosa, American

2020 Best Mimosa: Aldi NV Orange Mimosa, American

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges XO Cognac

2020 Best Cognac: Pierre Ferrand Selection des Anges XO Cognac

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Pitú Vitoriosa Cachaça

2020 Best Wood Aged Cachaca: Pitú Vitoriosa Cachaça

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça

2020 Best Cachaca: Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin

2020 Best Gin: Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength Gin

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

District Made Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin

2020 Best Barrel Aged Gin: District Made Barrel Rested Ivy City Gin

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

June by G’Vine Gin Liqueur

2020 Best Herbal Liqueur: June by G'Vine Gin Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Tempus Fugit Creme de Banane Liqueur

2020 Best Liqueur: Tempus Fugit Creme de Banane Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge Liqueur

2020 Best Orange Liqueur: Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Trader Joe’s Cocoa Cream Liqueur

2020 Best Cream Liqueur: Trader Joe's Cocoa Cream Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Herencia de Plata Coffee Tequila Liqueur

2020 Best Coffee Liqueur: Herencia de Plata Coffee Tequila Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Tempus Fugit Gran Classico Bitter Liqueur

2020 Best Aperitivo: Tempus Fugit Gran Classico Bitter Liqueur

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Mezcal Vago 2019 Espadin Mezcal Artesanal

2020 Best Mezcal: Mezcal Vago 2019 Espadin Mezcal Artesanal

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative Other Spirit

2020 Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit: Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative Other Spirit

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cane Run Rum

2020 Best White Rum: Cane Run Rum

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Motörhead Premium Dark Rum

2020 Best Rum: Motörhead Premium Dark Rum

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Bayou Select Barrel Reserve

2020 Best Rum Aged 3 years or less: Bayou Select Barrel Reserve

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jan Stephenson Pineapple-Flavored Rum

2020 Best Flavored Rum: Jan Stephenson Pineapple-Flavored Rum

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cazcanes No. 7 Reposado Tequila

2020 Best Reposado Tequila: Cazcanes No. 7 Reposado Tequila

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 yr Organic Extra Añejo Tequila

2020 Best Tequila: Alquimia Reserva de Oro 14 yr Organic Extra Añejo Tequila

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cenote™ Cristalino Tequila

2020 Best Cristalino Tequila: Cenote™ Cristalino Tequila

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila

2020 Best Blanco Tequila: Cazcanes No. 9 Blanco Tequila

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

El Tesoro Anejo Tequila

2020 Best Añejo Tequila: El Tesoro Anejo Tequila

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

elit Vodka

2020 Best Vodka: elit Vodka

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Zubrówka Bison Grass Flavored Vodka

2020 Best Flavored Vodka: Zubrówka Bison Grass Flavored Vodka

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Heritage Distilling Co. D’s Seasoned Vodka

2020 Best Craft Vodka: Heritage Distilling Co. D's Seasoned Vodka

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey

2020 Best Wheat Whiskey: Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Old Elk Straight Rye Whiskey

2020 Best Rye Whisky: Old Elk Straight Rye Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Doc Swinson’s 15-Yr Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

2020 Best Bourbon: Doc Swinson's 15-Yr Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Aberlour A’bunadh Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

2020 Best Scotch Whisky: Aberlour A'bunadh Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Kavalan Solist Sherry Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

2020 Best Whisky: Kavalan Solist Sherry Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Tenjaku Blended Japanese Whisky

2020 Best Japanese Blended Whisky: Tenjaku Blended Japanese Whisky

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jura Tide 21 Year Old Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky

2020 Best Island Single Malt Scotch: Jura Tide 21 Year Old Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

2020 Best Irish Whiskey: Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old Cask Strength Irish Whiskey

2020 Best Irish Blended Whiskey: Jameson Bow Street 18 Year Old Cask Strength Irish Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Aberlour Casg Annamh Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

2020 Best Highland Single Malt Scotch: Aberlour Casg Annamh Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Journeyman Distillery Field Rye Fig Flavored Whiskey

2020 Best Flavored Whiskey: Journeyman Distillery Field Rye Fig Flavored Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Widow Jane 10 Yr. Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey

2020 Best Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey: Widow Jane 10 Yr. Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Boulder Bottled in Bond American Single Malt Whiskey

2020 Best American Single Malt Whiskey: Boulder Bottled in Bond American Single Malt Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Rebecca Creek Double Barrel Blended Whiskey

2020 Best American Blended Whiskey: Rebecca Creek Double Barrel Blended Whiskey

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Kirkland Signature RTD Golden Margarita

2020 Best Ready-to-Drink Cocktail: Kirkland Signature RTD Golden Margarita

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

SakéOne Naginata Junmai Daiginjo Sake

2020 Best Sake: SakéOne Naginata Junmai Daiginjo Sake

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Two K Farms 2019 Russet Heritage Cider

2020 Best Heritage Cider: Two K Farms 2019 Russet Heritage Cider

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Kaneb Orchards Cranberry Crisp Cider

2020 Best Fruit Cider: Kaneb Orchards Cranberry Crisp Cider

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Maison Hérout 2017 Grand Cuvée Extra-Brut French Cider

2020 Best French Cider: Maison Hérout 2017 Grand Cuvée Extra-Brut French Cider

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Damm Brewery Inedit Witbier

2020 Best Wit: Damm Brewery Inedit Witbier

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Hofmühl Weissbier

2020 Best Ale: Hofmühl Weissbier

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Full Sail Brewing Co. West Coast Style IPA

2020 Best American Style IPA: Full Sail Brewing Co. West Coast Style IPA

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Hofmühl Privat Pils

2020 Best Pilsner: Hofmühl Privat Pils

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

Hofmühl Hell

2020 Best Lager: Hofmühl Hell

Photo Credit: Tastings.com

In Admiration of Agave

The sacred agave plant is at the heart of Mexico’s history, and its delicious distillate commands respect with every sip. Scroll through to learn a little more about summer’s favorite swig and find our top picks from this year’s agave spirit reviews.

Cider Insider

With over 10,000 varieties of apples, there’s a lot of room for variation in your favorite fizzy ferments. We’ll get into some fun facts on these fabulous fruits, and we’ll share some of our recent favorite pours as well!

2021 Martini Match

Whether you prefer an olive or a lemon twist as a garnish, we’ve got you covered when it comes to your martini’s most important ingredient: the gin.

35th Annual NYWC Picks

The New York Wine Classic is the largest annual event honoring the very best wines the state has to offer, and Beverage Testing Institute was proud to partner with the New York Wine and Grape Foundation to taste through the 607 entries from 96 different wineries in order to showcase these standouts from the Excelsior state.

Best in Show Cosmos 2021

The Cosmopolitan is a cocktail that never goes out of style, so it’s always important to check back in with your base spirits to make sure your pretty pink drink is shining as bright as it can. Our team of judges sipped through glass after glass and found their four fave cosmo-ready vodkas, and we’re sharing them with you!

2021 Packaging Picks

A lot goes on behind the scenes before a final beautiful bottle makes it to the shelves, and we’ve narrowed down this year’s best design submissions!

Booze Free Buzzing

Quarantinis have been the lifeline for many of us throughout the pandemic, but sometimes you want a sessionable beverage that won’t make you late for your Zoom meeting the next morning. Here you’ll find some of our favorite cocktailing options that have all of the fun and none of the hangover.

Time to Talk Arak

Love a little licorice in your liquor? This traditional Levantine beverage offers crisp, lovely flavors with a strong historic backbone and will be sure to serve your licorice longings.

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

We took the trouble of rounding up this year’s most excellent offerings. Inside our guide you’ll find the best of the best in each category we tasted, the best bangs for your hard-earned buck, and a few spendy stunners so you can treat yourself for making it through 2020.

Brandy is Dandy

Ferment any fruit, distill as you wish, and you’ve got yourself a brandy! Don’t have a still in your garage/bathtub? Scroll through these stunners to find your next favorite fruit-based friend.

Loveable Liqueurs

Whether you call it a liqueur or a cordial, you’re sure to love this selection of cocktail gems. Ranging from bright and bitter to fruity and creamy, this year’s picks are sure to shine in your next drink recipe.

2020 North American Whiskey Review

With the change of seasons comes the thirst for rich, golden drams. We tasted over 100 great grain-based offerings to determine your next whiskey picks!

Spotlight on Summer Whites

A glass of white wine is great any time of year, but pair it with some sunshine and you’ve got yourself a dream come true! We’ve rounded up some of this year’s domestic sippable stunners to make every al fresco meal a memorable one.

2020 Daiquiri Championship

There’s just enough summer left to enjoy a few more bright, citrusy cocktails, and we assembled a panel of top tier daiquiri palates to find the best rums to make the most of the waning sipping season.

Barreled Botanicals

Do you love gin and are thirsty for more? Are you a die-hard brown spirits fan that needs a push to the botanically influenced side of the spirits world? Barreled gins are the answer to the question you never knew needed asking, and these five are some of our favorites!

Informed Imbibing

In a world where every decision-making dollar counts, why not put your money where your values are? Whether bettering the environment, the community, or both, everything tastes better when ethics are part of the recipe, and these are some of our favorite conscious concoctions!

Seltzers for the Swelter

With the long-awaited arrival of sunny days comes the inevitable craving for sparkling sippers, and with so many options available, how can a person choose? Relax! We’ve done the seltzer-sifting for you, and we’ve found the best bubbles to keep on-hand.

Be Your Own Bartender

As we hunker down at home, gazing nostalgically at our coaster collections from our favorite bars (rest assured, they miss us too), we can use this quaran-time to elevate our personal refreshment repertoires. With high-quality, high-value, and high-versatility offerings, your stay-at-homebar can keep you creatively quenched until the curve is completely flattened.

Vegging Out With Bloodies

We’re three months into 2020 and winter is making brunch cocktails as necessary as ever, so to help you make the right decisions at your next encounter with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, we’ve found the finest vodkas for before-noon drinking. Much like your brunch buffet, our list has something for everyone.

2020 Mules That Rule

There’s something special about a Moscow Mule. It’s a simple enough drink--vodka, ginger beer, lime, and mint--but drinking one just feels…right. Maybe it’s the ritual of the gleaming copper cup or the fresh scent of the mint as you take your first sip. Whatever it is, it’s heaven in a glass, and a full year after our last Moscow Mule tasting, we’re back with a whole new lineup of outstanding vodka offerings to try.

Get Up to Speed with Mead

In its own category of alcoholic beverage, this combination of honey, water, and yeast is a tasty treat that’s been flying under the radar of modern imbibing—until now. Humankind’s oldest boozy beverage (dating back to 7000 BC!) is seeing a rise in popularity, and we’re here to give you everything you need to know before you grab a goblet.

War of the Whiskeys

Everyone has their own personal favorite style of whiskey, and North America has something for everyone. Whether you prefer the sweetness of Canadian whiskey, the spicy bite of American Rye, or the smooth sipping of real Kentucky Bourbon, the continent has it all. As great as having that variety is, it can make figuring out which whiskey you should pour in your drink an overwhelming task. Tastings.com has taken care of that task for you by testing dozens of whiskies to determine which ones mix best in two classic drinks: the Manhattan and the Sazerac. First up: the Manhattan.

Whisky Highballs

A test so nice we did it twice – how else can you determine the best whiskies and waters for a highball cocktail unless you test both separately? Here’s how it worked: we took one control whisky and made 19 cocktails with 19 different waters, then we took a control water and did the same thing with over two dozen different whiskies to find out the best possible ingredients for this simple, classic beverage. Be sure to check out the full list of whiskies and waters we tested as well, because while we could only name a few winners in this particular matchup, we still did the hard work of reviewing each one. Who knows, your new favorite drink could be waiting there for you to discover!

Water Break

We know you come here for honest, expert ratings of alcoholic beverages, so rating water probably seems like a waste of time, right? Absolutely not. Throughout history, water was the original mixer. No respectable Roman would drink unwatered wine, and no pirate or sailor would drink straight rum without adding water to create grog. Even when drinking whisky neat, connoisseurs often add several drops of water to open up the flavors. Whisky and water is a timeless combination, so it’s our duty to inform you which water makes the perfect highball cocktail.

These Bubbles are Poppin

It’s warming up, and when it comes to a crisp, refreshing beverage, light beer and white wine don’t always cut it. Not long ago, you’d have to get up from your lawn chair to fix yourself a gin and tonic, or the perfect margarita, but recently the advent of hard sodas and waters gives summer drinkers new options that can be grabbed straight from the cooler. And despite the name, hard sodas aren’t only for the young at heart and young of palate - this new generation of infused drinks is anything but kid stuff.

Judged: 2019s Best Martinis

With hundreds of big name and artisan gins out there, it’s hard to choose the right base for a show-stopping martini. Luckily, Tastings.com has assembled an all star team from the finest cocktail bars in the country to guide you. Our expert judges rate the year’s best botanicals so you can mix the perfect martini for any occasion. The recipe is simple but the flavors are complex: 2.25 ounces of gin and .75 ounces of vermouth - sorry Mr. Bond, no vodka here.

Manhattans Mastered

Ever wanted to know the best whiskey to use in a Manhattan? Our World Cocktail Championships pit top brands against each other to determine which make the best cocktails. Here we lay out the whiskies that make the most delicious Manhattans and the vermouths that will make your cocktail-loving heart stir.

Autumn Sprits in Motion

With kaleidoscopic fall foliage in full display, it’s time to mix up these 4 cocktails that will leaf a smile on your face.

No Statement, No Problem

The whole world is catching on to Scotch whisky’s amazing quality and delicious taste. The result is a depletion of mature stock at many distilleries. Since age-stated whisky cannot legally contain any whisky younger than the age listed on the label, a risk is presented to the sustainability of age-stated whisky. One of the Scotch industry’s solutions has been to rely more heavily on no age statement (NAS) whiskies. These are marriages of many different whiskies, from very young to very old, that can have a profoundly delightful impact on your taste buds. Here we show you why you should eschew ageism and put stock in flavor over age when enjoying Scotch whisky.

Cider Stereotypes Smashed

This month we tasted piles of ciders with layers of complexity. Entries from both home and abroad did not disappoint and familiar names once again dazzled our taste buds. The showing was far from the expected and reinvigorated our love of cider. Check out the tried and tru and and the eye-openers showing that traditional dry cider is for everyone.

Winter Wine School

South Africa offers wines for every palate. From their flagship Chenin Blanc and Pinotage to crisp Colombar and internationally beloved Bordeaux-style blends, there’s a South African wine for you. Tastings.com brings you through the regions and grapes of South Africa. Discover your favorite with our handy guide.

Soul-Stirring Stouts

Roasty and toasty, stouts and porters are no longer just the workingman’s beverage— they run the gamut from historic and dry to sweet and flavored, and from session brews to barrel-aged warmers. Featured here are some of the best we have tasted for the winter months, ready for your exploration.

Our 2018 Cognac Guide

We share all the tools you need to order, discuss, sip, and savor France’s most famous brandy.

Giftable Liqueurs

Liqueurs are the perfect, versatile boozy gift. Neat or on the rocks? Sure. Mixed in classic cocktails? Even better! A simple and festive spritz? They’re the perfect party tipple. Tastings.com shares our candied, herbal, bittter-sweet and creamy liqueur picks for every type of holiday imbiber.

Napa: OPEN for Business

While most everyone in Napa and Sonoma has been affected by the recent wildfires in some way or another, damage isn’t widespread. The 2017 crop will make wine as spectacular as ever, and the best part? Tasting rooms are open and the wine is flowing! In fact, the biggest threat to Napa and Sonoma’s wine industry is the misperception that the fires devastated the region. The reality is that the Napa and Sonoma are thriving and their tasting rooms are open! Tastings.com shares three award-winning Napa wines to buy now.

Behind The Oak

Oak is no joke! Barrel aging can be used on just about any alcoholic beverage you can think of. Ever since oak replaced heavy, fragile clay amphorae as transportation vessels for wine around the age of the Roman Empire, its magnificent effects on beverages has been carefully studied and celebrated. Soak up the oak knowledge with Tastings.com.

Fall for Fest Beer

Just like your autumn wardrobe autumn beer is best when laden with toasty layers… of delicious roasted malt flavor. Tastings.com delivers the run-down on the best beers to drink this fall and details 4 classic fall beer styles.

Loveable Wines of Chile

Chilean wines are HOT! Our recent review of Chilean wines revealed big flavor and huge value in these smoky, intriguing wines. Immerse yourself in Chilean wine experiences with Tastings.com.

Part French, All-American

The coolest underdogs of wine are all-American. Hybrid wines are popping up in every corner of the USA. These are wines made from grape varieties that are a result of cross-breeding hearty indigenous American grapes with the familiar European varieties. As a result of cross-breeding these grapes are extra-resistant to disease and extra-tasty. Expect explosive fruit flavors with a unique floral and rustic aroma. Let Tastings.com introduce you to juicy hybrid wines that will leave you feeling foxy.

Sake Crash Course

Sharpen up your sake skills with the help of Tastings.com. We’ll teach you how to decode sake lingo, choose the sake that’s right for you, and even give you serving tips. Use Tastings.com to discover the world of Japanese Sake.

Trending: Agave Spirits

This month we tasted through the best agave sprits and chatted with leading producers to bring you the most up-to-date details on what’s trending in tequila and mezcal. Use our tips to find your new favorite spirit of Mexico!

Bitters On The Edge

We’ve outlined six unique ways to use the concentrated flavors of bitters in the kitchen and the bar- steering away from the typical cocktail flavoring application. From hair-of-the-dogs to gourmet cooking, we show you how to incorporate bitters into your everyday routines.

Summer Brew Camp

Evade the heat with refreshing summer wheats. We demystify wheat beer styles from trendy sour Berliners to classic Hefeweizens. Learn the history, brewing methods, and flavor profiles of the 5 styles you need to know.

Tales of the Cocktail

Look back on the good times had at last year’s Tales of the Cocktail and mark your calendar for this year’s event in New Orleans this July.

2017 Midwest Rum Fest

On Saturday April 8th, some of the biggest players in the Rum industry gathered to show off their latest and greatest sugarcane distillates at Chicago’s annual Midwest Rumfest. Micro and Boutique rums were the stars of the show and Tastings.com rated the best of them for you!

Delicious Daiquiris

Spend a day tasting daiquiris? It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! Check out what our judges picked as the 2017 World Cocktail Championships Best Daiquiris!

Savvy Savory Cocktails

Impress your guests! Learn the Art and Science of Creating and Pairing Savory Cocktails.

Elevate Dinner Tonight

Juicy and lush fruit flavors make Argentine wines the perfect choice for carnivorous pairings that tango on your palate.

A Taste of Japan

As a part of our 2016 trade initiative with Japan, our sales and marketing specialist Jaclyn Beazley toured around Tokyo, Kobe and Osaka in March. The month, which is typically wet and rainy, had a few sunny days she took advantage of discover all she could about Japanese Sake, Whiskey and even Wine!

Sour Beer is Hot

Is there anything more refreshing than a cold lemonade on a sizzling summer day? You bet there is: a chilled sour beer is the grown up version of lemonade. Mouth watering tartness, food-friendliness, and naturally low ABV that makes it easy to have more than one. We’ve been tasting some of the best sour beers out there, and now we want to share some of our favorites with you, just in time for the dog days of summer.

3 Expert Cocktail Recipes

See how the nation’s top bartenders use mixers and bitters from our 23rd International Review of Spirits to craft delicious cocktails. Featuring: Owl’s Brew Wicked Green Tea, Era Bitters, and Yogi’s Bloody Mary Mix.

Bacardi Tour

The Bacardi–More than a Tour, An Experience

Tastings lifestyle correspondent Camilla Llano visited the Bacardi ’Cathedral of Rum’ in Puerto Rico and liked what she found.

Mount Gay Rum

You wouldn’t know it, but the tiny island of Barbados is a dreamer’s paradise. Because its warmth, charm, and sophisticated people help make everyone’s dream come true. Tucked away on the northern tip in St. Lucy Parish, Mount Gay Rum has granted many a wish to everyone connected with it.

BroVo Spirits

Meet craft spirits maker, Mhairi Voelsgen. Her broVo spirits company in Seattle is revered by bartenders for its exceptional liqueur, vermouth and amaro. Catapulting itself into Michelin-rated restaurant cocktails, Mhairi’s brand excels with its refined recipe, batch after batch. Take it from the master herself and the lessons she gathered over the years from bartenders.

7 Steps To A Crab Boil

Have you ever wanted to treat your friends to a crab boil but it seems too complicated? We can show you how to create a crab boil in 7 easy steps! We can show you how to please your eyes and your stomach at the same time… rain or shine.

Do Reviews Matter?

Reviews at Tastings take a critical approach and mandatorily shut down any biases the judges have towards a product because of the controlled environment of the tasting room and blind samples.

The Basics of Brewing

Beer is an agricultural product beginning on a farm and ending in a glass. At its simplest, beer is a recipe of water, malt, hops and yeast. Brewing may be a simple process, but can be made very complicated with the application of scientific techniques to perfectly control the process.

From Garden to Glass

Tastings.com recently sat down with award-winning Chicago mixologist and spirited entrepreneur Adam Seger to talk about the ‘Garden to Glass’ movement sweeping the world of spirits and cocktails. As a Certified Culinary Professional (CCP), Adam offered an inside look at how the movement is zeroing in on freshness and seasonality and convincing consumers to drink like they eat.

DIY Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, the traditional German harvest festival, in Munich, Germany is one of the largest single yearly gatherings in Europe. You can bring the fun and festivity to your own backyard this fall with just a few simple things – no need for lederhosen here (that is, unless you want to…), although some blue and white streamers would add a traditional flare.