Everclear is a brand of neutral grain spirit that is available at concentrations of 75.5% alcohol (151 proof) and 95% alcohol (190 proof) in contrast to hard liquors such as rum and vodka, which typically contain 40%-60% alcohol (80-120 proof). Since 95.6% ethanol and 4.4% water form an azeotrope (meaning that simple distillation cannot remove any of the remaining water), 191-proof spirits are the maximum proof that is available from the distilled beverage industry. Because Everclear is a neutral grain spirit, it is relatively low in congeners.
Everclear is manufactured by Luxco (formerly the David Sherman Company). In 1979, the Guinness Book of World Records listed 190-proof Everclear as "the most alcoholic drink." Guinness has since banned all alcohol-related entries from the book.
Due to its high alcohol content, Everclear is illegal, unavailable, or difficult to find in many areas.
In Canada, Everclear is sold in the province of Alberta, but not in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and most other provinces.
In British Columbia, one can purchase it with a permit for medical use, research use, or industrial use only. It is illegal to sell the 190-proof variety in some states of the United States, namely California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
Everclear 190 is legally sold in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, and in some military stores within the continental United States.
The 151-proof variety is legally sold in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and some other states.
- Everclear (or other neutral grain spirits) is commonly added to a variety of other drinks, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice, and iced tea. It is used in some cocktails and sometimes in place of vodka or rum in Jello shots. It can be used to make homemade liqueurs, such as limoncello.
- Everclear is also used in cooking because its high concentration of alcohol causes it to extract flavors well.
- Everclear can be used to prepare medicinal tinctures and spice extracts. This is done by soaking herbs in it for several days and then straining out the solid material.
- The 190-proof variety of Everclear is sometimes used by backpackers as fuel in alcohol stoves (often a homemade beverage-can stove). It burns cleanly, and since it is not as toxic as methanol and isopropanol, it can be stored inside cookware without contamination.
- Everclear can be used as an antiseptic.
- It is used by home perfumers to make perfumes.
- Everclear can also be used to clean electronic parts, such as circuit boards and heatsinks. It evaporates quickly and leaves little or no residue.