The Best Booze Values

The Best Booze Values

Each month, the Average American spends just under $100 on alcohol. While there are other ways to put this money to good use, you can save a few bucks by changing what you buy. Picking your drink of choice is reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some of your options are too pricey to purchase, others are just too dicey to down. To streamline your next trip to the liquor store, MainStreet’s got some suggestions that will help you find the spirits that are just right. Note: Price comparisons are courtesy of New Hampshire’s Liquor Commission and will vary slightly from state to state. Photo Credit: sonyaseattle


Vodka

HIGH END: Stolinchnaya Elit, 750 ml, $59.99 LOW END: Smirnoff Blue (100 proof), 750 ml, $14.99 THE REAL VALUE: If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, Smirnoff’s cheap 100-proof bottle of vodka should be your go-to. However, if you’re looking for a smoother sip, use Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which has a 750 ml bottle for $21.99. The Texas-made vodka is micro-distilled six times, filtered through activated carbon and, according to Men’s Journal, is “as smooth as anything out of Moscow.”  Photo Credit: rick


Break out the Bubbly!

HIGH END: Roederer Cristal, 750 ml, $249.99 LOW END: Martin and Rossi Asti Spumante, 750 ml, $11.99 THE REAL VALUE: If you are looking for champagne that will impress without totally breaking your bank account, go with Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (not to be confused with the more expensive Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, which retails for $183.99). The non-vintage version, which costs $41.99, is crisp, full-flavored and great for any celebration. Photo Credit: Waldo Jaquith


Scotch/Whiskey

HIGH END: Johnnie Walker Blue Label, 750 ml, $169.99 LOW END: Cutty Sark, 750 ml, $16.49 THE REAL VALUE: Hardcore scotch lovers tend to go for single malts, which are undeniably more expensive and definitely an acquired taste. If you want to play it safe with both your taste buds and your dollars, you should opt for a good whiskey or scotch blend. We’re going to recommend Justerini and Brooks Rare ($21.99 for each 750 ml bottle), which is less expensive than the premium brand mentioned, but more respected than your bargain variety. Photo Credit: lec


Tequila

HIGH END: Don Julio 1942 Anejo Tequila, 750 ml, $124.99 LOW END: El Toro Reposado, 750 ml, $10.99 THE REAL VALUE: Tequila drinkers who like their tequila straight should select something that is “anejo” (extra-aged) or at least “reposado” (rested), and, most aficionados suggest you opt for a tequila made from 100% pure Agave. A moderately-priced tequila that fits this bill is Sauza Hornitos Tequila Anejo, which is aged one to three years (or more) in American oak barrels. A 750 ml bottle costs $28.99.Photo Credit: Mel B.


Gin

HIGH END: Hendrick’s Gin, 1.75 l, $54.99 LOW END: Jenkins Gin, 1.75 l, $8.49 THE REAL VALUE: As far as liquor goes, all gins are relatively inexpensive so you might as well spring for your favorite brand. Citrusy Bombay Sapphire ($18.99 per 750 ml bottle), straightforward Beefeater ($17.49 per 750 ml bottle) and spicy Tanqueray ($22.99 per 750 ml bottle) are among the most popular brand names. Photo Credit: stuartwebster


Cognac

HIGH END: Remy Martin XO Cognac, 750 ml, $142.99 LOW END: Ansac VS Cognac, 750 ml, $16.99 THE REAL VALUE: Similarly to tequila, you can tell how long a cognac has been aged (and consequently how good it is) by how it is tagged. Cognacs aged three years or more are considered “VS”(very superior). Beyond that, you have “VSOP” (very superior old pale) and the oldest cognacs, such as the Remy Martin, are labeled as reserve or “XO.” Kelt makes a good VSOP cognac, which retails for $40.99, but you could also try Jacques Cardin VSOP Cognac, ($24.99 for a 750ml bottle),which has a nice finish. Photo Credit: abolotnov


Red Wine

HIGH END: Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, 750 ml, $175.99 LOW END: Carlos Rossi Burgundy, 1.5 l, $5.99 THE REAL VALUE: If you’re looking for a wine to bring with you to a dinner party, you may want to leave the boxed varieties at home. Some safe bets that won’t cost you a chunk of change are the Jones Vineyard Cabernet Franc, which retails at $41.99 or the Clos du Val Merlot Napa, which costs $19.99 per 750 ml bottle. Photo Credit:  Jessica Melling


White Wine

HIGH END: Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Napa, 750 ml, $64.99 LOW END: Nathanson Creek Chardonnay, 1.5 l, $5.99 THE REAL VALUE: If you’re looking to give a white wine as a present, you can opt for the Aquinas Napa Valley Chardonnay from California. The wine is medium-bodied, has a nice blend of oak, pear and melon and a smooth finish. It also only costs $14.99. Pinot Grigio lovers can grab the Francis Coppola Bianco, which only costs $9.99, but goes great with light meals.  Photo Credit: basheertome


For the Party

If you are entertaining a large party, you might want to make sangria. It certainly costs less than buying a case of wine (or even a case of imported beer) as you’re combining the alcohol with fruit and seltzer or soda.  You can also throw several different wines into one recipe since sangrias were traditionally made from the wines that were leftover from the last party. For red sangria, you can use a malbec, such as the Malbec Trapiche Broquel, which retails for $12.99 per 750 ml bottle, or a pinot noir, such as the Woodridge Robert Mondavi, which costs $5.99 per 750 ml bottle. For white sangria, you can use the Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio. The 750ml bottle costs $9.99.Photo Credit: ilkerender


After Dinner Drinks

HIGH END: Grand Marnier Cuvee du Cent $187.99 LOW END: Basilica Sambuca, 750 ml, $8.99 THE REAL VALUE: If you are entertaining a lot of guests and are reluctant to break out the expensive stuff, you might want to purchase a bottle of Chambord Royale de France ($28.99 for a 750 ml bottle). The raspberry-flavored liqueur can be sipped straight or mixed in a variety of yummy nightcaps. Photo Credit: [puamalia]


Drunkest States

Why did we rely on the Granite State for our booze prices? Turns out New Hampshire is the drunkest state in America. Want to know if your home made the list? Check out MainStreet’s article to see if you live in one of America’s drunkest states. Photo Credit: wickenden


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