There are over 600 items on Special Price Adjustments (SPA) for the December holidays, so when Utahans walk into the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores this month, they will expect to hear Santa chuckling. These deals are great for gifts (given or received), or for stocking your bar. (Note: later in the month there will be a separate post on pre-New Year’s price adjustments (actually available all December) on sparkling wines.) Need a Christmas gift for Dad (or Mom)? Don’t forget to look at the gift items that are often found on the top shelf of the Utah State Stores. These gift packages usually contain a bottle of liquor and items like glasses or a shaker for about the same price as the bottle without the gift. Some of them are pretty nice, others might be a little tacky. Shop early in the month for a better selection and buy one for a lazy relative to give you for Christmas.
First: great news for Gin lovers: the DABC is now stocking Aviation Gin (CS 400413, $30). This highly rated American Gin makes a great Martini or Aviation cocktail. Give it a try (call ahead to see if your local store carries it). This month there is a variety of Gins marked down, most of the good ones around 10%, plus or minus. Gins with price adjustments include offerings from Bombay Sapphire®, Tanqueray®, Beefeater®, and even the surprisingly good, bargain Gin: New Amsterdam (1750ml for $24). While you’re picking up a nice bottle of Gin, pick up a bottle of Campari (on SPA this month) and try one of my favorite Gin cocktails, a Negroni. You can look up all of the prices for yourself by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month; then search on “gin” or the product of your choice. Oh, and there are 24 non-flavored Vodkas marked down this month too, if that’s your thing.
Now for the Whiskeys: There are 70 Whiskeys on SPA this month, so it’s a great opportunity to stock up. 18 different Bourbons: Most of the major brands are represented; try Buffalo Trace ($22), and there are single barrel offerings from Blanton, Eagle Rare, and Evan Williams. Four Irish that normally retail around $25 are marked down around 10%. Kick back on Christmas Eve and enjoy a nice Bourbon Manhattan. There are 23 Single Malt and Blended Scotches marked down, including 10 twelve year olds and Glenlivet French Oak 15 year. This is your big chance to cheer up and impress your old man with a gift he’ll enjoy.
Now is your chance to stock up on your favorite Liqueurs or buy them as gifts; 30 are on SPA this month. Try Di Saronno Amaretto ($23) over ice, or a favorite for cocktails: Amaretto Di Amore ($11); both are marked down. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur ($27) and Kahlua Coffee Liqueur ($16) are on SPA, along with a variety of Irish Cream Liqueurs (great gifts for light drinkers) and Liqueurs like Alize and Midori. A favorite Triple Sec substitute: Gran Gala Orange Liqueur ($20) is on SPA, or feel free to go upscale with Cointreau ($34.3). There are only 10 (non-spiced) Rums on sale this month. Appleton Estates VX Jamaica Rum is the best of the bunch, or you can try Bacardi 8 for $16. Sadly there are no high-end premium Rums to put under your tree.
As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article. See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website. You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.