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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – April 2014

Tanqueray Taj will put your Gin & Midori to good use.
When Utahans walk into the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores this month they will find that the number of marked down items has dropped back into the “high average” range.  The number of items on SPA (Special Price Adjustment) dropped from around 440 last month to around 356 for April.  Cocktailians who need to stock their bars can still find some nice bargains.  There are some quality cocktail ingredients available this month, so dust off your wallet and your wallet and your shaker and get ready to mix some great cocktails.

There are a few Bourbons on SPA this month; let’s hope they are holding them in reserve for the Derby next month, always a big day for Bourbon.  In the 750ml size there three Single Barrel offerings marked down: Elijah Craig 12 Year (8% to $23), Knob Creek (6% to $33), and Basil Hayden 8 Year (7% to $39).  Sip it, or you can make a very good Manhattan, or perhaps even a Boulevardier.  The only Scotch Whisky marked down this month that you might want to pour into a cocktail like a Blood and Sand, is the Bowmore Legend Single Malt that has a small mark-down to $26.  Johnnie Walker 12 Year 1750 ml. is marked down 6% to $73.

Fortunately, the UDABC didn’t forget about you Tequila lovers.  There are 16 Tequilas (Platas, Añejos and Reposados) on SPA.  My favorites include Herradura Añejo.  This month Familia Camarena Silver and Reposado are both marked down 15% to $17.  It’s Margarita time!  The Rum deals are few and far between this month if you don’t count the “Spiced and Flavored” category.  Cruzan Dark is marked down 23% to $10, you might want to experiment with a Rum Old Fashioned. 

If you need some Dry Gin, Tanqueray Ten is marked down 9% to $29.  Try it in a Classic Martini.  Always reliable Beefeater is marked down $3 to $22 (try it in a Tom Collins).  If you like Vesper Martinis, Ketel One (it’s great with a lemon twist) is also on SPA for $22.  There are also deals on Belevedere and Skyy, as well as the usual multitude of flavored Vodkas that are better not mentioned.

There are a couple of Liqueurs marked down this month.  Amaretto Di Amore ($12) goes great in Mai Tais and is marked down around 14%.  Midori Melon Liqueur is marked down 10% to $19; try it in a Tanqueray Taj.

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – March 2014

Campari Ole will put that sale Tequila to
good use.
When Utahans walk into the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores in March, they will be excited to see that sale tags are more in evidence than they have been during the last couple of months.  The number of marked down items has increased from January and February lows into the “above average” range.  The number of items on SPA (Special Price Adjustment) rose from around 230 last month to over 440 in March.  Cocktailians who have been waiting to stock their bars will see that this is an opportunity.  Quite a few quality cocktail ingredients are available this month, so get ready for some great cocktails.

The UDABC didn’t forget about you Tequila lovers this month.  There are 16 Tequilas on SPA with plenty of Platas and Reposados.  My favorites range from El Jimador to Herradura; and there are four different 1800’s marked down, too.  Leave your credit card at home... it’s Margarita time.  Rum seems to have been overlooked this month.  If you like Dark Rums, Mount Gay Eclipse Barbados Rum is marked down over 15% to $17, try it in a Rum Old Fashioned, but that’s about it for Rums. 

If you need some Gin, my favorite “economy Gin”, New Amsterdam (CS# 031475), is marked down 13% from $15 to $13 (try it in a Tom Collins).  If you have an open bottle of sparkling wine but you’re in the mood for something a little stronger than a Champagne cocktail, try a French 75 – a reliable champagne (and Gin) cocktail that is sure to have just the kick you need.  If you’re more into Vodka Martinis, Tito’s Handmade is marked down 15% to $17 this month.

If you enjoy Bourbons, selections this month range from Jack Daniels Black Label (down 8% to $23) to Blanton Single Barrel (down 5% to $53).  If you want to make a very good Manhattan, or perhaps a Boulevardier, try some Woodford Reserve ($30) or Ridgemont Reserve 1792 ($29).  This month you might want to stock up on your favorite Liqueurs.  Liqueurs like Underground Herbal Spirit ($25) and Frangelico ($23) are on sale, and also an excellent Triple Sec substitute that works well in Margaritas: Gran Gala Orange Liqueur (14% to $19).

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – February 2014

El Diablo is a cocktail the
Devil himself might enjoy.
As is usually the case in February, a monthly UABC post that appears this late means that there is not much to write about.  If the Utah Mixologist had not stocked up in December and didn’t expect to see around 400 items on markdown in March, he would be really depressed this month.  The number of marked down items at the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores in February has increased only slightly from January.  This month the number of items on SPA rose from under 180 to around 230, barely more than a third of the over 615 items marked down in December.  Obviously, this is not the time to stock your bar, but there are still a few quality cocktail ingredients available.

If you’re into Bourbons, you’re almost out of luck this month.  The pick of the lot is the Knob Creek, marked down $2 to $33, but Evan Williams Single Barrel is marked down, too.  The only Scotch Whisky marked down this month is Macallan Ten Year Old, marked down $2 to $40, so if you’re looking for a blended Scotch to put into a Rob Roy you’re out of luck.  If you need some liqueurs, Amaretto Di Amore is marked down almost 15% this month.

The number of Tequilas on SPA this month has been generously increased from one to four!  Discerning Tequila lovers may want to forgo the Tortilla Gold Blend at $7, but the Herradura Añejo (CS# 003656) marked down $5 to $50 might be worth the investment.  Regular readers will know that a good Silver (or Plata or Blanco) is an essential ingredient in the El Diablo, but this month the only Plata is El Charro, marked down from $17 to $15.  For those who love Cosmopolitans or Vodka Martinis, there are two Vodkas in 750 ml bottles on SPA.  Effen Vodka, down 7% to $25, may interest some of you.

There’s no excitement in the Rum shelves this month.  Bottles of Bacardi 8 are marked down around 16% to $16, and that’s it!  Let’s hope for better pricing next month.  As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – January 2014

BLT Cocktail: simple, but delicious
When Utahans walk into the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores this month, they will know that Santa Claus has left the building.  Special Price Adjustments (SPAs) originate with the distributors of the products, not the UDABC (only Clearance item price reduction come from the UDABC).  Last month they were generous with the holiday promotions.  This month those promotions are scarce.  The number of items on SPA drops from over 600 last month when Santa was around to under 200 this month.  Cocktailians in search of ingredients who didn’t stock up in December will wish they had.  If this post seems short, you now know why.  The forecast for next month is not much better, so tighten up your belt and wait for March.

If you’re into Bourbons, liter bottles of Wild Turkey 101 and Jack Daniels Black Label are both marked down 10% to for $27. These should make a great BLT; too bad that’s about it for Bourbons.  There is only one Scotch Whisky (a blend) marked down this month: liter bottles of Chivas Regal 12 YO are marked down 7% to $40, so if you’re looking for something to put into your high end Bobby Burns, give it a try.  As usual, the number of Rye Whiskies on SPA this month is low: one: Bulleit 95 Rye Whiskey is marked down 11% to $24; my friends and I almost killed a whole bottle New Year’s Eve, so it’s time to stock up. Try it in a Rye cocktail like the Scofflaw Cocktail.  If you need some liqueurs, there’s not much action there, either. Tuaca is marked down a little over 10% this month; this vanilla and citrus-based liqueur mixes well with Tequila.

Tequila lovers may shed a tear at the lack of SPA tags on the Tequila shelves; unless there is something wrong with my program, they will find one!  Your option for Tequila deals this month is Epsolon Reposada (12% to $23).  For those who love Vodka Martinis, 1750ml bottles of Ketel One® are marked down 10% to $45, and there is a variety of under $20 Vodkas on sale.  There isn’t much excitement in the Rum shelves either this month: Cruzan Light Rum is marked down 8% to $22 for a 1750ml bottle.

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Santa arrives early as Utah DABC rolls out sales for December 2013

Try an Aviation cocktail made with Aviation Gin
There are over 600 items on Special Price Adjustments (SPA) for the December holidays, so when Utahans walk into the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores this month, they will expect to hear Santa chuckling.  These deals are great for gifts (given or received), or for stocking your bar.  (Note: later in the month there will be a separate post on pre-New Year’s price adjustments (actually available all December) on sparkling wines.)  Need a Christmas gift for Dad (or Mom)? Don’t forget to look at the gift items that are often found on the top shelf of the Utah State Stores. These gift packages usually contain a bottle of liquor and items like glasses or a shaker for about the same price as the bottle without the gift. Some of them are pretty nice, others might be a little tacky.  Shop early in the month for a better selection and buy one for a lazy relative to give you for Christmas.

First: great news for Gin lovers: the DABC is now stocking Aviation Gin (CS 400413, $30).  This highly rated American Gin makes a great Martini or Aviation cocktail.  Give it a try (call ahead to see if your local store carries it).  This month there is a variety of Gins marked down, most of the good ones around 10%, plus or minus.  Gins with price adjustments include offerings from Bombay Sapphire®, Tanqueray®, Beefeater®, and even the surprisingly good, bargain Gin: New Amsterdam (1750ml for $24).  While you’re picking up a nice bottle of Gin, pick up a bottle of Campari (on SPA this month) and try one of my favorite Gin cocktails, a Negroni.  You can look up all of the prices for yourself by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month; then search on “gin” or the product of your choice.  Oh, and there are 24 non-flavored Vodkas marked down this month too, if that’s your thing.

Now for the Whiskeys: There are 70 Whiskeys on SPA this month, so it’s a great opportunity to stock up. 18 different Bourbons:  Most of the major brands are represented; try Buffalo Trace ($22), and there are single barrel offerings from Blanton, Eagle Rare, and Evan Williams.  Four Irish that normally retail around $25 are marked down around 10%.  Kick back on Christmas Eve and enjoy a nice Bourbon Manhattan.  There are 23 Single Malt and Blended Scotches marked down, including 10 twelve year olds and Glenlivet French Oak 15 year.  This is your big chance to cheer up and impress your old man with a gift he’ll enjoy.

Now is your chance to stock up on your favorite Liqueurs or buy them as gifts; 30 are on SPA this month.  Try Di Saronno Amaretto ($23) over ice, or a favorite for cocktails: Amaretto Di Amore ($11); both are marked down.  Godiva Chocolate Liqueur ($27) and Kahlua Coffee Liqueur ($16) are on SPA, along with a variety of Irish Cream Liqueurs (great gifts for light drinkers) and Liqueurs like Alize and Midori.  A favorite Triple Sec substitute: Gran Gala Orange Liqueur ($20) is on SPA, or feel free to go upscale with Cointreau ($34.3).  There are only 10 (non-spiced) Rums on sale this month.  Appleton Estates VX Jamaica Rum is the best of the bunch, or you can try Bacardi 8 for $16.  Sadly there are no high-end premium Rums to put under your tree.

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – November 2013

Vodka Martini with a twist and an olive
Salt Lake City cocktailians will be disappointed to see that the Special Price Adjustment (SPA) list this month is a lot leaner than it was last month (down from 422 to 301).  This is the normal pre-December slump that we experience every November; Santa Claus comes in December, and his SPA list is usually very generous.  We will soon be presented with a cornucopia of liquor oriented gift items and sparkling wines for New Year’s celebrations.

Remember: November is the time to start looking up… to the top shelf, that is.  Boxed gift items that are usually found on the top shelves of the Utah State Stores. These promotional packages usually contain a bottle of liquor and items like logoed glasses or a shaker for about the same price as the bottle without the gift.

If you were hoping for some Gin this month, you’re almost out of luck.  One good bet is Tanqueray Rangpur Gin, marked down from $25 to $22. Try it in a Tom Collins.  New Amsterdam Gin, an excellent economy Gin, is marked down this month (CS# 031475 down 20% to $12).  If you have an open bottle of sparkling wine and you’re in the mood for something a little stronger that a Champagne cocktail, try it in a French 75 – a reliable Champagne (and Gin) cocktail that is sure to have just the kick you need. 

For those who love Vodka Martinis, this month it’s bottles of Tito’s Handmade Vodka that are marked down from $40 to $35.  There are also a bunch of other Vodkas and the usual large number of flavored Vodkas on SPA.  The standout Tequila deals this month are a pair of El Jimadors: the Reposado and the Blanco are both marked down from $20 to $17.  Regular readers will know that a good Silver (or Plata or Blanco) is an essential ingredient in the ever popular Margarita, but this Reposado also makes outstanding cocktails.

November is not totally devoid of deals in the cocktail area, however.  If you’re into Bourbons, and if you like something a little pricier, Jack Daniels® Single Barrel (CS# 026906) is available for $46 (that’s a generous $3 off) should make a great Bourbon Manhattan.  All (both!) of the Scotch Whiskies marked down this month are blends, so if you’re looking for something to put into your Rob Roy you can get a large (1750 ml.) bottle of Dewars® White Label marked down 8% to $46.

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see a great deal on anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines, etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open an online price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.