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Feb 16, 2012 06:14 AM

Found it! Hard to find ingredients and where to find them

I was thinking that a recurring thread with one post at the top level for each city and replies under that city for where (and when) you've discovered hard-to-get ingredients would be fun. Since this is a nice collection of Boston folks, I'll kick that off.

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    Reply to this message for Boston discoveries. Reply to the top message to start another city/area.

    58 Replies
    1. re: EvergreenDan

      Liquor World, Porter Sq, Somerville

      Lemonhart 151 rum
      Laird's BIB Apple Brandy
      Clear Creek Eau de vie of Douglas Fir
      Kronan Swedish Punsch (1 bottle left)
      Rittenhouse 100 (out of stock yesterday, but I bought a couple of bottles a few weeks ago).
      Bittermen's Spirts (all their offerings, including the Amer Picon-like Amere Nouvelle)
      The Bitter Truth eLiXiR (never tried it, but tempted), and I think their sloe gin
      Snap and Root
      Gran Classico

      The first three were ordered in for me.

      -- | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

      1. re: EvergreenDan

        Hm, am I allowed to comment on a couple of things here in this thread?

        A) Bitter Truth EXR: Highly recommended. Reminds me of a cross between two of my favorite amari, Amaro Nonino and Amaro Mio. Has the complexity of Nonino with the smoothness and thick texture of Mio. Middle of the road bitterness, not too sweet.

        B) How is the Bittermen's Amere Nouvelle?

        As an aside on that topic, I went to San Francisco last week and brought back a couple of bottles of Torani Amer. Unfortunately upon tasting I discovered that it has notes I can only describe as a mix of cheap vodka and rubbing alcohol. Which might be why none of the bars I visited there had it, and it took trips to five different liquor stores before I was able to locate some. Luckily, since it cost me all of $10.99 per bottle I'm not feeling too dejected.

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          Thanks for the EXR review.

          I found a dusty bottle of Mio on the bottle shelf at Marty's in Newton. Ironically, the guy in front of me at checkout was also buying a bottle. From the looks of the dust, they sold their yearly allotment in one day.

          I also found Senior Curacao at Martys. I bought the last bottle of white, which was missing half the label :( From the stock of other colors, I'm sure they'll get more.

          1. re: EvergreenDan

            In defense of the Torani Amer, it tastes a lot better when mixed. We have Amer Picon and Torani's and both seem to work well in the same recipes (our bottles of Torani came by way of free sample at Tales of the Cocktail in 2010; we haven't seen it being sold in MA/NY/NH/RI).

            We get our clear Sr. Curaçao at Marty's. Ball Square has the orange one only (but for $20, a few bucks cheaper than Marty's). If anyone spots the Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao around, please speak up!

            Also on the look for Lemon Hart 80 proof (US distribution has ceased) and El Dorado 5 or 8 year. I was able to find the ED3 recently at Atlas in Medford after disappearing for a few months; the price did jump $2. Another rum I am look for is Denizen (Trinidad with a touch of funky Jamaican).

            1. re: yarm

              Thanks for the reassurance on the Torani Amer. I haven't yet tried it in a cocktail as I wasn't in the mood to throw anything down the drain. I'll give it a spin shortly. What's your favorite drink that prominently features it?

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                My favorite that specifically calls for Torani (but I fell in love with it at Eastern Standard with Amer Picon) is Chuck Taggart's Hoskins:
                Hoskins Cocktail
                2 oz Gin
                3/4 oz Torani Amer
                1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
                1/4 oz Cointreau
                1 dash Orange Bitters
                Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
                more 4-1-1:

                A famous Boston one is the Jaguar by Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli (created at Eastern Standard). I have not revisited this one in years to know how it holds up (or how it would work with Torani).
                1 1/2 oz blanco tequila
                3/4 oz Amer Picon
                3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
                3 dashes orange bitters

                Of course the one I have made the most is the Brooklyn. One of my favorite Manhattan variations.
                2 oz Rye (a more mild rye like Old Overholt, not Rittenhouse, is preferable
                )1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
                1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
                1/4 oz Amer Picon

                1. re: yarm

                  Thanks for the suggestions, Yarm! A couple of nights ago I made a stock Hoskins, which I found to be very enjoyable.

                  Tonight decided to change it up a bit; I switched out the gin in favor of rye, added an extra dash of orange bitters, and a couple of dashes of Bitter Truth aromatic bitters. Served over a large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass. It really works well, in my opinion -- and I'm now a Torani Amer convert.

                  Thanks again.

                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                    Great variation on the Hoskins-- add some benedictine and you have Jamie Boudreau's Nirvana

              2. re: yarm

                I picked up a bottle of El Dorado 5 at Liquor World in Porter, but admittedly that was almost a year ago and I thought it was a bit expensive at $24. I have gotten ED3 in the past at Martignetti's on Soldier Field for $16.

                I was also somewhat outraged that Liquor World was charging $38 for Rittenhouse 100 a couple weeks ago, but I guess that was what was keeping it on the shelf, and was bound to happen sooner or later without larger supply. They also tend to have crazy high prices on a lot of their whiskeys in general.

                1. re: nickls

                  Rittenhouse 100 for $38?? Are you sure? I bought two bottles at $28 which I admit is high.

                  OTOH, I tried to special order Clear Creek Doug Fir and they wanted $60, $10-$12 over the price I last saw it at. I paid $52 or $53 at Liquor world.

                  Liquor World has been willing to order things for me, which earns them so kudos in my book.

                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    Hmm, I suppose it is possible I misread the tag and it was actually $28 instead of $38. I'll have to check next time I'm over there.

                    1. re: nickls

                      Geez looking at the Boston prices I feel lucky to have gotten Ritt 100 in Myrtle Beach for $19 and then more from Atlanta for $15.

                      El Dorado 5 at $24 seems high, I think I paid $19 for mine - I had a hard time paying that when I can get the 12 yr from Atlanta for $20, but I really wanted to try the 5.

                      I haven't seen the 8 yr anywhere I have ordered online, but would also like to try that one.

            2. re: davis_sq_pro

              i had a taste of the Amere Nouvelle at Stoddards, found that it was quite close to Amer Picon, without the dark caramel coloring. Not a fan of Torani Amer (threw my old bottle away, actually).

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                On your recommendation, I got the E**X**R (so what's the extra *? EliXe*R?) in a moment of weakness. I tried it in a Black Manhattan, subbing for Averna. Quite nice. The price was a bit ghastly at $35. The bottle has a HUGE indentation on the bottom, making it look bigger than it it. I had to look to see if it was a 1L. Alas, no.

                Liquor World declined to order Marie Brizard Creme de Cacao for me, fearing that it would not sell because it's more expensive than the other bottle shelf liqueur brands. Small de-schwing. Maybe that Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao will appear somewhere.

                I found Rhum JM somewhere local -- maybe Downtown in Davis Sq. Does anyone know who has the white in stock? I tried my first bottle, fell in love, and now can't find it.

                1. re: EvergreenDan

                  I though the EXR was one liter, too. Didn't notice the dent in the bottom. That's annoying. Did you try any straight? That's how I've been enjoying mine.

                  I've found Rhum JM a couple of times at the Kappy's on Rt 16. Including one incredible deal: Two years ago they had the Vieux 1997 on sale for $49, IIRC. (Usually priced > $100) I bought only one bottle, since I'd never tried it, and discovered that it's exceptionally good. Went back a week later and they were all gone. Still kicking myself for not buying up the entire stock.

                  By the way, that Kappy's also tends to have a number of other interesting things. For example, I've found various Plantation rums there that I've not seen elsewhere. And they have a large selection of suspiciously inexpensive Portuguese brandies that I need to work my way through...

                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    I believe we got our MB Creme de Cacao at Marty's in Newtonville. I know I have seen it elsewhere. It is definitely a step above all the bottom shelf crap you usually see although I have a feeling that someone could still do it better. It's what we use at home and I was glad to get rid of the Leroux or whatever crap we had before (we bombed it at a party).

                    $35 for E*X*R isn't so bad and wedges it between Amaro Nonino ($40) and Fernet Branca ($30). Still haven't tried it as there haven't been enough recipes to call for it.

                    The Kappy's sale on JM Rhum was epic. We picked up the white and amber for $20 instead of $40. I do kick myself for not buying one of the two older ones they were selling for half. I think I saw the amber for sale at Blanchard's in JP, but not the white.


                    1. re: yarm

                      I don't know how much difference there is between it and creme de cacao, but I quite like the Trader Vic's Chocolate liqueur.

                      Cap'n Jimbo had just mentioned on his site that he picked up some JM Rhum at a retailer in Florida for $13 - apparently when this particular retailer wants to clear something off the shelf he doesn't mess around.

                    2. re: EvergreenDan

                      Dan, I picked up my MB Creme de Cacao at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, so you should be able to pick it up there (or order it if they are out for some reason).

                      This would also be a perfect thing to get a fraction of a bottle of from someone else, as for instance I have 7/8 of a bottle in my cabinet and know I will never finish it. I agree with Yarm that there seems to be room for improvement even though the Brizard Cacao is OK.

                      1. re: nickls

                        Trade for some Root? ;)

                        I had tried Cambridge Wine & Spirits and they definitely don't have it, at least not without special order. Marty's doesn't have it either.

                        Yarm - How far out is the Tempus Fugit C de C? I've waited a couple of years for MB, I can wait a bit longer.

                        Maybe I'll try Kappy's for the Rhum JM. They are strong in liquors, but weak on liqueurs, especially anything challenging.

                  2. re: EvergreenDan

                    Stopped by Liquor World in Porter today.

                    They were stocking:
                    Laird's BIB ($25)
                    Lemonhart 151 ($28)
                    Rhum JM Blanc ($40)

                    Perhaps they had these due to Dan's orders? In any case, I was excited to grab a bottle of Laird's Bonded without having to special order it.

                    Must say I am still somewhat mystified by their pricing. A 750 of Agavales that used to be $12 is now $20. It seems like only new bottles they bring in and a few other random things are reasonably priced while many of the other bottles get marked up big from both their initial prices and what other stores are charging.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Hey all - Some recent finds from the original list:

                      LemonHart 151: Marty's Big Buys, North Beacon St, Allston/Brighton
                      Eau de Vie de Douglas Fir: Cirace's, North End
                      Kronan Swedish Punsch: Liquor World in Porter Square, Cambridge, and Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Alewife, Cambridge.
                      Rittenhouse Rye: Liquor Land for $38, Wine & Cheese Cask, Somerville, $24, and Martignetti's in Brighton for $21. Go figure that.
                      Snap and Root: Liquor Land, as well as the Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville.
                      Gran Classico (and a helluva lot of other fascinating Italian bitters): Cirace's, North End. Also just saw this today up at Atlas Liquors in Medford.

                      And I'll throw another one on the pile: anyone discovered a Boston-area source for Kummel lately?

                      Happy hunting,

                      1. re: Jimmytheflute

                        Kappy's in Peabody / Danvers on 114 has a Kummel

                        1. re: rlh

                          Kappy's in Medford (Rt 28/16) has Kummel too. 1 liter of Gilka Kummel for $30.

                          Previous to that, I had only found kummel at Table & Vine in Springfield -- they have Helbing.

                    2. re: EvergreenDan

                      Liquorland on Mass Ave in Boston has

                      Lemonhart 151
                      Bittermens Spirits
                      Plantation Overproof Rum

                      Ball Square Wine & Spirits in Somerville

                      I could list what they have but it is easier to just say that they have a searchable inventory:


                      1. re: EvergreenDan

                        Lemonhart 151 is at Kappy's on Rte 1 in Saugus although the manager helping me looked at me like I was insane when I was trying to buy Peychaud's bitters for a recipe and asked "Does the brand really matter?" It surprised me because they did have some Bittermen's, and I felt like the question was assuming all bitters are the same, which seemed surprisingly uninformed from someone in that position. But maybe I was reading too much into the exchange.

                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                          1 Bottle of Rittenhouse 100 at Cirace for $21.99 last week
                          El Dorado 15 at Altas in Medford for $28.99 a couple of weeks ago

                          Has anyone seen Old Monk anywhere recently (within the past month)?

                          1. re: rlh

                            Ball Square Wines & Spirits has Old Monk for $20 (was a better deal when it was $15-16) as of a few days ago. And I believe that I saw it at LiquorLand in South Boston and perhaps at the Fresh Pond Mall (Mall Discount?)

                            1. re: yarm

                              Old Monk seems to be back now - paid $21 at Brix on Broad where they also had Rittenhouse $100 for $26 and Ferrand Dry Curacao (new and exciting for tiki stuff!) for $30. They also had Ferrand 1840 cognac for $45 which seemed too high to me...

                              1. re: rlh

                                Thanks for the pointer about Brix on Broad -- I grabbed the Ferrand Dry Curacao, which is excellent.

                                While I was there, I asked them about the Plantation Dark Overproof rum, which they special ordered for me at ~$29/bottle. This is the third time I've ordered through them; they're pretty good about it, actually bothering to return my phone calls unlike some other places.

                                By the way, I ordered two bottles of the Ferrand 1840 from Downtown Liquors in Davis Square, and they were $35 each. (Hit and miss on ordering through Downtown; half of the time I never hear back, but this time things went as they should.)

                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                  I spotted Plantation Dark Overproof about two months ago at Liquor Land. Good tip about the 1840 (although I saw it before in Gordons in Waltham for perhaps a few dollars more).

                                  Somerville's Wine & Cheese Cask has some good finds like Lemon Hart 151 (alas, no LH80).


                          2. re: EvergreenDan

                            Liquor World, Porter Sq, Somerville has Marie Brizard white Creme de Cacao

                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                The only place I've seen Dimmi is at Gordon's Liquors in Waltham. Although I have a vague recollection that it may be at Marty's in Newtonville but I would call first.

                                1. re: yarm

                                  Perfect; I'm headed to Waltham this evening anyway. Thanks, Yarm!

                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                    FYI: No Dimmi at Gordon's (Main St. location). I couldn't find it on the shelves and the people I talked to there didn't have even the slightest clue what it was. That said, there are lots of other good reasons to visit the store -- quite a nice selection of a variety of stuff -- so I'm glad I took the time to stop in.

                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                      Crap, sorry. I was thinking of Damiana, the Mexican herbal liqueur (which is one of the few places I've seen it). Not sure I've seen Dimmi -- the two sort of merged in my head namewise there.

                                      1. re: yarm

                                        If you're still looking, Liquor World in Porter Square has Dimmi.

                                        1. re: historikerstreit

                                          I have a bottle. What do I do with Dimmi?

                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                            I'd seen some cocktail on a menu in some other city when I asked about it. The drink sounded good, and when I read the description of Dimmi I was intrigued.

                                            Worth tracking down? (I guess not, since you're asking what to do with the stuff :-))

                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                              According to Wikipedia, it is " (infusion of Italian Absinthe, Anise, Vanilla, Ginseng, Rhubarb, Bitter Orange, Apricot and Peach Blossom)".

                                              I get nothing bitter from it, but rather a sort of generic "tropical fruit" flavor. I don't detect any anise. I was not wowed by it, but I can imagine tiki applications. If there is a "killer cocktail" for this liqueur, I'd like to try it.

                                              I think I might have found it at Liquor World in Porter Sq, but I'm not sure.

                                              Here's some enthusiasm:

                                     | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                There's one bar in Boston using it in a Last Word variation, and it comes up in the Left Coast Libations book. Other than that, most places don't stock it and most bars don't order it. Which doesn't mean its not good, but it explains why most of us scratch our heads about whether or not to buy it when we do see it.

                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                  Tried the Wood Word as recommended above and mentioned by yarm. (Wood Word = Last Word with Dimmi for Maraschino). Nice, although I think I'd prefer a regular Last Word.

                                                  Also tried Pisco with Aperol, Dimmi, and lime, plus a dash of Peychaud's. Somehow the floral aspect came out in spades. Too floral for me.

                                                  Still looking for a cocktail that showcases Dimmi.

                                2. re: EvergreenDan

                                  Salers Gentiane Liqueur = $19.99 at Ball Square Liquors, Somerville
                                  It's like Suze (called for in White Negronis and other recipes besides drinking as an aperitif) but better tasting and more dimensional in flavor. And best it's actually available unlike Suze. And it's cheaper. Requested it yesterday, and the owner got it in less than 24 hours later.


                                  1. re: yarm

                                    I just bought a bottle this weekend at the liquor store right next to Whole Foods at Alewife. Haven't tried it yet. I expected it to be somewhat similar to Lillet or perhaps Cocchi, but perhaps that's because it was on the shelf between the Lillet and the Cocchi.

                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                      It is not citrussy like Lillet/Cocchi. It has a solid gentian bitter herbal note to it. It may work in a Corpse Reviver #2 or Hoop La, but they would be very different drinks.

                                  2. re: EvergreenDan

                                    Cambridge Wine & Spirits (by Whole Foods, Fresh Pond) now has Salers Gentiane Liqueur (thanks for the tip, yarm) and Byrrh (375 ml bottle). Enjoying a White Negroni now with Hayman's Royal Dock Gin.

                           | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                                      The Brown Bomber from PDT (essentially a bourbon White Negroni) was actually rather delicious with the Salers. I need to remake the White Negroni with Salers to see if it is an improvement to the mediocre one I had with Suze.

                                      1. re: yarm

                                        Was rather sweet for my taste, at least with Royal Dock (which I also found at CW&S/Fresh Pond). I still enjoyed it, but next time I would swap the ratios and use more Salers than Cocchi Americano (which I used in lieu of Lillet). Or maybe go perfect with half Lillet and half dry vermouth.

                                    2. re: EvergreenDan

                                      I have myself enquired from time to time about finding Plymouth Navy Strength Gin (no joy -- I have to use my UK connections to bring this to me). I have read recently about Leopold's Navy Strength, but this gin is apparently not available in Boston. So I was greatly pleased when I stopped in at Martignetti's (Soldier's Field Road location) this afternoon and found Hayman's Navy Strength Gin.

                                      Now I just have to figure out what needs to be done with Navy Strength rather than standard proof gin....

                                      1. re: johncb

                                        Ball Square Liquor (B'way in Somerville, MA) has Leopold's Navy Strength Gin (as well as regular Leopold's).
                                        Mall Discount Liquors (Fresh Pond, Cambridge) has Hayman's Navy. I think I've spotted the Leopold's there, but don't quote me -- and I can't recall which one.

                                        I use the Navy Strength for drinks where the spirit takes a back seat to the other ingredients (like equal parts drinks where the gin is only 1/3 or 1/4 the total volume).


                                      2. re: EvergreenDan

                                        Ball Square Fine Wines, Broadway, Somerville

                                        Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
                                        La Foret French brandy (as recommended by yarm)

                                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                                          Ball Square had a tasting of La Foret yesterday and it was very impressive especially at a modest price point. I bought a bottle of the Pierre Ferrand today and it made a great Pegu Club.

                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                            La Foret is also at Blanchard's in J.P. (which also has some other unusual items).

                                          2. re: EvergreenDan

                                            I was in Liquor World in Porter Sq Cambridge and saw a lot of things that I haven't found elsewhere.

                                            Imbue Bittersweet vermouth
                                            Imbue Petal and Thorn vermouth-ish stuff
                                            Tempus Fugit Kina L'Avion d'Or aromatized wine
                                            Sorel liqueur (oddly red in color)
                                            Kummel (!)
                                            A bunch of ryes that I hadn't seen before
                                            A Texas corn whiskey (white, as I recall)
                                            All 3 St George gins
                                            A 1.75L bottle of Galliano, just in case the regular sized bottle isn't a big enough pain in the ass.

                                            And they still have some hard-to-find items that I've noticed before:
                                            Laird BIB 100 and 7.5 yo apple brandy
                                            Clear Creak eau to doug fir
                                            Rittenhouse 100 (I think)
                                            Amaro dell'Erborista
                                            Amaro Sibilia
                                            Most, if not all of the Bittermens Spirits line of liqueurs
                                            Several Bitter Truth liqueurs

                                            This place may have its flaws, but it has a stellar selection of interesting bottles, given its limited shelf space. They seem willing to give just about anything a shot on the shelves.

                                            And then at Cambridge Wind & Spirits at Fresh Pond, Cambridge, I saw:
                                            Elder liqueur -- an elderflower liqueur from Somerville, MA. Might have the name a little wrong. $20-ish
                                            St Germain on sale for $33 or so
                                            Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

                                   | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                              So just how tall was the Galliano bottle?

                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                  I saw a taller one for the Murray Stenson charity event -- it was a 3L one as a raffle prize. I was torn between fearing winning it (and the diabetes that would result) and being challenged with ways of using it up (or regifting it).

                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                Looks like I need to go circle the lot yet again. Thanks, Dan.

                                            2. The original comment has been removed
                                              1. CHICAGO

                                                Reply to this message for Chicago discoveries. Reply to the top message to start another city/area.

                                                1. SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

                                                  Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley is a small store with a shockingly wide inventory given its size. Good selection of bitters, biggest selection of miniatures I've seen in the area (in case you want to sample). The spirits (as opposed to beer and wine) are mostly behind the counter, but the staff knows the stock and is happy to help. Website notes they will track things down, too.

                                                  "Although we certainly stock the stuff the big box stores carry for your convenience, we are more interested in bringing what is harder to find and often, more obscure to our shelves and stockroom."


                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Too funny -- Ledger's is where I found the Torani Amer mentioned upthread. Amazing selection, and really nice guy working behind the counter (not sure if it was the owner, or what).

                                                    Among other things I saw a huge selection of bitters, amari, fortified wines, interesting rums, whiskies, and other things. If I lived in the area, it's quite certain that I would spend way too much money there :-)

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      +1 for Ledgers.

                                                      I love this place. I originally went there several years ago in search of some Pliny the Elder beer for a friend who wanted it. Of course they had it. Then I needed (wanted) some Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters for a cocktail recipe I got from a bartender in NYC. I actually called Fee Brothers and asked them where a distributor of their product was near me. I ended up buying cherry bitters and rhubarb bitters along with the grapefruit. Cherry is good in Mahanttans. I have yet to use the rhubarb.

                                                      The place is so strange - beer in boxes on the floor in no discernable order as far as I could tell. Everything is dusty. A varied clientele makes it interesting.

                                                      The Piedmont Grocery (in Oakland) has a pretty good selection of liquors, bitters, mixers, etc. Their staff is helpful too.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath


                                                        Store run by women in I guess what is Union Square (I don't live there now -- just a visitor) in San Francisco and has a fantastic selection of booze, bitters, and hard to find amari. If I could slap a futon down and live in this store, I would.


                                                        1. re: isadorasmama

                                                          I was there about 10 days ago (tagging along with the wife on a work trip). I was pretty overwhelmed by the selection. Ended up going with a bottle of Templeton rye (that I haven't seen in GA) over the small (and frankly quite expensive) bottlings of local whiskeys. I'm doing a poor job of utilizing the bitters I have, so I didn't grab any new ones.

                                                          Also visited St George and got to see monster punchbowls going out from the bar at Rickhouse on a Thurs night. Definitely a trend that hasn't made it here.

                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City and San Francisco has a pretty nice, well-curated spirits selection -- although I've only ever been to the Redwood City location. They also have pretty decent prices (for the area), and their website is fantastic, with their inventory available right down to the number of bottles in stock at each location.


                                                          1. re: tristis

                                                            How is their selection of bitters?

                                                            1. re: isadorasmama

                                                              To be honest, it's not something I've paid attention to when I'm there as I don't go very often and I'm usually looking for interesting spirits rather than bitters. Their website indicates, though, that they have at least a handful of interesting bitters in stock, certainly better than you'd find at BevMo. I think Cask, which you mentioned above, is the better choice for a wide bitters selection, however.

                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            I've had good luck with The Jug Shop in SF on Polk. Big variety and some good prices. Nice selection of bitters. Also, D & M on Fillmore has some hard to find Scotches, Cognacs, etc. It's also great for Champagne.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              K&L is more of a wine shop than liquor store; however, it's a fantastic resource and the Redwood City location is my go-to local spirits store. Beltramo's in Menlo Park also has a nice selection and probably a wider array of bitters. Cask beats both, though, and is focused on spirits.

                                                            2. WASHINGTON, DC

                                                              Modern Liquor at 9th and M is my favorite place. Really good selection of liquor, including bourbon, rye, gin, and liqueurs. They also have a small but well-curated selection of beer and wine. Helpful staff. Some of the things we've found there over the past year include:

                                                              Pappy Van Winkle 12 and 20 (they don't always have it, but they're one of the more reliable sources in town)
                                                              Hudson whiskeys
                                                              Bulleit bourbon and rye
                                                              Lots of gin - Old Raj, Small's/Old Tom, all the Bombays, Bluecoat, Aviation, etc.
                                                              Herbal liqueurs - Cynar, Galliano, Strega, Green Chartreuse, etc.