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Where should I head to re-stock my bar?

Just moved back to Cambridge after a year out of town, and am rebuilding my bar. Need to pick up some basics for cocktails in particular (gin, green chartreuse, etc). A wide well-priced wine selection would be a bonus, but not essential, as getting various cocktail ingredients is the main priority right now.

Am I better off going to NH, on-line, or to the stores in this thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/665147) for this? Never been to the NH booze stores and don't own a car, so wanted to check before I get the zipcar.

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  1. I live in Cambridge and would head to Martignettili's on Soldiers Field Road. The wine can be hit or miss unless you know what you are looking for, but they have the best alcohol selection IMO. Blachard's in Brighton is a good option, as is Cambridge Wine & Spirits in Fresh Pond (though I find them a bit more expensive for certain items).

    I don't think a NH run is worth it unless you need to be there for something else already.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gabatta

      Yah agree with the Martignetti's rec.

      Marty's in Newton has a massive booze selection, probably the best in the area but Martingetti's might have a slight edge on price.

    2. You can view the selection and prices available at the NH State stores online at http://www.liquorandwineoutlets.com/

      You can also save a few bucks by shopping at Costco in Waltham. You don't need a membership to buy alcohol. As with everything Costco, their selection of wine and spirits is limited, so if you have specifics in mind, it's best to call them and see if they have it.

      8 Replies
      1. re: emannths

        And many of Costco's liquor bottles are oversized.

        I like the NH liquor stores for both wine and liquor. They often have sales on single malt scotches, etc.

        Locally, Martinetti's has the best prices. I've checked a lot of stores. They have a wide selection of liqueurs.

        1. re: lergnom

          I find the NH stores selection to be pretty limited particularly on the liquor front. They have the big brands, and decent scotch, but that is about it.

          Contrast a place like Marty's or even Martignetti's and the NH selection is a bit thin.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            Even on the scotch front, yes they have some good bottles at good prices. However they never seem to carry some of the specific bottles I like, while I know the local places will either have it or get it for me.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3M2qk...

            1. re: StriperGuy

              I agree, but they sometimes have great prices. Their wine selection is better than liquor.

              Here's how I use the NH stores: if I'm in the area, I stop and see what's there and what's on sale. I don't make a special trip.

              As for Costco, they sell some nice wine - they're the largest wine seller in the US - but the liquor selection isn't worth the time.

              1. re: lergnom

                Even though NH's prices can be good, I've never seen them so good as to be worth renting a zipcar, or even making a special trip with your own car. I do shop there when I am driving through NH, though. But a special trip? Not worth.

                I would recommend the zipcar to Martignetti's.

              2. re: StriperGuy

                However, whisk(e)y in particular tends to be considerably less expensive in NH, so if you are planning to buy a bunch of bottles, it may become worth it especially if you can find one of the periodic coupons for $10 off and/or combine the trip with doing something else up that way. Yes their selection is lacking in certain areas but they do have some good stuff. And going when what you want is on sale also helps.

                For example, Eagle Rare 10 and Buffalo Trace are often available for around $20 in NH while many places in MA charge $30, Woodford Reserve is currently $28 in NH and generally $35-40 around here.

                I like Liquor World too, but some of their prices are really high.

                1. re: nickls

                  I did have one AMAZING bargain there. Bacardi was there and with a $50 purchase you got a $50 rebate on Bacardi, Martini and Rossia, and I forget what other products.

                  My comment was: free booze, okay, I'll do that!

          2. As you're in Cambridge without a car, I suggest you check Liquor World in Porter Sq. One of the best selections of booze anywhere, very impressive for a small store. Lots of bitters too. And good prices, though not the very best. Also great beer, and fair wine.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jajjguy

              Point well taken, though Blanchard's in Allston is also car free.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                True, but I (for one) haven't shopped at the Allston Blanchard's since the Puppy Stomping Incident, even though it's right in my neighborhood.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  Details on the Puppy Stomping Incident here:

                  http://www.universalhub.com/node/23560

                  Blanchard's is by some distance the closest liquor store to our house, but as long as John Corey owns it, I don't care if it burns to the ground with him inside.

                  Marty's Big Lots (North Beacon in Brighton) doesn't actually have much cheaper prices than the parent store -- most bottles I buy there are the same price at both -- but it's pretty well-stocked for liquors, and arguably more convenient if you live in the city. I join the chorus who say that Martignetti's is overall your best bet, though.

              2. re: jajjguy

                Downtown in Davis Square is a useful adjunct to Liquor World for the car-free. They have more space and more beer, though I tend to be in Liquor World more often as it's closer to me.

              3. Might be worth the Zipcar to go to Julio's Liquor's in Westborough.

                -----
                Julio's Liquors
                140 Turnpike Rd, Westborough, MA 01581

                1 Reply
                1. re: Guinness02122

                  Not on price. They have a large inventory but not the least expensive.

                2. I would head straight to Marty's on 103 North Beacon Street in Allston (near Stop and Shop). Not the Newton one, the Allston one. Cheapest liquor prices around and very wide selection.

                  More info at http://www.yelp.com/biz/martys-big-bu...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mmocpi

                    Nah, their selection is VERY spotty. Some bargains, some not, not at all comprehensive.

                    They have very little in the way of liquers. There Scotch selection is VERY thin. The vodka selection is just plain weird.

                    The rums leave out many classics.

                    Tequila is also VERY limited.

                    Where else do you shop that you consider this "the place to go."

                    Also their prices are NOT that good across the board.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      I'll do some research soon and report back - maybe specifics will convince you. I shop all over the place but have found, of late, that this Marty's is doing the best for me. Well, it can't beat the beer bargains at Hurley's but ... he's talking about stocking a bar so I was assuming liquors.

                      1. re: mmocpi

                        They have some stuff at good prices not doubt, I just got a 1.75 of 1800 anejo tequila there for $34.99, which is awesome.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          $34.99 is their St. Germain price, too. Cheapest around (at least in the city). And I'll get some more examples in here soon but you see what I mean.