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Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa arrives early as Utah DABC rolls out sales for December 2014

A Negroni may be served in a cocktail glass,
or on the rocks.
Once again there are over 600 items on Special Price Adjustments (SPA) for the December holidays (up from 329 last month), 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.  Still 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 for Gin lovers: as the Gin revival continues, stores have expanded their Gin sections to accommodate new brands.  If your local store has a small selection, visit a larger store when you have the chance to check out the new items.  This month there is a variety of Gins marked down, most of the good ones around 10%, more or less.  Gins with price adjustments include offerings from Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater, and even 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 13 non-flavored Vodkas marked down this month too (including Ketel One and Chopin, if you’re a Vodka drinker.

Now for the Whiskeys: There are 44 Whiskeys on SPA this month (60 if you count 1750 ml bottles), so it’s a great opportunity to stock up. Twelve different Bourbons:  most of the major brands are represented, try Bulleit ($25), and there are single barrel offerings from Basil Hayden, Elijah Craig, and Evan Williams.  Kick back on Christmas Eve and enjoy a nice Bourbon ManhattanThree Irish that normally retail around $25 to $35 are marked down around 10%.  There are 20 Single Malt and Blended Scotches marked down, including 9 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.

This 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).  There are only 11 (non-spiced) Rums on sale this month.  Appleton Estates VX Jamaica Rum is the best of the bunch, or you can try Mount Gay Eclipse for $17.  Sadly there are no high-end premium Rums to put under your tree.

If you’re looking for Champagne for New Year’s Eve, there’s not a lot of the good stuff on sale this month.  Mumm Napa Brut is the pick at $19, but the Barefoot Bubblies in the $9 range are decent and have won some awards for their price range.  I haven’t quite forgotten you Tequila lovers, either.  There are 31 choices this month in the Blanco or better categories, including some top brands!

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.

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