Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Why You’ll Never Want Rail Alcohol Again
Before I started bartending, I didn’t care what kind of liquor was in my drink. If anything, I actually went out of my way to get the rail liquor because it was cheaper.
What are rail liquor and call brands?
Rail liquor is the stuff that sits in the “rail,” usually around the bartender’s knees that you cannot see from where you order. They are generic brands The call liquors are the name brand booze that sit up on a shelf for everyone to see. The rails are cheaper and less marketed, like any generic brand.
OK, so why shouldn’t I get the rail booze if it’s cheaper?
Most of the time, the generic brands are pretty much the same as the well-known brands for things like ketchup, cereal or bottled water. Not with booze- there is actually a big difference between rail and call brand alcohols. There are 3 main differences.
Rail booze tastes like crap. Call liquors taste much better. Do a taste test if you don’t believe me. If you genuinely prefer the taste of the rails, then you’re gross.
This is the important difference. I’m not going to go into how alcohol is made, but if you really want to know, check out this post: http://www.drunkmansguide.com/articles/liquor_styles.php
The main point is that liquor is made from distilling (making evaporate) the alcohol from a fermented solution. This fermented solution is usually fermented grain of some sort.
Each time the alcohol evaporates (is distilled), it leaves behind some of the impurities/nasties from the original fermented grain solution. Because of this, the more times a liquor is distilled, the nicer the product because it has fewer impurities.
Rail liquors are crappy products because they are distilled usually only once, if that. Because they are distilled only once, they have more impurities. Then you drink the impurities, which are bad for you. This is one of the main causes of throwing up and hangovers from drinking- lots of rail liquor and impurities. It’s like putting gas with bits of sand, glass and fingernails in your car.
The call liquors are distilled far more times, leaving behind more and more impurities with each distillation. Belvedere vodka is distilled 7 times. That’s 7 times more than your local rail vodka. It has fewer impurities and nastiness that will make you sick and hung over.
The price- If you pay attention to the price difference between rail liquor and a pretty good call brand, there is very little. At my bar, the difference it’s usually about $1.25. I don’t know about you, but not feeling sick the whole next day is worth the $5 I didn’t save.
So next time you are at the bar or in you local Booze-R-Us, pay a little more and save yourself the nasty hangover and late night/early morning barf session.