Ah, fermentation. And distilling.
Where would the world be without them? Yes, the Irish might have taken over the world had God not invented whisky, but what about rum, gin, vodka, beer and wine?
We'll likely never know the answer to that question, but we can find out exactly how the drinks that rule the world are made. Whichever flavor you like to toss back, somewhere there's a booze tour with your name on it. From Belgium to Barbados, here are 10 of our favorites.
Bourbon: Woodford Reserve Distillery, Kentucky
Kentucky's oldest and smallest distillery, Woodford Reserve lovingly crafts its bourbon in small batches. Maybe that's why it's the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.
At the distillery, also a National Historic Landmark, visitors take a guided tour that explains the history of bourbon, the bottling process and how Woodford Reserve does something special with all five sources of bourbon flavor.
For example, they don't just use water, they use deep limestone well water. Big difference (as they'll explain). Best of all, guests get to linger with the award-winning craft bourbon.
On the Corn to Cork tour you can dive deeper into the bourbon-making process. Or you can just start serving up mint juleps.
Wine: Viña Errazuriz, Panquehue, Chile
Grape for grape, this family-owned estate 100 kilometers north of Santiago pumps out some of the best wine in South America. It helps that Viña Errazuriz has the perfect climate for it: cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
On the two-hour tour, visitors take to the underground cellars and walk the hillside vineyards, covering topics like viticulture, climate conditions and grape management.
Then it's on to sampling four of the estate's Max Reserva wines.
The Pinot Noir contains some amazingly smoky notes from oak aging.
Cost: U.S. $34.
Rum: Mount Gay Visitor Center, Brandons, Barbados
It's the classic rum stereotype -- turquoise waters, tropical island, white-sand beaches.
And for a reason. As the birthplace of rum, Barbados is home to the oldest rum in existence, Mount Gay. Launched in 1703, Mount Gay is a smooth, medium-bodied rum combining notes of ripe banana, almond, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. It gets those last two from an aging process that involves Kentucky oak barrels that previously contained bourbon.
At the Mount Gay visitor center in Brandons (near the capital, Bridgetown), travelers learn about these rum properties in the brand museum. Later, they snoop around a Barbadian rum shop and sample two of Mount Gay's finest rums in the official bar.
An optional lunch is served outdoors, with a Mount Gay punch, naturally.