Move over Absynthe, the world has a new favorite poison. Enter Everclear grain alcohol, the 190-proof spirit that’s been both making, and erasing memories since 1950.
Everclear is double the strength of standard vodka. And, unlike vodka, it’s banned in 11 states including New York, Washington, and California. Of course, we all want what we can’t have, and the ban simply serves to heighten the forbidden appeal of Everclear.
The notorious alcohol is regarded as an “unfinished ingredient”. Meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, drink this stuff straight. Never ever. Although the neutral-tasting, colorless alcohol may look fairly unassuming, it’s 92.5% pure ethanol.
That makes it categorically the most potent alcohol on the market.
So, while it works wonders in creating lower-proof alcohols, doing shots of Everclear is an absolute no-go. Even if you’re having a merry old time, stick to shots of vodka, or a nice classy Old-Fashioned. Otherwise, get busy in the kitchen and cook up some zingy limoncello for a fun project with delicious results.
Everclear bottle sizes and prices
|Everclear 190-proof||1 liter||$24|
|Everclear 190-proof||1.75 liter||$38|
|Everclear Purple Passion||4-pack of 340ml bottles||$9-12|
Where to buy Everclear online?
EDITOR’S CHOICE: DRIZLY
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Everclear: So dangerous, so popular
Of course, being both notorious and insanely alcoholic, Everclear’s natural habitat is the US college frat party, inspiring both terrible decisions and subsequent ER visits for decades.
So, firmly settled as a mainstay of the rock music scene and experimental college kids, it’s safe to say Everclear has a way to go to clear up its battered reputation…
Everclear in music
Immortalized in the music world, having both bands and songs named after it, Everclear has gained quite the raucous reputation. Art Alexis called the liquor “pure white evil”, but not before naming his band after the infamous alcohol.
Further embellishing Everclear’s devious reputation, rapper Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys claims a heavy night on this particular sauce had him shoot himself in the eye. The song Ever So Clear refers to that night in detail, and a photo from ‘the event’ was used on the cover of the resulting album.
Well, it was the 90s.
Obviously, the whole gruesome occurrence may have escaped Bill’s memory, had it not been for the grisly evidence and notable lack of sight the next morning. It goes without saying, Bushwick Bill’s handle of Everclear is not recommended…
Okay, so the Everclear proof 190 is banned in a sizable portion of US states. If you live in California, Washington, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Iowa, Hawaii, and several others, you’re out of luck!
However, in a cunning ploy, Everclear’s manufacturer, Luxco, countered the ban by producing a 189-proof version of the clear spirit, effectively sidestepping the state bans. Mischievous, indeed!
Plus, its (marginally) less potent counterparts are legally available to purchase in a grand total of 36 states. Yes, the 151-proof version of Everclear (that makes it 75.5% ABV) is a whole lot easier to access than its incredibly heady brother.
For the less adventurous (or self-destructive) consumers, there’s a 120-proof Everclear on the market too, which equates to 60% ABV.
Purple Passion: blast from the past
Those who were of the drinking age in the 80s may remember Purple Passion, which went hand-in-hand at parties with cassette tapes, permed hair, and disco. Although we’re inundated with ‘ready-to-drink’ sugary alcoholic beverages now, Purple Passion was a pioneer of sorts.
Having gone through multiple transformations and a considerable lowering of its alcohol content, Purple Passion has been reintroduced to the market as a 26-proof (a mellow 13% ABV) non-carbonated summer refresher.
So, if you want to get on board the Everclear train, but wish to retain both your dignity and memory, your best bet is to get your hands on a bottle of sweet Purple Passion.
What does Everclear taste like?
Clearly, the name Everclear is a reference to the transparent nature of the superstrong spirit, and categorically not the state of one’s head the morning after.
While it’s often compared to vodka, largely to its neutral taste and clarity, it cannot be used as a replacement to vodka in cocktail recipes as it’s simply too potent. Put it this way: The Everclear alcohol content in just one tiny shot, is the equivalent to two standard alcoholic drinks.
So, while this intoxicating liquor is pretty much tasteless, odorless, and unnoticeable, the fact is, appearances can be deceptive. And never has that phrase been more true than with Everclear.
How to drink Everclear (safely)
The idea of Everclear is to use it to create lower-proof alcohols, which can then be used in cocktails. So, think cherry liqueur or limoncello, rather than Everclear and lemonade.
The best advice on how to drink Everclear safely, is simply, do not drink it straight. Ever. But, if you practice restraint, you can use it sparingly in cocktails, but only in extremely minuscule amounts.
Everclear cocktail recipes
While using Everclear in cocktails can be done, it’s not recommended. So, we’ve put together some simple recipes for delicious liqueurs that can be safely made with Everclear. Then, you’re in the clear to get to work creating all sorts of zingy cocktails.
Apple Pie liqueur
- 4.5 liters apple cider
- 4.5 liters apple juice
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 300g white sugar
- 1-litre Everclear
Cocktail recipes: Add all ingredients except Everclear into a large cooking pot. Bring the mixture to the boil over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, and take out the cinnamon sticks.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, you can stir in the Everclear. Finally, pour into a large sealable glass jar (or two) and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. The liqueur should store safely in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Lemon Drop Moonshine
- 2 liters fresh lemon juice
- 3 liters water
- 500 g white sugar
- 750ml Everclear
Cocktail recipes: Combine juice, sugar, and water in a large cooking pot. Gently bring to boil, until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the Everclear. Decant into sealable glass jars, and store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Cherry Pie liqueur
- 4.5 liters apple cider
- 4.5 liters cherry juice
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 830g white sugar
- 830ml cherry rum
- 350ml Everclear
Cocktail recipes: Add all ingredients except the cherry rum and Everclear into a large cooking pot. Gently bring to the boil, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Allow to cool completely, then remove the cinnamon sticks. Stir in the cherry rum and Everclear, then pour into sealable glass jars. Store in the fridge.
Frequently asked questions about Everclear
The Everclear price varies depending on the proofing and size of your desired bottle. In general, expect to pay roughly $20 for a 750ml bottle of 190-proof, and a similar price for the same sized bottle of 120-proof.
Due to its incredibly high alcohol content (92.5% ABV), Everclear has the capacity to get you dangerously drunk. Neverdrink Everclear undiluted, because the risk of alcohol poisoning is extremely high. However, it makes a great ingredient in homemade liqueurs and punches, if used in the proper amounts.
Everclear 190-proof is legal in many US states, with the exceptions of California, Hawaii, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. In some of these states, lesser proof versions are permitted for sale and consumption. You can also purchase Everclear in Alberta, Canada.
Everclear 190-proof is available to buy in certain US states at Walmart in 750ml, 1 liter, and 1.75-liter bottles. Or, check out the best places to buy alcohol online with our ultimate guide.