Shopping for liquor is one of those tasks that really sounds like it should be easy. You walk into the liquor store, select what you want, pay, and go home. However, there's more room for error in that process than you might imagine. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when shopping for liquor.
Mistake #1: Not checking the price of the bigger bottle.
You're having three people over to enjoy martinis, so you figure 750 mL of vodka will be more than enough, and that's what you grab. Does this situation sound familiar? You're not silly to buy only what you need, and if you are not someone who drinks often, this is a perfectly reasonable approach as you don't want extra liquor to go to waste. However, if you do drink regularly or even semi-regularly, it's worth checking the price of the larger bottle before you buy one that's just right. Sometimes you can get the liter for just a dollar or two more. And sometimes liquor stores put the big bottles on sale to clear them out, and they might even be cheaper than the smaller bottles!
Mistake #2: Skipping over the cocktail mixers.
Do you buy your liquor at the liquor store and then head to the grocery store for your mixers? Then you owe it to yourself to head down the mixer aisle the next time you're in the liquor store. Mixers have come a long way in the past decade, and liquor stores are now selling more of them as a result. You might save yourself a lot of time and even money by buying a pre-made margarita or pina colada mix, for example, as opposed to buying the individual ingredients.
Mistake #3: Always skipping the bottom shelf.
Bottom shelf liquor has a reputation for being cheap and low-quality. But liquor stores do not always arrange their liquor with the cheap options on the bottom anymore. You may find some obscure local brands on this shelf, or you might discover a flavor of liquor you have not tried anymore. The "bottom shelf rule" applies more to bars than to liquor stores, so do not overlook this shelf when shopping.
If you avoid the mistakes above when shopping for liquor, you can have a better, more productive experience at the liquor store, and you can even save yourself some cash. Enjoy the trip and your drinks!