Everclear has flown under the radar for quite some time for amateur mixologists. But now, Everclear is stepping back into the ring that is the cocktail world, and boy, can it ever pack a punch.
So maybe you’ve never heard of Everclear, or maybe you have, and you’re too scared to try it. But what if we told you that using Everclear in your next cocktail is the best way for you to show off your mixology skills? Would you believe us? If your answer was no, keep reading, and we’ll convince you otherwise.
What is Everclear?
Everclear is a fairly notorious brand. It is one of the highest alcohol concentrations, weighing in at 190 proof / 95% alcohol by volume.
Everclear is known as grain alcohol, as it is made from 100% selected grains. This means that Everclear is pure alcohol made from fermented grains. Since Everclear is a grain alcohol, it is clear and does not have a smell or taste. Many distilleries use Everclear or something like it as a starting point, as it is a grain alcohol that can be altered, diluted, and then packaged to one’s liking.
In terms of pricing, you can usually find it for under $20. Suppose you’re interested in stocking up and purchasing a liter. In that case, this will cost you approximately $30 – although it is definitely worth the extra few bucks.
This grain alcohol is accompanied by a burning aftertaste or sensation once ingested—which might be why so many people are afraid of it. People typically mix grain alcohols with other fruitier and sweeter liquids to mask this burning sensation – making consumption smoother and more enjoyable.
Many people don’t know that the higher the alcohol content, the more it can emphasize other flavors. For this reason, Everclear is an amazing addition when making a cocktail, as it allows you to elevate other flavors by using tinctures, bitters, and liqueurs.
The origin of Everclear
Everclear was first produced by American company Luxco (previously known as the David Sherman Corporation). Based in St. Louis, Luxco created Everclear in 1950.
It is bottled at other alcohol volume percentages, not just 95%. Based on different state laws, Everclear comes in various different proofs. Right now, Luxco bottles Everclear at 60%, 75.5%, 94.5%, and 95% alcohol volume.
Since the start of the pandemic, Everclear has gained popularity – and for a good reason. People use Everclear to make hand sanitizer, as well as DIY liqueurs like limoncello. Everclear alcohol accounts for over 80% of grain alcohol sales in the US.
Everclear vs. Vodka
Some consider Everclear to be a very strong vodka; however, Everclear and vodka are very different.
Vodka is much more diluted. For context, the typical vodka is roughly 40% alcohol by volume, which is 80 proof. Everclear, on the other hand, is 95% alcohol, which is 190 proof.
There’s also only one Everclear. However, it isn’t easy to decide on what vodka brand is the best for your next cocktail—you’re spoiled for choice.
Drinking Everclear safely
As fun as Everclear is, it is important to make sure that you know how to drink it safely. You really don’t want your liquid confidence to lead to your making a bad or dangerous decision.
It is recommended that you do not drink Everclear on its own. This means as much as you may want to, don’t pour out shots of this for you and your friends.
When it comes to mixing, understand that Everclear is intended to be mixed with other low or no alcohol substances. This means don’t mix Everclear into your next Cosmopolitan instead of vodka.
Everclear paired with tinctures, bitters, and liqueurs
When making cocktails, there are more things that you can pair Everclear with than juices. Often, a liqueur is used as the base or foundation of one of these cocktails. Other ingredients are added to water down the spirit and make the consumption last longer.
A liqueur is an often sweet liquid that is lower-proof. Most of the time, these are 20% alcohol, meaning they are 40 proof. You would typically put a liqueur into a cocktail with (or without) Everclear as an additional ingredient that elevates the drink. They can also be consumed alone as an aperitif.
So, what are bitters? Bitters are another thing that elevates a cocktail. These are used sparingly and added in drops or splashes. Most of the time, a bitter is a team effort in terms of aromatic and bitter flavors.
What about a tincture? Similar to bitters, these are used to take a cocktail to the next level. A tincture is an extract of plant or animal material that has then been dissolved in ethanol. A tincture can truly upgrade your cocktail and is used in small quantities for this reason.
What liqueurs can you make with Everclear
Everclear can be used in a large variety of drinks. Keep in mind; we need to be patient when making a liqueur with Everclear because they’re going to have to sit for a while. So let’s get started with prepping.
Limoncello is iconic. Whether you’re drinking it as an aperitif after a delicious Italian meal or you include it as an ingredient in a cocktail, it’s never going to let you down. Fill a chilled shot glass with it, or use it in a fun take on a mojito. If Everclear isn’t your drift, but a Limoncello is, check out these summer recipes that scream Limoncello.
Yield: 56 oz.
– 10 lemons
– 1 (750ml) bottle Everclear
– 3 ½ cups water
– 2 ½ cups sugar
- Peel 10 fresh organic lemons. The lemons may be reserved for future use.
- Remove the pith (all that white stringy stuff on the inside).
- Combine lemon zest and Everclear in a fairly large closable container.
- Depending on how busy and patient you are, let the lemon zest and steep (yes, like tea) for at least four days, but up to four weeks. Make sure this is done in a dry, cool place (we mean temperature, not your cool kitchen).
- After the mixture is infused, combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring regularly until sugar is fully dissolved. This will typically take in between 5 and 10 minutes. Then, let this syrup cool until room temperature and combine simple syrup and lemon infusion to taste.
- Strain mixture.
- Chill in the freezer.
Cucumber Mint Cooler Liqueur
Like the limoncello, this can fill a chilled shot glass or an ingredient in another cocktail. The classic combo of cucumber and mint is sure to take your tastebuds to the spa on a hot summer day.
Yield: 24 oz.
– 6 oz. Everclear
– 7 oz. Purified water
– 13 oz. Simple Syrup
– ¼ cup Chamomile flowers (dried)
– ¼ cup English cucumbers (chopped)
- Combine the Everclear, water, and chamomile flowers in a large container.
- Let steep for 1 to 2 hours. Taste this every half hour until it is to your liking.
- Once steeped to your liking, remove chamomile and add cucumbers.
- Steep in a cool (again, this does not mean you cool liking kitchen), dry place for 24 hours.
- Strain out cucumbers and blend with simple syrup.
- Enjoy, either now or later.
By now, you should be convinced that Everclear is a great way for you to mix up some custom liqueurs. Hopefully, things are (Ever)clear now, and you can begin to safely enjoy this grain of alcohol with your friends and family.