Fascinating Facts About America's 15 Favorite Booze Brands

To most of us, liquor is somewhat of a mystery. The process that turns grains, yeast, and water into a warming dram of Scotch isn't actually too complicated, but it's still a lot to wrap your head around. But most fascinating of all are the stories behind the liquor brands themselves. We've consumed (plenty of) it, we have bottles of it in our liquor cabinets, and these are household names, but aside from the basics, we really don't know much about them.

Fascinating Facts about America's 15 Favorite Booze Brands (Slideshow)

Every brand has a story, but the stories behind major liquor brands are, without fail, really interesting. These are massive companies that, in most cases, have gone through periods of major decline and periods of exponential growth. They've bounced around from parent company to parent company, they've been passed down from generation to generation, and they survived a little something called Prohibition. And the newer brands — the ones that exploded onto the scene in recent decades like Skyy Vodka, Fireball, and Captain Morgan — are equally fascinating in their own rights.

We did some digging and tracked down the most fascinating facts about the 15 most popular liquor brands by 2014 retail store sales, as measured by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. Why is Bacardi's logo a bat? Why do frat boys love doing shots of a random German herbal digestif? Who exactly were Jim Beam and Jack Daniel? Read on to find out.