Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cheap Booze and Stocking a Bar

So the Houston Press has an Article HERE that outlines what they think are the best 5 Cheap liquors to stock a bar with.  I’ve linked it above if you want to check it out.

I’ve also listed their choices below with my own comments (plus some graphics) for your convenience.

What are your thoughts or favorites?

Top Five: Cheap Booze

5. Sobieski Vodka
1222-sobieski-bruce-willis-ccAll vodka does not taste alike, and for a smooth, cool burn while drinking it straight, look to pay big money for Grey Goose and Absolut advertising. But the subtleties get lost when mixing vodka, and Poland's favorite, Sobieski, with a faint taste of rye and no hint of rubbing alcohol, is an amazing bargain at $10 for 750ml at Spec's.  Ed – This just arrived locally, so now I have a reason to pick a bottle up and check it out.  Tito’s would be my choice at low-end, but I would give this a shot.  Just as it’s not Dark Eyes (Shudder)

rittenhouse_straight4. Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey, 100 Proof
If you order a Sazerac in New Orleans, you'll probably get Old Overholt, another low-priced rye. With the Great Cocktail Revival came the ascendancy of stronger and tastier Rittenhouse 100, and the demand for Manhattans so great that many cities ran out of Rittenhouse before a new batch could be properly aged. It is now back on the shelf at Tony K's Liquors (2720 Bissonnet) for $20 per 750ml. Ed- I personally prefer ri for a rye, but this one isn't bad…especially considering we are working off of a budget. 

3. Beefeater Gin
Martini drinkers can be particular about their Bombay, Boodles and Tanqueray, but for myriad other London Dry cocktails, it's Beefeater for value. Toby Maloney, of nationally recognized Alchemy Consulting, describes it here as a "Big, back-bony gin with lots of juniper and citrus to it." (Note: Mr. Maloney got "mixologist's arm" from his enthusiastic shaking, so don't try this at home, or work.) Beefeater is $20 per 750ml, also at Tony K's.  Ed – I see this recommended quite often, but to me…..nothing tastes more like ass than cheap gin.  Of all the alcohol in your home bar, gin is the one you cannot cannot cannot go cheap on.  My “Well” is Bombay Saphire, but if I have a choice, I go with Hendrix.


ni722. Flor de Caña Extra Dry
For sipping, expensive Mount Gay Extra Old or Ron Zacapa will do, but for most rum drinks, which contain ample sugar or citrus, Flor de Caña Extra Dry white provides plenty of rum flavor, with little sweetness, for daiquiris, mojitos, or coladas. The slightly sweeter Gold mixes with Coke and lime for Cuba Librés. About $13 per 750ml anywhere. Ed- I’ve never had this one, so if I were going to stick with just a standard, no nonsense and basic (no exotic flavors)….you are well served by the stock Bacardi.

1. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Tastes of oak, spices, and vanilla. Take a whiff of Buffalo Trace, sniff a bottle of vanilla, and then put them both under your nose. One of the best smells in America. No bourbon beats Buffalo Trace for the price of $20 per 750ml at Spec's. No bourbon. Ed- Excellent Excellent Excellent choice.  This is right up there with the best bourbons on the market and I would NEVER be ashamed to serve this to anyone.  In fact, I would almost call it a requirement to have on stock.


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