Remember college? It was just a short while ago that you were bobbing your head in time to some Top 40 jam in your favorite college bar, shoes sticking to the floor, gripping a perspiring plastic cup full of a no-name whiskey drowning in flat Sprite. That’s not to say the whiskey had no name on the label—you just didn’t know (or care) what it was. You probably conveyed your order to the bartender by saying something like “bottom shelf, please,” or “whatever’s cheapest.”
But now, safely into your twenties (or on your way out), you’ve established a deeper understanding of your preferences. After years of after-work happy hours trying to impress your boss, drunk brunches, and the free-flowing smorgasbord of brown liquors that is your Uncle Frank’s holiday party, your drank bank came to include more distinguished tastes. This evolution, along with the fact that you’re likely making more than minimum wage now, introduces a whole new genre of alcoholic nectars that include names that end in reposado and single malt. Yeah, that’s the stuff.
Still, there’s something to be said for staying true to your roots, and as lowbrow and circumstance-driven as they may have been, your college preferences still say plenty about your palate today. Do you like your booze strong and smoky? Or perhaps more fruity and light? Here’s are 8 essential booze upgrades that will help you ease those painful college memories, while still remembering where you came from.