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Sep 23, 2008 11:12 AM

Stocking your bar in Miami

Raiding a liquor store in Miami is not quite so exciting as many other big cities. Vodkas, Rums and whiskies are all easy enough to come by, but after that it gets tricky. You usually will be able to find trendy liquors as well, ie Canton, St Germain, etc. I'm looking for recommendations for the harder to find items like non-Angostura Bitters, different vermouths, creme de Violettes,Rye Whiskey, rhum agricole and any libations important to a proper, well balanced and sophisticated cocktail or drink.

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  1. I had the same problem trying to find Falernum. Found some blood orange bitters at Will-Sonoma. It's strange considering how many bars we have that we can't find quality ingredients. Sour apple schanpps anyone?

    7 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      falernum was on my list as well. Any luck with that? I will check out Williams Sonoma. It had not even crossed my mind.

      1. re: lax2mia

        Lax, wanted you to take a look at this article from the washington post that came out some time ago and had a recipe for homemade falernum, in case you are interested:

        1. re: Icantread

          Great recipe. I'll probably need to cut it in about half since a liter might be too much. Didn't think it'd be this easy!

          1. re: lax2mia

            He has quite a few other recipes attached to that post as well, including orange bitters, cocktail onions, and maraschino cherries

        2. re: lax2mia

          Thanks for the tip on the bitters. Made it over there yesterday and got myself a bottle. I noticed that it is not alcohol based. What is your opinion on that after trying them? I imagine the alcohol is negligible in dashes, but the quality of the bitters and their longevity might be affected.

          1. re: Icantread

            BTW, I recently checked on the blood orange bitters and there was mold growing on the top. I guess the lack of alcohol, coupled with the sugar and the humid climate made for optimal bacteria growth. I'm really disappointed because I actually enjoyed the product even though it's not a "traditional" bitter, more like "bitters lite". My advice, keep it in the fridge.

            1. re: lax2mia

              at the risk of diluting it further, I'm thinking of injecting some everclear into it, just in case.

        3. Anyone know where I can find some above average Grappa in Miami?

          I know youre mostly looking for off the wall liquors but if you want bourbon, Ive found that the best spot is Crown Liquors in South Miami. They have a great selection and very good prices.

          1. The non-Angostura bitters interest me. I searched the Tampa area and eventually gave up. Most of the sales people had never even heard of Peychaud bitters. I'll be interested to see what people on this board come up with.

            1 Reply
            1. Have you been to Total Wine & Spirits yet? Unfortuantely, the nearest one is in North Miami. They stock over 8,000 wines, 1000 beers, and 2,000 spirits, plus everthing else needed to serve the foregoing, from mixers to glasses, etc. I would give them a call to see whether they have what you are looking for. It really is an amazing place, and the prices are unbelievable cheap.

              2 Replies
              1. re: truffled

                Thank you very much. I wasn't aware of the North Miami one, but have been to the Palm Beach location. I do know they have some ryes there, no bitters and plenty of everything. Thank you for that, that's much more feasible than Palm Beach.

                1. re: truffled

                  Total Wine is like the Wal-Mart for wines and liquors - all the brands you're familiar with and nothing out of the ordinary. When I asked about Falernum they looked at me like I was asking for a bomb-making substance.