HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Which DC/Md. liquor store has best range of liqueurs?

Virginia's ABC stores have only a limited spectrum of liqueurs and other out-of-the ordinary spirits. So it looks like I'll have to cross the river if I want to find some of the cordials, aperitifs, etc. that I've tasted on foreign travels.

Which stores have the widest range of things such as Cynar, Aperol, Centerbe, Croatian cherry liqueur, infused grappas, amaros, etc.? And, while we're at it, are there any bars or restaurants in DC or Maryland that are notable for an extensive liqueur/aperitif selection?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It takes a little bit of digging but Ace Beverage has an interesting selection. I was there yesterday and at the register they had a variety of interesting liqueurs including lychee.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pineapple sage

      The wine corridor off of 198 and 295 has a really big wine, liquor and beer selection

    2. The Montgomery County Liquor store at 16535 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg has a very impressive selection for a county-run place. Good prices too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kliu08

        I was pretty impressed with the MoCo liquor store offerings in Bethesda too. Plus they have a handy online product search if you want to check before you go...


      2. To spare you a drive: Rips (Bowie and Waldorf locations) has a great liquor, beer and wine selection. Not so great on the liqueurs.

        1. Schneider's of Capitol Hill has a decent selection of apertifs. Some ABC stores have better selections than others. The one near me (Belle Haven) carries Cynar, grappas, that German honey liqueur, as well as armagnac and Suntory whisky.

          2 Replies
          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I would also try The Montgomery County Liquor 8715 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD they have a large selection. (240) 773-2021
            Also try Ace beverage - in NW202-966-4444
            and Corridor Wine & Spirits (301) 617-8507

            I would call to see if they have what you are looking for

            1. re: agarnett100

              A quick update: corridor wine & spirits carries the full range of drillaud's liquers, as well as a good selection of montbisou and mathilde. A number of good amaro's. I saw Aperol, Campari, Fernet, Menta, Punt e Mes, Maraschino Amaro, some others. Notably missing was Cynar. Good collection of vermouths as well, some in small bottles, but no Dolin.

          2. Anyone know where I can get

            "Creme Yvette Delicieuse Liqueur"

            in the Metro DC area? The closest I have found is in York, PA

            1 Reply
            1. re: laraffinee

              I'd call Ace Beverage on New Mexico. They were recommended to me by a liqueur distillery (I was looking for a particular thing). The 2009 post is spot on, the store isn't easy to find the one thing you're looking for. I liked it because that makes it easy to find lots of interesting stuff you aren't looking for.

            2. Batch 13 on 14th street in the U Street/Logan Circle area has an extensive selection of liqueurs. I was stunned to see that they have Zucca there!

              2 Replies
              1. re: The Big Crunch

                Okay-what is Zucca? Can you describe the taste? Probably about as difficult as trying to describe the taste of Drambuie or other exotic liqueurs. FoiGras

                1. re: FoiGras

                  It's just an oddball Italian liqueur. I first heard about it in Justin Wilson's book, Boozehound, where he raved about it but also bemoaned the fact that at the time it was unavailable in the US. I picked up a bottle as an impulse buy in large part because of that recommendation. How to describe it... How about a more tart/sour punt e mes without the wine-y vermouth backbone and a bit more in the way of citrus and the sort of earthy herbally pungency of something like amaro montenegro?

                  It's not bad, but I don't think I'l be buying another bottle if I ever exhaust this one. That said, I've enjoyed it on the rocks with soda water and an orange twist.

              2. I've had good luck with aperitif shopping (Bonal, Tempus Fugit's Kina L'Avion D'Or) and other hard to find items (Leopold Bros) at Sherry's in Woodley Park NW DC.

                1. Try Calvert Woodley by the VanNess metro stop or maybe Total Wine and Liquor out in Laurel MD (large store that a lot of people seem to drive especially to go to).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: burkemic99

                    I've never understood the acclaim for Total Wine and Liquor. Yeah, it's large, but the booze selection isn't that great, especially if you're into higher-end booze and liqueurs. Furthermore, everything they sell can be found for less in Montgomery County.