most potent alcohol

Liquors that contain the highest amount of alcohol

It’s not often that we wonder whether there are spirits out there that are so strong they could probably kill us if we drank too much of it, but they exist. Food & Wine credits the popularity of potent liquors to the return of pre-Prohibition cocktails, which were originally created to make bad alcohol more palatable. (Fun Fact: The Conversation says the primary source of alcohol during Prohibition was industrial alcohol whose chemicals had been removed to make it suitable for drinking.)

Thrillist reminds us that overproof alcohol has a role in the world of mixology — a role that transcends the need to just get wasted. “For bartenders, bigger alcohol degrees offer a wider latitude for more inventive cocktails since alcohol is the backbone for any successful mixed drink,” Paul Pacult, author of The Spirits Journal, says. “For consumers, loftier alcohol levels of 45 percent and up give the impression of greater character and more bang for their buck.”

The world’s top five strongest liquors

If your memories of strong alcohol involve Bacardi 151 (75.5 percent alcohol), have we got news for you. The Puerto Rican rum doesn’t even make it to the top five of The Daily Meal‘s list of the highest-proof liquors.

Coming in at No. 5 is Balkan Vodka, which comes in at 88 percent ABV and is triple distilled. The Drinks Shop sells Balkan Vodka with a warning: that it should not be consumed neat but cut with a mixer. The old-school labeling comes with a whopping 13 health warnings. At No. 4 is Hapsburg Gold Label Premium Reserve Absinthe, made in the Czech Republic and is 179 proof — that’s 89.9 percent ABV.

The third-highest proof liquor in the world is Scotland’s Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whisky, which is produced using the 17th-century method of quadruple distilling. Also called the world’s most alcoholic single malt, Bruichladdich contains 92 percent ABV.

If your memories of strong alcohol involve Bacardi 151 (75.5 percent alcohol), have we got news for you. The Puerto Rican rum doesn't even make it to the top five of The Daily Meal's list of the highest-proof liquors.

The 9 Strongest Liquors In The World

Caution: these will get you wasted.

Alex Hawkins

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So you want to get drunk. But the thought of mixing Traveler’s Vodka with Minute Maid OJ for the millionth time makes you want to vom. Been there, done that.

If you’re feeling wild and crazy, you can step up your pregame with these insanely alcoholic beverages. I have to warn you, though – alone, these drinks burn. Just as bad as the 9 most alcoholic beers in the world or the 7 most alcoholic wines to drink. So do yourself a favor and drown them in a mixer first. And drink wisely. 😉

Note: As a frame of reference, your average vodka is 80 proof, aka 40% alcohol by volume.

Spirytus Rektyfikowany

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Yeah, I can’t pronounce this one either. It’s from Poland and it’s crazy strong. With an alcohol content of 95% and a 100% chance that it’ll destroy your throat if taken neat, Spirytus is thought to be more potent than Everclear. It literally takes your breath away… like when you’re punched in the stomach.

You do you, though.


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I know you’ve heard of this bad boy, probably because it’s 95% alcohol. To put it in perspective, 2 1/2 shots of your shitty handle is equal to one shot of Everclear.

You’ll also notice there are two warnings on the label: it’s extremely flammable, and you should NOT drink it straight. Unless you enjoy pain, that is.

However, it does mix well, so if you feel like raging hard, throw some in your jungle juice.

Balkan 176

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You know vodka is legit when there are 13 different warnings on the label, including one in braille. That’s probably because this Balkan vodka comes in at 88% alcohol by volume.

A review on Master of Malt says that it really just can’t be enjoyed happily. I believe it.

Devil Springs Vodka

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No, this isn’t your average vodka from Russia or Poland. It’s actually from the dirty Jerz, and it’s insanely potent.

Coming in at an alcohol content of 80%, this one will make your body hate you. But hey, if you wanna throw it in a cocktail, apparently it’s great. Bottoms up.

Stroh Rum

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Stroh is an Austrian spiced rum that’s distilled from fermented molasses and is commonly used in baking or splashed in tea. When I asked my friend who grew up in Austria if she knew anything about it, she described it as “strong as shit.”

Rarely, unless apparently you’re 16 and looking to get smashed, is it drank straight out of the bottle.

With an alcohol content of 80%, it’s great in winter cocktails and drinks. So if you’re looking for a spiced rum other than Captain Morgan, try this.


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Absinthe has many nicknames, including green lady, green fairy and green curse, so obviously this drink is green. But you probably know Absinthe for the hallucinations that come with drinking it.

From 1912-2007, Absinthe was actually illegal in the United States because of the psychedelic properties the drink apparently had. And although it has an alcohol content of anywhere between 45% to 85%, it’s been proven that Absinthe doesn’t actually make you hallucinate.

The chemical that’s blamed for hallucinations is called thujone, a component of one of the main ingredients in Absinthe: wormwood. In high quantities thujone can be toxic, but there’s nowhere near that much in Absinthe. Plus, even in high quantities thujone can’t cause hallucinations. Sorry, kids.

Sunset Rum

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Like the label says, this is a very strong white rum. With a whopping 84.5% alcohol content, this drink will do ya dirty.

It’s highly suggested that you drink this one “heavily diluted” because it will actually cause burns, not just burn. So you might wanna stock up on those mixers.

Bacardi 151

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This one time I decided it was a good idea to pregame with Bacardi 151. The end result was me chugging excessive amounts of Gatorade to try to get rid of the burn, which didn’t work. Needless to say, I haven’t had it since.

Bacardi 151 is a rum that’s 75.5% alcohol, reeks like gasoline, and is extremely flammable. It’s the only bottle of rum in the world sold with a stainless steel flame arrester attached to it. If that doesn’t scream, “Don’t drink me,” I don’t know what does.

But if you do decide to try it out, use these recipes to avoid the burn.

Bruichladdich X4+3 Quadrupled Whisky

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Apparently this Islay Single Malt Whisky is a killer. When it comes off the stills, it has a 90% alcohol content, but after sitting for three years it becomes a cool 63.5%. Quadruple-distilled and put in a mix of new oak and bourbon barrels, this is one of the weirdest tasting Scottish whiskies out there.

But if you wanna pay the steep price for a higher proof whisky, this is ya boy.

You'll definitely want a mixer when it comes to these 9 liquors.