Instead of cracking a can at home, why not search out one of these boozy hotspots? Whether you fancy guzzling a pint, sipping a cocktail or knocking back a dram or two, we can help you quench your thirst in style.
Pivni Lazne Bernard, Prague, Czech Republic
Sure, a pint of pilsner wouldn’t go amiss - but how about bathing in premium Czech lager, while drinking an unlimited supply of the gold stuff? Prague’s Pivni Lazne Bernard (pivnilaznebernard.cz/en) offers you the chance to do just that. Beer bathing in the Czech capital dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was believed to be good for your skin. After an hour’s sipping and soaking, you can grab a massage and even have a lie down in one of the spa’s special beds.
The Vines of Mendoza, Argentina
There are few places more enticing than Argentina’s wine capital. The superb Vines of Mendoza, situated in the middle of the city, serves up over 100 different boutique bottles, focusing especially on wines from the area’s Uco Valley. Opt for a ‘flight’ tasting and try five different glasses, all explained by the bar’s resident experts. Just be sure to order the cheese platter to soak up all that Malbec.
One of Champagne’s last remaining family–owned wineries, Billecart Salmon (www.champagne-billecart.fr) is ideal for those looking for a fancy way to fall off the wagon. The understated tasting room is situated next door to the family’s stunning Maison, right in the heart of Mareuil-sur-Ay. Try the gorgeous Brut Rose and be sure to get a tour of the dank, historic cellars, untouched since the 1840s and chock full of tempting bottles.
Jura whisky tasting, Craighouse, Scotland
Nearby Islay might be renowned for its stunning single malt, but the Isle of Jura serves up a mean drop that’s well worth travelling for. Book in for a tour at the small distillery (daily 11am and 2pm) in the tiny village of Craighouse to learn about how the local whisky is made, using the fresh burn water that flows off the ‘Paps, Jura’s imposing mountains. Then head into the shop and pick up a bottle or two of the throat-warming, smoky Superstition.
Elsa, New York City, USA
An East Village institution, Elsa’s cocktails (elsabar.com) are both lethal and legendary. Eschewing the stuffy approach of the city’s high-end hotel bars, the drinks here are sensational. Kick things off with ‘Invitation to a Beheading’, a gin, jasmine, green tea syrup and orange bitters concoction that’ll set you up for the night. Once you’re tucked in, go all Don Draper and opt for ‘Death of a Ladies’ Man’, a rye, maple, Laphroaig scotch and lemon mix which will leave you happily sideways.
Gekkeikan has been brewing sake in the Fushimi district of Kyoto since 1637. But before you settle down with a bottle in Japan’s historic former capital, be sure to check out its excellent in-house museum. There you’ll find tools used throughout the centuries to make this crystal-clear brew and even hear the traditional songs sung by sake workers back in the day. And don’t worry, there’s also a tasting experience for those who want to know what all the fuss is about.
Run by local guide company Crazy Guides, this small trip serves up hefty Polish dishes, washed down by five different shots of Polish spirits (crazyguides.com/krakow_tours). As well as the traditional vodka, there’s the chance to knock back Wyborowa rye vodka and śliwowica plum brandy. We can promise that the latter will blow away your inhibitions - and any plans you have for the following morning.
Vineyard Safari, Victoria and South Australia, Australia
One for real wine aficionados, Vineyard Safaris (vineyardsafaris.com) are run by Master of Wine Tim Wildman. He leads bespoke day trips across both Victoria and South Australia, with prices starting at a wallet-bothering AU$2,800. That gets you a chauffeur driven car and tastings at wineries in renowned regions including the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Lunch is also thrown in. Perfect if you’re desperate to learn the finer points of Aussie plonk.
Few places are better for reacquainting yourself with alcohol than a dark London pub. But rather than necking a few pints, why not get clued in on how some of the city’s finest ale is made? The Meantime Brewery in Greenwich runs tours on Thursday and Friday evenings, as well as over the weekend (meantimebrewing.com/brewery-tour). You get an insight into how these award-winning beers are made and a tutored tasting to boot. ‘Pie and Pint’ nights also include some much-needed fuel to line your stomach after a few ales.
Tequila Express, Guadalajara, Mexico
Hop on board in Guadalajara and ride the rails for one hour to Amatitan, the home of Tequila Herradura (gdltours.com/Visit.Tequila.Express). The scenic route should help you to work up a thirst before a tour of the company’s factory and the historic Hacienda. After lunch, hop back on the train and settle down with a few shots of the good stuff and a couple of beers for good measure. You’ll be back in Guadalajara by evening, merry and doubtless vowing to get a lemonade next time.