See what we’re up to!

See what we’re up to!

Cocktails to Enjoy with Your Valentine

Sometimes the most intimate setting for a romantic celebration is found by creating the perfect Valentine’s Day evening at home. There’s something to be treasured about spending time alone and enjoying a meal together without any outside distractions. If you’re looking for some Valentine’s Day cocktails to make you cozy on Valentine’s Day night, you’re sure to find the perfect nightcap in our list below.

Blushing Rose

Suppose you are looking for a cocktail that will impress your date and is full of aphrodisiacs. In that case, the Blushing Rose is a fruity drink flavored with Asian pear, honeydew, pomegranate, mangosteen, goji berry, green tea, and yuzu. The rose nectar gives it the perfect pink hue to match your Valentine’s décor. Designed for two, this drink goes excellent with Asian-inspired meals. It is a low-alcohol content cocktail. If you want to feel the effects a little more, add two ounces of your favorite tequila.


  • 4 ounces TY KU liqueur
  • 2 ounces of pomegranate juice
  • 4 ounces of rose nectar
  • Lime wedges for garnish

In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour the ingredients. Stir together well. Strain into your favorite stemmed glass or over ice in a whiskey tumbler. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve and enjoy.

Red Lotus

If you’re looking for a more masculine drink for the vodka lover, the Red Lotus is a retake on the classic vodka cranberry drink and is just as easy to make. It is made with lychee, an Asian fruit that’s small but flavorful and goes well with the tart cranberry juice in this cocktail. It’s as red as you can get a cocktail to be, and it’s sure to sweeten up the night.


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces lychee liqueur
  • 1-ounce cranberry juice

In a ​​cocktail shaker with ice, pour the vodka, lychee liqueur, and cranberry juice. Be sure to shake it well. Strain the mixture into a chilled old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Serve and enjoy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Shooters

If you’re planning on skipping right to the party, try these super easy-to-make shooters that go down smoothly and fast. They pack a punch, so they aren’t for the lightweight Valentine.

Just mix equal parts Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey and Tequila Rose Strawberry Cream Liqueur in a shaker and shake. Serve chilled in your sexiest shot glass.

Chocolate Martini

This chocolatey martini can be made with gin or vodka and requires just four ingredients. Serve with chilled strawberries for a take on the classic lovers’ feast of chocolate-dipped strawberries.


  • 200 ml gin or vodka
  • 50 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 100 ml chocolate liqueur
  • crushed ice

Put your alcohol into a pitcher or bowl. After melting the dark chocolate, pour it into the alcohol. Continuously whisk until it is completely blended. Next, add the chocolate liqueur. For every drink made, shake 100 ml of the liquid mixture with some crushed ice and then strain it into a martini glass. You can dress it up with a lemon zest curl.

Hanky Panky

If your Valentine is a gin drinker, the Hanky Panky sends a direct message about your expectations for the night. It’s sophisticated and classy but gets you feeling good all the same.


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • Two dashes Fernet-Branca
  • Garnish: orange twist

Mix the gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca with ice. Whisk together until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Whatever you’re planning this Valentine’s, don’t forget to stock up on all your spirited ingredients to get you in the mood for love. Visit Payless Liquors this Valentine’s Day.

Underrated Wines

Whether planning a romantic night at home with your partner, a dinner party among friends, or simply relaxing after a long day, choosing the perfect wine for your situation can be a complex process. The choices are seemingly endless, which may lead you to choose reliable and common options. However, there is a long list of underrated wines that also deserve your attention. If you are looking to branch out, try some of our wine recommendations below.


Gamay is likened to Pinot Noir and is oftentimes referred to as the cousin of Pinot Noir because the Gamay grape is grown in France nearby world-renowned Pinot vineyards. Hailing from the Beaujolais region of Burgundy, Gamay holds its own within the region. This light red wine features an earthy, red fruit taste. Because Gamay is not aged, it is a more affordable option than Pinot Noir, which is aged for long periods.

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is a white wine almost exclusive to Austria. It is highly acidic with strong citrus flavors; thus, it is often enjoyed during the summer. It is compared to Sauvignon Blanc, but for only around $15 a bottle, it’s a much more affordable alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.


Tempranillo features a bold, big, structured taste, like that of Cabernet Sauvignon. Tempranillo is a Spanish grape and is, in fact, one of Spain’s most prominent grapes. It is the predominant grape of the Rioja region, which is known for producing some of the best wines in Spain. It offers a dark fruit flavor, specifically black cherry, with notes of spice and tobacco. It pairs well with filet mignon or any steak or barbecue. Look for a label that says “Rioja” to know you have the right bottle.


Falanghina is an ancient wine grape that is grown off the Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy, which borders the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its flavor is just how you would imagine it—full of essences of lemon, pear, apple, and orange blossom. If you like Chardonnay, you will love Falanghina. It pairs well with seafood but will also complement grilled chicken or even pizza.

Touriga Nacional

Made in Portugal, Touriga Nacional wines are full-bodied wines that are long-aged, much like Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. Young wines from Touriga Nacional, however, are very tannic, which leaves the mouth feeling dry after you’ve sipped them. But if aged properly, these wines are soft and elegant. Expect a rich flavor full of blueberry, blackberry, plum, bittersweet cocoa, and subtle tones of stimulating mint with violet. Touriga Nacional wines, even when aged for a long time, are much cheaper than Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair them with bold dishes like a smoked meat sandwich, tripe stew, or grilled octopus.

If you’re a wine connoisseur, we know you will appreciate these underrated and lesser-known wine varieties. They hold their own in terms of flavor and structure and can make a beloved conversation fresh and new. Visit Payless Liquors for a fine assortment of underestimated wines, as well as all your traditional, well-known favorites.

Cold Weather Cocktails

We are still deep in the throes of winter, and few things are better than warming up with a cold-weather cocktail. Chilled, spritzy drinks will only make you miss summer and beach days. Instead, choose a fire-friendly cocktail from our recommendations below. They are sure to warm you up during these cold winter nights.

Spiked Apple Cider

The most apparent winter cocktail would be a spiked apple cider. This delicious cider can be dangerous because the mixture of hot cider flavors completely masks any trace of alcohol. The tart cider taste goes down easy and warms you from the inside out.


  • Two qt. apple cider
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup high-proof Bourbon
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. whole cloves
  • Four cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

Mix all of the other ingredients without the liquor and heat until boiling. Once the mixture comes to a boil, simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally, you can add your bourbon. Simmer some more, occasionally stir, and then strain the cider.

Irish Coffee

Another winter favorite is a good, strong Irish coffee, and the hardest part is checking to see if you have all the ingredients. This drink will warm you up and wake you up at the same time. If you are an iced coffee drinker, even in the winter, this is great on ice as well.


  • 1.5 oz Irish cream liqueur
  • 1.5 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tbsp. whipped cream
  • One dash nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together and serve in your favorite mug!

Peach Cobbler

Like comfort food, there are certain cocktails that make us feel warm and fuzzy. This cocktail will deliver a similar feeling as comfort food does. It’s sweet and creamy and full of delicious peach and butterscotch flavor. It’s a great party drink that everyone will love.


  • 1/2 oz. peach schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. butterscotch schnapps
  • Splash of cinnamon schnapps
  • Splash of cream

Put ice in a glass and pour the ingredients in. It’s as easy as that. You can always garnish with a peach slice for added appeal.

Hot Toddy

This winter cocktail was popular generations ago when slow-sipping whiskey was all the rage. If you want to enjoy it the way they did back in the day, leave out the simple syrup in this much sweeter, tastier version. Nothing will warm your blood and put you to bed on a cold winter’s night like a hot toddy. Instead of hot tea, next time, try a hot toddy. It also does wonders for the winter cold, making for a good night’s sleep.


  • ¾ cup warm to hot water
  • 1 to 1.5 ounces of whiskey, depending on how strong you want it
  • 2 to 3 tsp. of honey
  • 2 to 3 tsp. of lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • One cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon

Simmer water in a saucepan or tea kettle. Choose your favorite mug to pour water into. Add the whiskey and two teaspoons each of honey and lemon juice. Stir these ingredients until the honey has completely dissolved. Taste test to see if you would like to add the remaining honey or lemon juice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or dust with ground cinnamon. For even more sweetness, rim the glass with a drizzle of honey, so you get a little bit with every sip.

When it’s cold outside, stop by Payless Liquors and stock up on your favorite spirits to keep yours up during the long, harsh winter. Don’t forget, spring is just around the corner.

Choosing Your Beer

Whether at your local Payless Liquor store or at a bar or restaurant, choosing one beer from a sea of endless choices can be a daunting task. We’ve put together this guide to help you along, and you will be a champion beer chooser in no time. You can use your skills to impress friends and choose the perfect beer for them, as well. Don’t fear the beer wall anymore.

Process of Elimination

First, by knowing what types of beer you like or types of beer you don’t like, you can eliminate a vast majority of the choices. Once you determine what type you like or don’t like, choosing one will be much easier. Here’s a quick rundown of the various popular categories of beer and some safe options in each category that you can use as a reference point.

American Lagers

Lagers are defined by their fermentation process. They are fermented from the bottom at cool temperatures. American lagers are known for their golden, straw-colored light bodies. They have a mild hops flavor, so they go down quickly and easily. They have relatively low alcohol content compared to some of the other types of beer on the market. A good lager is consistent, simple, cheap, and refreshing.

There are about 25 different types of lagers, with American lagers making up a small portion of these beers. The most widely known American lagers are Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. Light American lagers are just the light forms of those—Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light. These are the safest options when you just don’t know what to go for.

Amber or Dark Lagers

Chances are you want to branch out and try something other than the usual suspects (American Lagers). German-style amber and dark lagers are characterized by an amber to reddish-brown hue and a thick, white head. Some of the most widely known lagers include Yuengling Traditional Lager, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Heineken, and Dos Equis. Corona Extra is also a lager but is characterized as a pale Mexican lager.


Unlike lagers, ales are fermented from the top and at warm temperatures. These beers are more robust and have higher alcohol content. They don’t go down quite as easily as lagers, but many people have developed a taste for them all the same. Ales are darker than lagers and have a cloudier body. Their flavor is bitter, and they have a strong hops flavor. There are more than 70 different types of ales, including the most popular, English India pale ale (IPA), as well as American ales, Belgian ales, imperial ales, and double India pale ales. Also in this category are stouts, porters, and many others.

Some mainstream ales that you may have tried include Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Guinness (the most popular stout beer), and SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale. This category is where you can really branch out, sampling the hundreds of IPAs and other subcategories. IPAs and other pale ales are all very similar in taste to the untrained palette. Once you develop a taste for the different styles, though, you will be able to discern one from another if you enjoy the bitterness these beers are known for.

Visit or contact Payless Liquors today to learn more about the categories, brands, and character traits of the different beers available. Payless Liquor staff members are knowledgeable about the different subcategories and can help you choose the perfect beer for you.

How to Spike Your Winter Hot Chocolate

There’s nothing quite like a piping hot mug of hot cocoa while watching the snow fall during the winter season. That is to say unless you’re an adult and would like a little alcohol to spice it up. If you’re looking to make your hot cocoa a little boozier, here are some delicious recipes to try!

Adult Hot Chocolate
If you are looking to keep hot cocoa as classic as possible but with a little kick, an adult hot chocolate might be just what you’re looking for. With rich chocolate, light spices, and the liquor of your choice, here’s how to make a cup for the next time you’re sitting by the fire.


  • Cocoa powder
  • 2% milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1.5-ounce Baileys, whiskey, or other liquor of your choice

Add milk to a stovetop pot, and warm gradually, bringing it to a simmer. Add in cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and sugar, and mix in until incorporated. Turn the stove to low and serve in mugs. Add the liquor of your choice to the hot cocoa concoction. The best pairings are often Baileys, whiskey, or rum.

The Peppermint Patty
If you are looking for a candy cane-inspired libation but are still craving that warm chocolatey comfort from hot cocoa, The Peppermint Patty might be just what you need while unwrapping your presents. Here’s how to get started on preparing your cup:


  • One cup of hot chocolate
  • 1-ounce creme de cacao
  • 1-ounce peppermint schnapps

(Homemade Hot Cocoa Ingredients)

  • 2% or oat milk
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips
  • Sugar

Start by brewing your hot chocolate, and while you can use store-bought hot chocolate powder in 2% or oat milk, you’ll get even more flavor by making it from scratch. You can make homemade hot cocoa on the stovetop by simmering the milk, then stirring in cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and sugar until they are dissolved.

Once finished, serve in a mug and add in the peppermint schnapps and creme de cacao for a delicious minty mug of Christmas joy.

Spiked and Spicy Hot Chocolate
If you’re looking to add a little spicy heat to your hot chocolate, this spiked-and-spicy hot chocolate will warm you up in more ways than one! Here’s how to make it:


  • One cup of milk
  • 2-ounces milk chocolate
  • 1-ounce semi-sweet chocolate
  • One tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • 1.5 ounces of dark spiced rum

Once again, you will start by simmering the milk on a stovetop and blending in the chocolate and sugar until melted. Next, add your spices to the pot, whisking them in thoroughly. Once it is fully blended, pour it into a mug and add the dark spiced rum.

Orange Spiked Boozy Hot Chocolate
Two of the titular treats of the winter season are oranges and chocolate, and this delightful concoction blends both in a fruity and rich eruption of flavors. To make a cup, you will need the following:


  • One cup of milk
  • One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar
  • One cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • One tablespoon of Grand Marnier

Bring the milk to a simmer in a stovetop pot, and incorporate in the cocoa powder, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until they’re dissolved. Add the cinnamon stick for additional flavor, pour into a mug, and finally, add the Grand Marnier for that orangey, zesty tang.

Rethink hot chocolate this season with these adult versions that are sure to warm you up. Contact Payless Liquors today for all of your alcohol add-ins for your chocolatey treat.