pina colada

History of the Piña Colada

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The piña colada is one of the most loved summer drinks across the world. But not many people know where the piña colada actually originated from or how it was created in the first place. What are the roots of this sweet, tropical drink? Surprisingly, this cocktail might be a lot older than most people might think. Here’s a little dive into the mysterious origins of the piña colada.

The Early Roots of the Piña Colada

Tales of this cocktail can be traced all the way back to the early 1800s, where a well-known Puerto Rican pirate by the name of Roberto Cofresí (El Pirata Cofresí) was said to have created the earliest form of the piña colada by mixing white rum, pineapple, and coconut milk together. But when Cofresí died around 1825, the drink seemed to die out with him.

The Origination of the Modern Piña Colada

It wasn’t until the early 1950s that a similar version of Roberto Cofresí’s pineapple cocktail was created again. The modern piña colada that most of us know and love actually originates from San Juan, Puerto Rico. This version arose much after the pirate Roberto Cofresí had already passed away. Though a few local bartenders at this time all claim to be the original creators of the piña colada (and there is no way to fully disprove any of their stories), the most frequently-credited creator of the modern version of this drink is Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, who claims he first made the cocktail in 1952.  Marrero worked for the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar and was often trying to create new drinks.

The English translation of the Spanish term “piña colada” literally means “strained pineapple.” The cocktail that Ramón Marrero created back at the Hilton’s bar consisted of a mix of coconut cream, pineapple juice, and Puerto Rican rum. This ultimately turned out to be one of the most loved mixed drinks around town and immediately gained popularity.

After its creation in the 1950s, the cocktail took off all around Puerto Rico. In fact, in 1978—just after around 20 years of its existence—Puerto Rico decided to make the piña colada the country’s national drink. From then on, the piña colada has been a staple summer drink in bars across the world.

Classic Piña Colada Recipe pina colada

Now after learning about the history of this sweet drink, there is no better way than to celebrate by making your own. Here is a classic, basic piña colada recipe:

  • 4 oz coconut cream
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 4 oz rum
  • 2/3 cup ice

Making the Perfect Piña Colada

Ultimately, there is no cocktail that tastes quite like the piña colada. Here at Payless Liquors, we know how important it is to use the best ingredients for your cocktails. That’s why we offer a wide range of liquor, beer, and wine, so that our customers can make the drinks of their dreams.

Are you looking to make the perfect Piña Colada today? Check out our selection of high quality rum to make your drink the best it can be!

indiana skyline

Indiana Spirit: The Cocktails That Shape Us

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If you’ve ever bartended, you realize that you can know a lot about a person through their drink choices. What a person drinks can often be a window into their personality. On a larger scale, you can learn a lot about the culture of a state through its official and unofficial cocktail choices. The beautiful state of Indiana is no exception. From mixes worthy of a wild weekend to a casual elevated dinner, the spirits that shape us give the wider country a peek into who we are.

Let’s Talk Jägermeister

That’s right: In Indiana, we love our Jägermeister. This liquor has a distinct black licorice taste, but even someone who isn’t a fan of that specific taste can fall in love with a well-blended cocktail that uses Jager as its base.

You would find it near impossible to enter a bar on a weekend and not hear someone order a Jäger bomb. This shot goes down smooth but can sneak up on you! With a mix of Jäger and energy drink, you’ll be shaping up for a great night out. Not a fan of energy drinks? A Jäger barrel replaces the energy drink with root beer.

Jägermeister is great for more than just shots. Jager can be implemented in many great cocktails if you are more of a sipper. This liquor is extremely versatile, and in Indiana, we know how to utilize it.

Hoosier Heritage Is a Must

If you’re new to Indiana, ordering yourself a Hoosier Heritage is a must. This “unofficial” state drink was created and adopted in 2015. This cocktail was created by Jason Foust for a contest held by the Indiana State Museum.

The base of this amazing cocktail is Knob Creek Whiskey, a nod in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who moved to Indiana in 1816 from Knob Creek Farm. With a simple yet potent mix of maple syrup, lemon juice, and apple cider, this cocktail is the perfect blend of caramel and spice.

Indiana Loves a Good Mojito

Who doesn’t love a good Mojito? The people of Indiana sure do. While the roots of the Mojito stem from Cuba, the love of this refreshing summer beverage courses through this state.

Traditionally concocted with white rum, mint, simple syrup, lime, and soda water, this beverage is at the top of most summer menus. The varieties of this classic cocktail are endless, and adding a fruity flavor comes highly recommended.

Try a Taste of Indiana at Payless Liquors

No matter what you choose to do in Indiana, you’re going to have a great time. While taking in the sights and attractions and dining in our fantastic restaurants, don’t forget to sip on a beverage that gives you a glimpse into our personality. If you’re ready to try a taste of Indiana, Payless Liquors has a huge selection of everything you’ll need to enjoy our state’s favorites of this state. Check out our website and use our 5-star rating guide to help you create your next masterpiece. Cheers!

obscure cocktails

Obscure Cocktails to Try This Winter: Drink Up to Warm Up

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Winter is the best time (and the best excuse) to experiment with fun new obscure cocktails. It’s cold, it’s dark, and odds are you’re going to be wrapped up in a blanket contemplating something good to sip on. While there are plenty of classic cocktails to choose from, there is something exciting about trying something new: experimenting with mixers, liquors, portion sizes, and garnishes is all part of the fun.

If you’re ready to spice up your cold nights with a few cocktails out of the ordinary, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our list of fun, obscure cocktails to bring some pizazz to the drab days of winter.

The Sidecar

The sidecar is an old classic with an origin story dating back to WW1, but it isn’t seen on your standard drink menu much anymore. This cocktail will have you feeling fancy all hours of the day. With the simple recipe of cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice, you can’t go wrong. It is a perfect blend of sweet and sour that will have you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

French 75

This drink should be on every brunch menu! A simplistic drink that packs a punch? Sign me up. This classic drink consists of gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne (move over mimosa). This cocktail is a must for any occasion that calls for bubbly.

The Horsefeather

If you’re a mule fan, this cocktail is a must. A Kansas City staple, this tasty beverage deserves to be in glasses all around the nation. All you need for this amazing refreshment is rye whiskey, ginger beer, bitters, and lemon juice. Bold with a light kick of spice, this will fight off any winter chills with ease.

Now for the Most Obscure

An obscure cocktail list wouldn’t be complete without some, well, obscure cocktails. While these last few suggestions may seem a bit out of the ordinary, that’s the fun of this whole process. If you’re really ready for some experimenting, these final two beverages are exactly what you need.

Beer, Bourbon, and Barbeque

You read that correctly: BBQ. The great thing about mixers is that they can be more than just soda, tonic, and fruit juices. For this exceptionally obscure beverage, you need Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, Makers Mark, Evan Williams Honey liqueur, hefeweizen beer, and a bit of orange juice. Nothing like a little bit of everything all in one glass.

The Bone

You know that little rush you can get from your first sip of a cocktail? This drink guarantees to give you that feeling every time. With a simple mixture of Wild Turkey bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup, and tabasco, you’ll completely forget that it’s winter outside.

Ditch the Winter Blues With an Obscure Cocktail

Winter can feel like it will never end, but these cocktails will hopefully ease the day-to-day monotony. Choose your favorite beverage and get ready to hunker down. Payless Liquors has a huge selection of everything you’ll need to jump into the obscure. Check out our website and use our 5-star rating guide to help you create your next masterpiece. Cheers!

peppermint cocktail

5 Peppermint Cocktails to Inspire Your Holiday

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Peppermint is as popular in the winter months as gingerbread is in autumn. The red and white color of the candy cane is festive, and the coolness of the mint is sure to leave you feeling merry and bright, especially when spiked with the right concoction of liqueur and mixers. We have compiled a list of the five most delicious Peppermint Cocktails that are easy to make and beautifully festive to serve the next time you feel like celebrating with a little peppermint twist.


Peppermint Eggnog Cocktail

The peppermint eggnog cocktail is so delicious; you won’t want to limit this one just to holiday time! Homemade eggnog is good, but can we agree that it’s even better with a splash of bourbon or vodka? Try using peppermint schnapps and peppermint-flavored vodka to pack an extra punch of mint flavor. Some awesome garnishes and toppings for this drink are chocolate shavings, mint leaves, holiday sprinkles, whipped cream, and pomegranate seeds.


Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This creamy, spiked peppermint hot chocolate is sure to warm you up and get you ready to celebrate the holidays. If you’ve never made hot chocolate from scratch, now is the time to start! It’s easy, and you likely have everything you need to get your chocolate heating on the stove right now. Once you bring the ingredients to a low simmer, add the peppermint schnapps and the crème de cocoa just before ladling this cup of cheer into the mugs. From here, top your hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream and add a candy cane as a stirring stick. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes to finish off this spiked version of a traditional treat. This will always be a fan-favorite among the peppermint cocktails we’ve listed.


Peppermint White Russian

The appearance of this cocktail screams Christmas time. The white, creamy drink with a crushed candy cane-rimmed glass looks festive and classy whether you’re spending a quiet night home for two or entertaining friends by the fireside. Be sure to rim your glasses first with the crushed peppermint. Use a bit of white frosting to hold the peppermint in place and add a touch more sweetness. Making the Peppermint White Russian is very easy. Shake together coffee liqueur, peppermint vodka, and cream. Serve over ice and enjoy!


Peppermint Martini aka ‘Peppermintini’

If you’re looking for a festive martini, this is it. And it could not be easier. This simple three-ingredient drink comes together quickly and will have you mingling with your friends all night long. Vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, and simple syrup make up this amazing cocktail that is sure to become a holiday favorite. Add a splash of grenadine for the pretty, red, festive vibe, and don’t forget to rim your glass with crushed peppermint.


Snowflake Peppermint Cocktail

This might be the very best winter cocktail yet. Take a break from shopping, cookie baking, and gift wrapping, and enjoy this magical glass of perfection while you drift into full relaxation mode. The smooth and delicious snowflake peppermint cocktail is made with vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, and is topped with a touch of cream. Rim the glass with pure white sugar and add a peppermint stick for color. This is so good; you might consider leaving a glass out for Santa!


Try one or try all these peppermint cocktails this Winter. Payless Liquors has you covered. We carry a large variety of peppermint schnapps, flavored vodka, and bourbon to make your drinks festive so that your mood can be merry and bright.



holiday cocktails

5 Holiday Cocktails to Wow Your Dinner Guests

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We’ve all heard the songs about how “Christmas comes only once a year” and how it’s the “most wonderful time” and all that jazz. While it’s true that Christmastime is magical for so many, it’s also a time full of traditions, which can make hosting a little bit daunting. Of course, as a host, you want to honor the expectations of the time of year, but providing guests with an outstanding experience is a natural aspect of having people in your home. A simple way to put your gathering over the top is through the use of cocktails. Providing top-quality, unique holiday cocktails honors the magic of the season while adding that little bit of edge that every host seeks.

The process of providing these drinks doesn’t have to be complicated. There are endless options of pre-batched cocktails for larger parties, unique options for the adventurous, and fun and sweet cocktails for those who want to drink their dessert. In short, there’s a cocktail for everyone.

1. Homemade Eggnog

This recipe for homemade eggnog is perfect for folks who love the traditional drink. It’s sweet, creamy, and absolutely delicious while avoiding the need for preservative-pumped boxed nog. The portions are already locked down for a large party, making this an ideal choice for the Christmas party purist.

2. Mulled Sangria

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s easy to daydream of beach climes during the winter months. This recipe is ideal for those who want to blend their love for beach drinks with their love of Christmas. Boasting fresh dark fruits such as pomegranate and cranberry, this cocktail keeps it fruity and bright without feeling out of place for the season. The mulling spices push it over the top into the ultimate cozy winter drink. Plus, it’s ideal for a premade batch. What’s not to love?

3. Cinnamon Bourbon Old-Fashioned

Boy, oh boy, it’s hard to get cozier and more midwestern than a good Old-Fashioned. This pre-batched version packs an extra-festive punch with cinnamon and rosemary, making this drink a perfect complement to turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. If your gathering is smaller or not particularly bourbon-crazy, it’s an easy drink to make by the glass as well.

4. Vanilla Chai White Russian

If you love spice but don’t want to put in the time to make a pie, this cutie’s for you. Boasting all the creaminess of eggnog without the actual eggs, this drink checks all the boxes of an ideal Christmas beverage: sweet and spicy, chilled but warm-tasting, and oh so very unique. If you want to serve it with pie, we won’t tell.

5. Buddy the Elf Cocktail

There’s no denying it; this cocktail is sweet. If you, like Buddy the Elf, love to indulge around the holidays (or all the time, we don’t judge), this cocktail is definitely for you. Boasting heavy cream, maple syrup, molasses, and candies to top, this baby makes all your childhood dessert dreams come true while satisfying the very adult need for booze at Christmas. Win-win.

Payless Liquors is stocked and ready to help you serve up these fabulous cocktails. Check out our online form to order your ingredients today and rest easy knowing that the holidays’ boozy aspect is covered.

Thanksgiving Cocktails

4 Thanksgiving Cocktails That Are Sure to Please Your Palate

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Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s time to start preparing for the festivities with Thanksgiving Cocktails. If you are hosting family and friends for the occasion, you know that you must have all the usual suspects—turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and succotash, but don’t forget the drinks. With the stress of preparing a huge meal and entertaining, you’re sure to need a few. However, keep in mind that you need to have a great selection for your guests, too. On your trip to the liquor store, you should pick up a nice selection of beer and wine, but you can avoid the expense of stocking up on every variety of spirits by including a holiday cocktail on your menu. Consider these popular ideas.

1. Apple Pie Sangria

You will want to prepare this one the night before so that the flavors can fuse properly. Start with two cinnamon sticks, a few diced red and green apples, pears, and an orange cut into wedges. Pour a bottle of your favorite white wine over the fruit, then add a cup of caramel vodka, three cups of apple cider, and a quarter cup of simple syrup (made by boiling one part water with one part sugar), allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon to taste. Serve with a cinnamon stick garnish.

2. Cranberry Margarita

This is an easy concoction that is sure to get rave reviews. Mix a cup and a half of cranberry juice, ¾ cup tequila, ¾ cup lime juice, and a half cup of Cointreau. Serve over ice in glasses that are rimmed with salt or sugar. Garnish with some cranberry and lime, and wait for the compliments. Keep an eye on your guests, though. These go down easy!

3. Apple Cider Mimosa

If your Thanksgiving “dinner” is more of a brunch event, as it is in many families, this twist on the classic is sure to be a hit. You’ll need champagne flutes for the true effect, but the only ingredients you need are apple cider and champagne. Pour the cider (as much or as little as your guest would like) in the flute, and top off with chilled champagne!

4. Low-Stress Mulled Wine

Many mulled wine recipes get a little complicated and time consuming, but this one is quick and easy and doesn’t require an extensive shopping list. To make this delicious holiday favorite, pour a bottle of Syrah or Beaujolais into a large saucepan, add four shots of brandy or bourbon, four star anise pods, orange peels, and two teaspoons of sugar. Cook over low heat until warm, but not boiling, then let stand for 5 minutes. Serve the warm cup of goodness in a mug with a cinnamon stick garnish.

Don’t wait till the last minute to do your Thanksgiving beverage shopping. Remember that you need to get the beer nice and cold, and you will want all the ingredients on hand for your signature cocktail of the day. Payless Liquors has everything you need to create a memorable occasion for your loved ones. Stop in today and cross this task off your list.

10 Interesting Alcohol Facts That Are Sure to Surprise You

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You may not think about it every time you crack open a beer, shake up a cocktail, or pour a glass of wine, but alcohol has played an enormous role in our cultural experience for 10,000 years. Humans have cultivated the production of beer, wine, and spirits as staples for celebrations and rites of passage, essential cooking ingredients, medicinal tonics, and enjoyable beverages when we need to unwind. So, is it any surprise that there are hundreds of quirky alcohol facts that many people don’t know? Read up on some of this surprising information and share it with friends the next time you get together for drinks.

Alcohol Facts

10 Interesting Alcohol Facts

  1. The ancient Romans are responsible for the term “toast”.  Now it is a term to describe raising a glass to good health and fortune. However, in the days of Old Rome, they dropped a piece of toast into the wine.
  2. Francis Scott Key’s poem that became our beloved national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” wasn’t sung until it was set to the tune of a popular drinking song.
  3. How many bubbles are there in a bottle of champagne? Funny you should ask—the general estimate is that there are 49,000,000 bubbles. This would be a fun alternative to “guess how many jellybeans are in the jar” at your next family reunion.
  4. You will find a cloud of alcohol in the depths of space with a density to produce 4 trillion beverages. Imagine standing beneath that cloudburst!
  5. The pressure in an average car tire is 30 PSI; it is 90 PSI in champagne bottles. Therefore, the cork shoots out of the bottle at about 55 miles per hour. Its signature celebratory “pop” is a staple of New Year’s Eve parties, but sadly champagne corks kill about 24 people every year.
  6. Tired of having to settle for just a handle of vodka? Until 1885, the only size you could buy was a 12.3-liter bucket. Why did we ever downsize?
  7. Now that we’ve established the number of bubbles in a bottle of champagne, how many grapes do you think it takes to make a bottle of wine? According to winemakers, it takes between three and 10 bunches, or 600 to 800 grapes, depending on the size and varietal.
  8. Have you ever heard the shortest sentence that contains all the letters of the alphabet? Most people think it’s “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.,” but we bet that you haven’t considered “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs!”
  9. Are you a gin drinker who is interested in using some slang from the 1800s? Well, the next time you order, try monikers like “Mother’s Ruin,” “King Theodore of Corsica,” “Parliamentary Brandy,” “Royal Poverty,” or “Ladies’ Delight.”
  10. When visiting Scotland, be sure to try Snake Venom Beer. However, you may not want to have more than one. At 67.5% alcohol, that snake is sure to bite you back!

If these facts don’t help you win your next round of trivia, at least they were fun to read. And maybe they made you thirsty. When you need to stock up on wine, beer, or liquor, Payless Liquors has everything you need. Come by and check out our great selection today.

3 Halloween-Themed Cocktails to Turn Your Night From Tricky to a Treat

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Halloween-Themed CocktailHalloween-themed cocktails are what everyone needs this spooky October. Halloween is a favorite time of year for many Americans. However, current lockdown policies in place throughout the country may make it feel like you may not be able to enjoy Halloween the way you would prefer this year. It’s important to stay upbeat and to connect with your family and friends during difficult times, so do your best to have a safe and enjoyable gathering if you have festivities planned for the Halloween season this year.

One of the best additions to any Halloween party is a good party cocktail. This year, try one or two of the following Halloween-themed cocktails that are sure to refresh and delight the guests at your Halloween parties.

The Apple Butter Old Fashioned

Halloween-Themed Cocktail
Photo Credit: Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest

The Old Fashioned is one of the most time-tested cocktails that has seen countless iterations and interpretations over the years. If you’re looking for a touch of class and timelessness with your Halloween party this year, the Apple Butter Old Fashioned is an excellent option for your party’s drink of choice.

Rim a glass with coarsely ground sugar if you like, and then start the Apple Butter Old Fashioned with one-quarter cup of apple cider, the juice of half a lemon, a dash of orange bitters, a tablespoon of apple butter, and two ounces of your favorite bourbon mixed in a shaker cup. Strain into a glass over ice, top with a float of ginger beer, and garnish with cinnamon and apple slices.

Jekyll & Gin

Halloween-Themed Cocktail
Photo Credit: Candace Braun Davison from Delish

If you have ever enjoyed a Gin Daisy, you’ll love this color-changing take on it. The Jekyll & Gin appears pink under normal light, but under a black light, it glows an eerie white. If you’re planning a glowstick party, you will want to add this Halloween-themed cocktail to your menu.

Start this delightful mix with three ounces of your favorite gin, one-half ounce of lemon juice, and just a teaspoon of Grenadine mixed in a shaker with ice and then strain into a glass with ice. Top with tonic water and garnish with a glowstick—perfect in any black-lit party venue.


If you’re all about presentation but not too keen on pumpkin-flavored cocktails, this Jack-o-Lantern could be the perfect option for this year’s costume party. You’ll need some old-fashioned glasses, orange slices, and a few pieces of lime peel to complete the look of this perfect Halloween cocktail, but the extra work garnishing will be worth it.

Make your Jack-o-Lantern by combining an ounce of orange juice, half an ounce of orange liqueur, and one and a half ounces of cognac in a shaker cup over ice. Strain over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass and then top with ginger ale. Poke a piece of lime peel into the center of an orange slice and float it on top to create miniature pumpkin-shaped cocktails.


Make the most of Halloween this year by creating a memorable experience. As the country reels in the face of lockdown restrictions, a safe place to enjoy the Halloween season with friends is a welcome comfort for just about anyone. If you need to supply your costume party this year, Payless Liquors can help you find the finest alcohols and mixers you’ll need for cocktails that are sure to please. Contact us today to see what we have available.

Keep the Football Spirit Alive With These Fresh Takes on Tailgating Cocktails

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Tailgating Cocktails

As we inch closer to another football season, it’s time to learn how to make tailgating cocktails. Sadly, we must deal with the bleak prospect that some local football may not happen as planned this year. Still, it’s important to keep the football spirit alive no matter what league you’re watching.

Traditionally, of course, the tailgating drink of choice is none other than inexpensive beer. However, this being the season of change, we’ve decided to roll with the punches and provide you with a list of alternative cocktails that truly honor area teams. Try these cocktails for your next tailgate experience:


Built to honor none other than the Purdue Boilermakers up in West Lafayette, this relatively simple drink is perfect for a tailgate party. All you’ll need are two ingredients any self-respecting tailgater should have readily on hand:

  • 1 lager beer, poured into a mug
  • 1 ½ oz bourbon (preferably Wild Turkey) poured into a shot glass

Then, simply drop your shot of bourbon into your beer and race to the finish!

Hoosier Heritage

While this drink was designed to incorporate Indiana heritage and regional ingredients, IU fans can appreciate the name as well as the unique autumn flavor. You’ll need:

  • 1 ½ oz Knob Creek bourbon
  • ½ oz maple syrup
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz apple cider
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Pour syrup into a cocktail shaker and muddle with rosemary. Add ice and remaining ingredients, shake well, and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.

Return to Glory

Developed to depict the heritage of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their return to a storied football program, the Return to Glory is as tasty as it is descriptive. Gather these ingredients:

  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 2 oz ginger ale
  • ½ oz Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of orange juice

Pour ingredients over ice in a tall glass. If desired, garnish with an orange slice and toast to the Fighting Irish’s return to glory.

Blue Stampede

Aside from smaller, more regional programs, the NFL may be the area’s one remaining hope of a full-scale football schedule this year. As a result, we’ve included this recipe crafted specifically for Indianapolis Colts fans – signature blue color and appropriately named tequila (Herradura means “horseshoe in Spanish) aside. We adore this play on a margarita. You’ll need:

  • 1 ½ oz Herradura Blanco (or other white tequila)
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz agave nectar
  • ½ oz blue curaçao

Pour all ingredients over ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini or cocktail glass.

Tailgate Tea

If your team isn’t well-represented in Indy (or if football is delayed once again), there’s no reason to fret. This Tailgate Tea is a crowd-pleaser we’d be happy to sip anytime, football or no. Gather these ingredients:

  • 1½ parts Svedka Strawberry Lemonade
  • 1 part tea
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • Splash of Corona Extra

Pour the first four ingredients into a tall glass filled with ice. Top off with a splash of Corona Extra, stir, and enjoy.

No matter what happens with this year’s football season, Payless Liquors is here for you. Stop in to see how our wide selection of beers, wines, and spirits can help you stock any social distancing tailgate party. Alternatively, call ahead or place an online order for pickup any night of the week.

Our Essential List of Beach Cocktails You Can Enjoy at Home

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Beach CocktailsIt’s summertime, which usually means beach cocktails, long weekends at the lake, and even excursions to tropical destinations abroad. Unfortunately, summer travel plans—including tropical fun—seem to be on hold this summer with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans are choosing to partake in simpler, at-home vacations instead of heading to the surf and sand and dealing with the travel restrictions and quarantines that are sometimes required upon return.

No Beach Vacation Doesn’t Have to Mean No Tropical Drinks

One of the aspects of a beach getaway many of us will miss the most are the exotic, tropical drinks so often found at vacation destinations. Fortunately, they’re also one of the easiest parts of your vacation to recreate right here at home. Check out our list of beach cocktails from some of the most popular tropical destinations and corresponding recipes you can enjoy in your backyard.

Blue Hawaiian

This classic Tiki beach drink from one of the only domestic tropical locations is a must-have for any backyard luau. You’ll need:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces vodka of your choice
  • 3⁄4 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of half-and-half
  • Pineapple for garnish

Combine all ingredients except pineapple into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice—strain into a tall glass of crushed ice and top with pineapple.

Bahama Mama

As you’d expect, this tropical drink hails from the Bahamas. This fruity drink is best blended, but some swear by serving it over crushed ice instead. Round up these ingredients:

  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce cherry grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a blender, along with 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth, and serve in a tall glass.


Originating in Cuba and the Florida Keys, depending on which type of lime you prefer, this citrusy, minty drink is a refreshing twist on tropical. Gather up these essentials:

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh key lime or traditional lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces club soda
  • 8 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves in a shaker, then add 2/3 cup of ice. Shake vigorously before adding club soda and pouring into a tall glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.


This classic Mexican drink is a great sipper inside in the AC or the backyard by the pool. You’ll need:

  • Mexican lager beer, like Modelo or Tecate
  • Clamato juice
  • 3 splashes hot sauce, preferably Tapatio
  • 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • Tajín seasoning

Rub a lime around the edge of the glass and press Tajín seasoning onto the rim. Fill the glass 1/3 full with Clamato, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, and fill the rest with cold lager. Season with Tajín and salt as desired.

Get Your Tropic On at Payless Liquors

While there are a host of other popular tropical drinks out there—from the Sex on the Beach and the Mai Tai to the Pina Colada—we think the four listed above are a great representation of the different styles you’ll find on beaches around the world. For all the best spirits, mixers, and even a recipe suggestion or two, stop into your nearest Payless Liquors location today.

How Well Do You Know Your Sparkling Wines?

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sparkling winesThink you know your sparkling wines? If you’re a fan of celebrations and all that goes with them, you’ve likely been exposed to the glorious sparkling cocktail concoctions often served alongside. From the familiar mimosa and the rare and delicious Bellini’s at brunch to the joyous Champagne toasts at weddings—and even the odd refreshing glass of Moscato after dinner—sparkling wines are present at some of the world’s most pleasant occasions. However, whether they’re flying solo or mixed into a tasty cocktail, all sparkling wines are not created equally.

Not All Sparkling Wines Are Champagnes

While many people refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne, a true Champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France. While some sparkling wines produced outside the European Union bear the name of Champagne, they’re not subject to the same production standards or regulations as European sparkling wines. Here’s a brief guide to the different types of sparkling wines:

  • Champagne.

    As mentioned, sparkling wines using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes and produced in the Champagne region of France can legally bear the name of Champagne. Champagnes range from dry (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, and dry) to sweet (demi-sec and doux) and often have notes of almond, orange, and cherry. Typically, they are around 12% ABV and have very fine, persistent bubbles due to the second fermentation they undergo in the bottle.

  • Crémant.

    Crémants can adhere to the same production methods as Champagnes. However, they are produced from a wider variety of grapes, including Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and others. Most are produced in Alsace, Burgundy, and the Loire Valley, but share many of the same properties as Champagnes.

  • Proseccos

    Proseccos are produced mostly in Veneto, Italy, primarily with Prosecco grapes. Prosecco is fermented a second time in a tank instead of in the bottle. This results in lighter bubbles that don’t last as long. Most Proseccos are sweeter than Champagne and can have tropical fruit, banana, vanilla, or hazelnut aromas.

  • Cava.

    Cava is the Spanish version of sparkling wine. It is produced almost exclusively in Catalonia. Most Cavas use Spanish grapes like Parellada and Macabeo, but some may add French grapes to the final mixture. Cavas have a distinctive sour taste, but can also have a toasty profile as well; Cava producers use the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. So, its bubbles are similar to those of Champagne.

  • Moscato d’Asti.

    Sometimes referred to simply as Moscato, this sparkling wine is produced from Muscat grapes. They have been cultivated since ancient Greek and Roman times for premium sweetness. As a result, Moscato is much sweeter than the other types of sparkling wines. It has a lower alcohol content as well. The best Moscato d’Asti grapes are picked at peak ripeness. It results in sparkling wines that have notes of orange, peach, apricot, and rose.

Find the Ideal Sparkling Wine for Your Occasion

Whether you’re hosting a wedding, a mimosa brunch, or simply want a refreshing bottle of sparkling wine after dinner, it’s essential to choose the right bottle for your tastes. The experts at Payless Liquors can help you find a dry, sweet, or moderate sparkling wine of any variety in our extensive wine selection. Stop in or call ahead to find a new favorite today.

How to Stock Your In-Home Bar

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home barStocking your home bar with all the essential tools, glassware, mixers, and—of course—spirits will give you the ability to mix classic cocktails and invent new ones without rushing out to purchase missing ingredients each time the urge strikes. This checklist can help ensure you have all the items to make all the most essential drinks:

  1. Liquors. To make most classic cocktails, you’ll need a solid stock of basic liquors, including:

    • Vodka—used in more mixed drinks than any other spirit, vodka is necessary. Choose one affordable and one high-end vodka for your home bar.
    • Whiskey—as there are numerous types of whiskey, go with your preference. Choosing one great, sippable bourbon and one blended rye allows you the ability to serve whiskey on the rocks or in a cocktail.
    • Rum—white rum is most commonly used in mixed drinks, so choose one quality white and one darker or spiced rum to round out your home bar.
    • Tequila—most margaritas are made with tequila blanco, so choosing an inexpensive version for blended drinks and a top-shelf version for sipping is a good strategy.
    • Gin—although gin is a divisive spirit that seems to be either loved or hated, you should choose a quality gin to have on hand behind your home bar.
    • Liqueurs—these flavored liquors should be stocked according to your taste. However, starting with triple sec, Amaretto, and vermouth will allow you to make most classic cocktails.
  2. Mixers. Unless you’re serving your liquors straight up, you’ll need essential mixers to make your cocktails, including:

    • Juices—keep lemon, lime, tomato, orange, pineapple, and cranberry juice on hand.
    • Sodas—be sure to have a cola, a lemon-lime soda, and a club soda behind your bar.
    • Blended mixers—store-bought mixers like sweet and sour, grenadine, and even bloody Mary mix are helpful (you can make simple syrup yourself).
    • Bitters—one bottle of Angostura bitters should work for most cocktails.
  3. Glassware. While there are seemingly endless types of bar and beer glasses, you’ll need just a basic few to get started. Then, increase your bar glass selection as your mixology skills improve. Start with:

    • Beer glasses—the pint glass is the most versatile, however they can be used for mixed drinks, too
    • Rocks glasses—these short glasses are a staple for any drink served straight up or on the rocks.
    • Wine glasses—stock both red and white wine glasses, or purchase a medium-sized glass suitable for either.
    • Martini glasses—mixed drinks like Manhattans, martinis, and even the odd margarita can be served from a martini glass.

Bar tools. To make most mixed drinks, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a durable mixing glass, a jigger to measure liquor, and a bar spoon to stir your mixed drinks. Also, most home bars include a beer opener, a corkscrew, and a cutting board and citrus knife or zester for garnishes.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to check off all the items on this list right away. Simply begin with a bar stocked with your preferred liquors, and add spirits as you go. For more information about spirit selection, mixers, or equipment, inquire at your friendly neighborhood Payless Liquors.


Don Julio Tequila Drink Recipes For Any Occasion

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Tequila is most famous for being the prime ingredient in a margarita. However, this Mexican liquor made from agave plant is extremely versatile and can be used to make other delicious tequila cocktails. On National Tequila Day, ditch the salt and lime and try these drink recipes with a premium tequila like Don Julio.

Don Julio Blanco Margaritatequila

  • 2 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 oz Soda
  • Lime Wedge for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well, strain into a rocks glass over ice, top with soda, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Don Julio Blood Orange Palomatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Seltzer
  • Chili Powder for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well. Then strain contents into a glass over fresh ice. Top with seltzer. Garnish with chili powder.

Don Julio Lemonadatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar
  • 10-15 Ice Cubes

Add lemon juice, mint leaves, and sugar to blender. Pulse a few times until mint leaves are chopped.

Add tequila and cold water and pulse again to mix.

Add ice cubes and blend into slushie. Pour and garnish with mint leaves.

Don Julio Rosa Primaveratequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Reposado
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Muddled Strawberry

Add all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with half a strawberry.

Reserve Your Bottle Today

For a limited time only, Payless Liquors is pleased to offer bottles of Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real to our customers who truly enjoy fine sippable tequilas. Reserve your bottle at our East Street location and arrange for in-store or curbside pickup today.