Table of Contents
- 1. Brass Monkey – Beastie Boys
- 2. Sally MacLennane – The Pogues
- 3. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) – The Doors
- 4. You And Tequila (With Grace Potter) – Kenny Chesney
- 5. Moonshiner – Bob Dylan
- 6. Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg
- 7. Escape (The Piña Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
- 8. Red Red Wine – UB40
- 9. White Lightning – George Jones
- 10. Cigarettes & Alcohol – Oasis
- 11. Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith
- 12. One Mint Julep – Ray Charles
- 13. Lilac Wine – Nina Simone
- 14. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
- 15. Liquor Store Blues – Bruno Mars feat. Damian Marley
- 16. Closing Time – Semisonic
- 17. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers – ZZ Top
- 18. Pass the Courvoisier, Part II – Busta Rhymes
- 19. Drunk in Love – Beyoncé
Music and alcohol have a long and intertwined history. From raucous bar songs to soulful ballads, many artists have been inspired to write and perform songs about alcohol. Whether you’re celebrating a night out with friends, drowning your sorrows, or simply enjoying a relaxing drink at home, there’s a song out there to suit your mood. With so many great tunes to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 19 best songs about alcohol, covering a range of genres and emotions. Some are fun and upbeat, like “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith, while others are slow and introspective, like “Lilac Wine” by Nina Simone. Still others are classic drinking anthems, like “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” by ZZ Top. No matter what your taste in music or alcohol, this list has something for everyone. So, whether you’re raising a glass to a special occasion or simply unwinding after a long day, put on some of the best songs about alcohol and let the good times roll.
1. Brass Monkey – Beastie Boys
Brass Monkey by Beastie Boys is a classic party anthem that is sure to get everyone moving. Released in 1987, the song is built around a catchy sample of an old-school brass band, which serves as the backbone of the funky hip-hop beat. The lyrics are a celebration of good times and drinking, with the Beastie Boys dropping clever rhymes and pop culture references. With its high-energy delivery and infectious groove, Brass Monkey remains a timeless favorite for fans of both hip-hop and party music.
2. Sally MacLennane – The Pogues
Sally MacLennane by The Pogues is a rousing Celtic punk song that captures the spirit of Irish music and culture. Released in 1982, the song tells the story of a woman named Sally MacLennane, who is described as a “queen of them all.” The lyrics are filled with references to Irish history and mythology, and the music features a driving beat and catchy fiddle and accordion melodies. The vocals, delivered with raw emotion by frontman Shane MacGowan, add to the song’s passionate and rebellious spirit. A beloved classic in the Celtic punk genre, Sally MacLennane is a testament to the enduring power of Irish music.
3. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) – The Doors
“Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” by The Doors is a cover of a song from a 1927 German opera, but it’s the Doors’ version that has become iconic. Released in 1967, the song features a driving beat and swirling organ, with Jim Morrison’s unmistakable vocals adding a layer of mystique to the already-quirky lyrics. The song is an ode to alcohol, with the narrator proclaiming his love for whisky and beer. The Doors’ version of “Alabama Song” has become a classic example of the band’s ability to take unconventional material and make it their own.
4. You And Tequila (With Grace Potter) – Kenny Chesney
“You And Tequila” by Kenny Chesney is a heart-wrenching country ballad that features guest vocals from Grace Potter. Released in 2010, the song tells the story of a relationship that’s been torn apart by alcohol, with the narrator lamenting the hold that tequila has on his lover. The stripped-down instrumentation and Chesney’s emotive vocals give the song a raw, intimate feel, and Potter’s harmonies add a haunting quality. “You And Tequila” is a powerful example of how country music can capture the pain and longing that come with love and addiction.
5. Moonshiner – Bob Dylan
“Moonshiner” by Bob Dylan is a traditional folk song that has been covered by countless artists, but it’s Dylan’s version that remains a standout. Recorded in 1963, the song features Dylan’s distinctive voice and guitar, with minimal accompaniment. The lyrics tell the story of a moonshiner who’s been caught by the law, and the sorrow and regret that he feels. Dylan’s version of “Moonshiner” is a haunting and introspective look at the darker side of drinking and the consequences that come with it.
6. Gin and Juice – Snoop Dogg
“Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg is a classic hip-hop party anthem that’s all about having a good time. Released in 1994, the song features a laid-back beat and Snoop’s smooth flow, with lyrics that celebrate the joys of drinking and smoking. The chorus, which features the memorable line “Rollin’ down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice,” has become a cultural touchstone. “Gin and Juice” is a fun and lighthearted reminder that sometimes, it’s good to let loose and enjoy life.
7. Escape (The Piña Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes
“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes is a pop classic that’s all about the search for love and adventure. Released in 1979, the song tells the story of a man who’s looking for something new in his life, only to discover that his ideal partner has been with him all along. The catchy melody and sing-along chorus have made the song a karaoke favorite, while the wry lyrics add a touch of humor. “Escape” is a feel-good tune that reminds us that sometimes, the best things in life are right in front of us.
8. Red Red Wine – UB40
“Red Red Wine” by UB40 is a reggae-infused cover of a Neil Diamond song that became a massive hit in 1983. The song features a laid-back beat and smooth vocals, with the horn section adding a touch of soul. The lyrics tell the story of a man who’s turned to wine to ease his pain and loneliness. “Red Red Wine” has become a staple of 80s playlists and continues to be a beloved example of how a cover can take a well-known song and give it new life.
9. White Lightning – George Jones
“White Lightning” is a classic country song by George Jones, released in 1959. The song, which tells the story of a moonshiner named Jim who produces a potent liquor called white lightning, is a rollicking, up-tempo tune with driving rhythms and twangy guitar riffs. Jones’ smooth vocals and playful delivery add to the song’s charm, and his humorous lyrics and vivid imagery make it a standout in his vast catalog of hits. “White Lightning” is a quintessential example of the country music genre, and a timeless tribute to the colorful characters and traditions of rural America.
10. Cigarettes & Alcohol – Oasis
“Cigarettes & Alcohol” is a gritty rock anthem by Oasis, released in 1994. The song, which opens with a pulsating guitar riff and features the snarling vocals of frontman Liam Gallagher, speaks to the band’s working-class roots and rebellious spirit. The lyrics depict a night of debauchery and excess, with references to smoking, drinking, and chasing girls. The song’s driving beat and catchy chorus made it a popular sing-along at live shows, and it remains a beloved classic in the Oasis discography. “Cigarettes & Alcohol” is a high-energy ode to the hedonistic pleasures of youth, and a testament to the enduring power of rock and roll.
11. Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith
“Red Solo Cup” is a party anthem by country singer Toby Keith. Released in 2011, the song pays tribute to the ubiquitous red plastic cups commonly used at outdoor gatherings and parties. The lyrics humorously describe the cups’ versatility, including their use as measuring tools for liquor and as makeshift drums. The catchy chorus encourages listeners to raise their cups and celebrate life. The upbeat melody and sing-along lyrics make it a popular choice for parties and sporting events. The song became a commercial success and a cultural phenomenon, cementing its place as a quintessential party anthem.
12. One Mint Julep – Ray Charles
“One Mint Julep” is a classic R&B song by Ray Charles. Originally released in 1961, the song is a jazzy tribute to the Southern cocktail made with bourbon, sugar, water, and mint. Charles’ soulful vocals and the smooth instrumentals create a laid-back atmosphere that is reminiscent of sipping a mint julep on a hot summer day. The song’s simple yet catchy melody makes it a popular choice for jazz and R&B enthusiasts. “One Mint Julep” has been covered by many artists over the years, and its timeless charm continues to endure as a staple of American popular music.
13. Lilac Wine – Nina Simone
“Lilac Wine” is a haunting ballad by jazz and blues singer Nina Simone. Originally written by James Shelton in 1950, Simone’s cover was released in 1966 and became one of her most popular and enduring songs. The lyrics compare the intoxicating effects of wine to the beauty and allure of a lover. Simone’s powerful vocals and the mournful melody create an atmospheric and melancholy mood that is both romantic and tragic. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Jeff Buckley and Elkie Brooks, and its haunting beauty continues to captivate listeners.
14. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
“Tennessee Whiskey” is a soulful ballad by country singer Chris Stapleton. Released in 2015, the song compares the smoothness and warmth of Tennessee whiskey to the comforting presence of a lover. Stapleton’s soulful, bluesy voice and the simple yet effective melody create a romantic and nostalgic atmosphere that is both soothing and sensual. The song’s understated production and heartfelt lyrics make it a standout in modern country music. “Tennessee Whiskey” has become a fan favorite and a staple of Stapleton’s live performances, as well as a commercial success.
15. Liquor Store Blues – Bruno Mars feat. Damian Marley
“Liquor Store Blues” is a reggae-infused song by pop superstar Bruno Mars featuring Damian Marley. Released in 2011, the song tells the story of a man struggling to make ends meet and seeking solace in alcohol. Mars’ smooth vocals and Marley’s distinctive reggae beats create a laid-back, atmospheric mood that is both melancholy and uplifting. The lyrics describe the everyday struggles of working-class people, and the chorus expresses a sense of resignation and acceptance of one’s lot in life. “Liquor Store Blues” is a testament to the power of music to connect people from all walks of life through the universal language of music.
16. Closing Time – Semisonic
Semisonic’s “Closing Time” is a timeless classic that has become a staple of any bar or club’s closing routine. The song’s melancholic yet upbeat melody is paired with lyrics that reflect on the bittersweet ending of a night out and the anticipation of new beginnings. The catchy chorus of “Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” has resonated with generations of listeners, making it a true anthem of transition and change. With its blend of alternative rock and pop sensibilities, “Closing Time” has cemented its place as one of the most memorable and iconic songs of the late ’90s.
17. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers – ZZ Top
“Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” by ZZ Top is a classic rock song that epitomizes the band’s rough-and-tumble sound. The song features a driving beat, gritty guitar riffs, and signature vocal harmonies, making it a fan favorite. The lyrics, which are filled with references to partying and living on the edge, add to the song’s rebellious attitude. Overall, “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” is a high-energy track that showcases ZZ Top’s unique brand of blues-infused rock and roll.
18. Pass the Courvoisier, Part II – Busta Rhymes
“Pass the Courvoisier, Part II” by Busta Rhymes featuring P. Diddy and Pharrell Williams is a hip-hop classic that celebrates the finer things in life. The track features a catchy beat and infectious hook that is impossible not to dance to. The lyrics, which are all about enjoying the good life, are delivered with Busta’s signature rapid-fire flow, making the song an instant party anthem. “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II” is a fun and upbeat track that captures the essence of the early 2000s hip-hop scene.
19. Drunk in Love – Beyoncé
“Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z is a sultry and seductive R&B track that explores the intoxicating feeling of being in love. The song features Beyoncé’s powerful vocals and a slinky, slow-burning beat that creates a sense of intimacy and sensuality. The lyrics are filled with playful innuendos and references to the couple’s love life, making it a steamy and romantic track. Overall, “Drunk in Love” is a standout track that showcases Beyoncé’s talent as a vocalist and her ability to craft songs that are both seductive and empowering.