The Liquor Stores of My Life, Priced Out

The sprawling Warehouse Wines and Spirits at the intersection of Broadway and Astor Place in Manhattan has prices low enough to qualify as Wonka-grade magic. Don’t believe me? Fine, then let’s visit all the liquor stores from my past to quantify however we can—in person, through websites, over the phone, by proxy—in pursuit of truth, science, the endless thirst for, um, knowledge.

I’ve priced out the same three bottles at each stop: 750 mL of Jameson, 1L of Absolut vodka, and 1.75 L of Jim Beam (my actual drinking habits would probably call for three bottles of Rittenhouse, but it’s not available everywhere, so for science, variety).

THE GOLD STANDARD
Warehouse Wines and Spirits
735 Broadway, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York
▪ Jameson Irish whiskey, 750mL: $27.99
▪ Absolut vodka, 1L: $21.00
▪ Jim Beam bourbon, 1.75L: $27.00

Total: $75.99

This works out to just under $0.98 for each of 77 shots at 1.5oz/45mL, although I rounded down because you might accidentally spill some of it after having a few rounds. Before crunching the numbers I’d always thought of drinking at home as an endeavor of negligible cost, but at a buck a shot I guess that’s not really true—especially if you’re drinking along with friends, which is really how you should be approaching it whenever possible.

THE OTHERS
Love Liquors and Wines
797 Washington Avenue‎, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $29.99 [+$2.00]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $29.99 [+$8.99]
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75L: $36.99 [$9.00]

Total: $96.97
Difference: $19.99, or $0.25 extra per shot

Wine Exchange
595 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $29.99 [+$2.00]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $26.99 [+5.99]
▪ Jim Beam 1.75L: $36.99 [+$9.00]

Total: $93.97
Difference: $16.99, or $0.21 extra per shot

Best Buy Wine and Spirit Warehouse
701 Fulton Street
Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $28.15 [+0.16]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $25.00 [+$4.00]
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75L: $36.15 [+$9.15]

Total: $89.30
Difference: $13.31, or $0.17 extra per shot

Zap Liquors
105 Court St, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $32.49 [+$5.49]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $34.49 [+$13.49]
▪ This is way too much to pay for Jim Beam, 1.75L: $39.99 [+$12.99]

Total: $106.97
Difference: +$31.97, or $0.42 extra per shot

Beaver Liquors
110 East Beaver Creek Boulevard, Avon, Colorado
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $28.99 [+$1.00]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $30.99 [+$9.99]
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75L: $32.89 [+$5.89]

Total: $92.87
Difference: +$16.88, or $0.22 extra per shot
(We’ll discuss their enormous line of vulgar double entendre novelty merchandise in a separate post.)

Wine Castle
1650 3rd Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $28.00 [+$0.01]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $24.99 [+$3.99]
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75L: $33.99 [+$6.99]

Total: $86.98
Difference: +$10.99, or $0.14 extra per shot

Mz Wines and Spirits
255 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $28
▪ Absolute, 1L: $27
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75: $35

Total: $90
Difference: $14.01, or $0.18 per shot
(Worth it, because you kinda have to be drunk in order to sign a lease out here.)

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Store
502 West Main Street, Charlottesville, Virginia
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $26.95 [-$1.04]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $25.95 [+$4.95]
▪ Jim Beam, 1.75: $29.95 [+$2.95]

Total: $82.85
Difference: +$6.86, or $0.09 extra per shot

Sterling Grapes and Grains
115 5th Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York
▪ Jameson, 750mL: $26.99 [-$1.00]
▪ Absolut, 1L: $23.99 [+$2.99]
▪ Jim Beam 1.75L: $30.99 [+$3.99]

Total: $81.97
Difference: +$5.98, or $0.08 extra per shot

So there you have it! Warehouse Wines and Spirits trumps every other liquor store I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with. I guess comparison shopping is worth it even when Google won’t do it for you.

Not listed: When I was a freshman in college there was this guy named Titus who used to run a liquor store out of his dorm room. Terrible selection and a considerable markup, but man it was so convenient. He even had a fancy little display shelf and a web site on which he listed all his prices. I think it was $5 or $10 extra per bottle; that’s probably about the same as shopping for booze in Soho, but still well worth it for those of us who were not yet of age.

 

Vijith Assar is actually a Rittenhouse man.

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