Holiday Liquor on a Budget

By Teal Pelish, Cheapism.com

As Christmas and New Year's loom ever closer on the horizon, festivities brimming with cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are in full swing. But quenching the thirst of your guests with can cost a pretty penny. We found ways save a bundle with cheap holiday liquor that won't compromise the taste of those special holiday drinks.

We have tips to cut costs on liquor for holiday drinks.

Buying Cheap Alcohol. We all know about duty-free shops and Indian reservations as sources for cheap holiday liquor. One venue that's often overlooked is the online marketplace. Discount liquor vendors such as Love Scotch, Liquor Store Online, and K & W Liquors offer brand names at cut rates. Be sure to consult your state's laws regarding the sale and shipment of alcohol before ordering.

If your state doesn't allow online liquor sales and shipments but a college campus is nearby, scope out the surrounding area. There's often at least one discount liquor warehouse" stocked with off-brand alternatives for the college crowd. Some locations even offer student and senior citizen discounts and accept coupons.

Related: Best cheap white wines

Speaking of jaunts, if you live near the state line, check the tax rate on alcoholic beverages across the border. A lower rate and a large haul might make it worth your while to drive a few miles out of your way to pick up cheap holiday liquor. Just factor in the price of gas (and your time) before hitting the road.

Another way to save on holiday liquor is to shop at a wholesale club. Even if you don't have a club membership you may luck out. According to Smart Money, in certain states nonmembers of Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's are entitled to buy alcohol at the low member price.

Now is also a good time to think about next year's party. Liquor often goes on sale after the holiday season and if stored properly, will last a very long time. Some products even get better with age.

Make a signature cocktail to serve to your guests.

Serving Cheap Holiday Liquor. As any host or hostess can attest, certain ingredients are essential to preparing basic cocktail concoctions. There's really no need to shoot for pricey brands, however. Just know what your guests like to drink.

Have that essential variety of holiday liquors on hand and serve one signature cocktail. In the spirit of the season, infuse it with holiday cheer. Check out our cheap holiday drinks blog post or take some cues from Martha Stewart, who offers up an array of festive punches that are easy and budget-friendly. And remember, coupling your signature cocktail with cheaper wines and beers is totally acceptable.

Related: Best inexpensive hot chocolate mixes

If you opt for cheap holiday liquor you can mask it by making potent Jell-O shots or using mixers. It's best to choose clear spirits for this purpose - vodka works really well - because they lack strong tastes and odors.

Although some guests are naturally generous, offer incentives for them to add to the holiday liquor cabinet. Organize a contest, prize drawing, or game that would make BYO fun and ease the strain on your wallet.

DIY Infusions. Play chemist and infuse some holiday liquors with unexpected flavors. The Huffington Post notes that DIY infusions are relatively simple to master and once finished can rival expensive store-bought mixtures. These little liquid eccentricities also make excellent holiday gifts.


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