Essentials for Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial weekend is an eventful and special day for many people around the country. Typically, when we think about our ideal Memorial Day, we think about the first day out on the boat, heading out to the pools, barbeques with friends and family – and of course, lots of cold drinks.

In order to be properly prepared for the upcoming holiday, don’t wait till the last minute to decide what you will be drinking. So grab those hotdogs, whip up some hamburgers, and check out our list of recommended beers, liquors, and seltzers in order to make it a Memorial Day you are sure to remember. Bells Oberon

If you are a beer lover looking for the perfect Memorial Day beverage, pick up a pack of Bell’s Oberon. This citrusy wheat ale is a smooth and refreshing beverage that is sure to impress your senses with its rich orange color and its hoppy character. Since this beer is only available seasonally, Memorial Day is the perfect occasion to give this Michigan-made beer a try and fall in love with the taste of summer. Truly Rose and Tropical Variety Pack

Not everyone loves beer, and if you are not a beer lover, you shouldn’t feel excluded from the holiday festivities. Instead, pick up a case of our Truly Rose and Tropical Variety Pack. This pack of Truly combines all the best tastes of summer including mango, pomegranate, pineapple, passion fruit, and of course, rose. Truly makes drinking easy, because there is no finagling with complicated recipes and ingredients or figuring out the correct portion sizes and hoping it tastes good. With Truly, you know that every sip will taste like the beach.

Mermaid Lemonade

Looking for a fun cocktail to get you into the holiday spirit? Look no further than this a Mermaid Lemonade. This tasty rum cocktail is perfect for those who like to avoid a strong taste of alcohol. Presentable and photo-worthy, this drink will be perfect for your Instagram story and is a sure way to impress all of your friends.

Ingredients (Serves four):

  • 1 Cup White Rum of choice
  • ¼ Cup Blue Curacao
  • 2 cups lemonade
  • 2 cups ice
  • Maraschino cherries (as many or as few as you prefer)
  • Lemon Slices


  • Step One: Add approximately ¼ cup of ice to four glasses.
  • Step Two: To each glass, add ½ cup of rum and a small amount of Blue Curacao.
  • Step Three: Add another ¼ cup of ice to each drink.
  • Step Four: If you are feeling extra fancy, use an umbrella skewer and add a lemon slice with cherries to each drink and enjoy.

Visit Us Before Your Holiday

At Payless Liquors, we have all the beer, seltzer, and, liquor variety for every type of drinker. We can help you to make your holiday perfect by ensuring that you get everything you need. Get started with your holiday preparation today by filling out our online order form, or stop by our store in person and allow us to assist you.

indy 500

Ultimate Indy 500 Drink Guide

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Since the pandemic, the brickyard has not been open for business, limiting or even canceling the traditional festivities that make the Indy 500 an event that we all know and love. This year, the Indy 500 will return to its former glory, with no crowd limits and all the typical festivities.

Whether you are attending the event in person or watching it from home, it is time to start thinking about what you will be holding as you cheer on your favorite racers. With this list of fun and simple cocktails, you can get into the spirit of the race wherever you may be.

White Lady

If you are a fan of tradition and gin, the white lady is a perfect Indy 500 drink for you. First crafted by Harry McElhone in 1919, the white lady is the perfect combination of sweet and sour. Made with only three simple ingredients: gin, triple sec, and lemon juice, this drink is made for easy sipping on a hot race day.


Step One: Combine two ounces of gin, one ounce of triple sec, and ¾ ounce of lemon juice into a shaker with ice.

Step Two: Shake until extra cold and frothy.

Step Three: Pour into a glass with a lemon twist.

Spiked Milk

Anyone familiar with the Indy 500 knows that it is a tradition that the winner of the race, along with posing for tons of pictures and getting decorated with an elaborate flower wreath, also celebrates by drinking milk. To get into the spirit of the race, try a spiked milk cocktail and prepare to be amazed by its sweet yet refreshing taste.

Recipe: To prepare this drink. You will need to pick up a bottle of Fuzzy’s Premium Vodka. Each drink contains 1.5 ounces of vodka, ¾ of an ounce of Drambuie, 1 ounce of vanilla simple syrup, 1 ounce of cream, and 3 muddled mint leaves.

Step one: Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker, minus the mint leaves, and shake.

Step Two: Pour into a small milk jug or any other glass.

Step Three: Add the muddled mint leaves and enjoy.

Sparkling Grapefruit

Not a huge liquor fan? No problem, one of the best-tasting drinks for a hot, summer race day is a sparkling grapefruit cocktail. This drink is light and will keep you refreshed. In addition, the grapefruit juice will give you that much-needed boost of vitamin C to make sure you remain healthy all weekend long.


To craft this race cocktail, you will need ½ grapefruit juice, ½ Aperol spritz, basil leaves, sparkling champagne, and a grapefruit peel.

Step One: Muddle the basil leaves and throw them into a shaker with ice.

Step Two: Add the Aperol and grapefruit juice to the shaker.

Step Three: Shake consistently and add the mixture to a champagne flute. Top off with sparkling champagne and a grapefruit peel.

Plan Your Race Day with Us

At payless liquors, we have a large variety of liquors to help get the festivities started. Visit us in person or fill out our online order form.

hard seltzer

Hard Seltzer Cocktails for Spring

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There is no denying that hard seltzers are highly popular, and their popularity shows no sign of slowing down. Hard seltzers are light, refreshing, low in calories, and often contain little to no sugar. Hard seltzers are available in a wide variety of flavors, infusing flavor profiles of fruits, herbs, flowers, soda, and more. White Claw was one of the first seltzer options to really gain momentum, but today, you can find seltzers options from a wide range of companies such as Bud Light, Corona, Truly, and Vizzy. While these seltzers are perfect to be enjoyed alone, they can also be used to create light, refreshing cocktails that are sure to tickle your taste buds.

Must-Try Hard Seltzer Cocktails

When it comes to selecting the perfect seltzer, it depends on your brand of choice. Our list is designed to provide you with base suggestions, but when it comes to your seltzer, don’t be afraid to experiment!

Hard Seltzer Margaritas

Margaritas are one of the best summer beverages to enjoy. They are light, refreshing, and can be enjoyed over ice or blended. You’ll need tequila, limes, triple sec, and your favorite hard seltzer. You can stick to lime flavors to keep it traditional, or you can experiment with other flavors such as mango, watermelon, or raspberry. To make this recipe you’ll use:

· 1.25 oz of tequila

· ¾ oz of triple sec

· ½ oz lime juice

· Top with your favorite hard seltzer

If you want to get the full experience, you can rim your drinking glass with salt. You’ll want a dry glass to avoid water ruining your salt. Simply line the top of the glass with lime juice and delicately dip it into a saucer of salt.

Summer Sangria

Sangrias are a perfect summer drink. To craft this cocktail, you’ll need a bottle of red or white wine, triple sec, apple cider, and your favorite seltzer. Fresh fruit makes a perfect garnish. Sangrias are highly versatile, making them the perfect drink for experimenting. If you are making a large batch, you can use:

· 1 bottle of wine

· 1 cup apple cider

· 1 can of your favorite seltzer

· ½ cup triple sec

· Fresh fruit

Hard Soda Floats

Bud Light has been a leader in experimenting with how far a seltzer can go. Their newest line of hard sodas has experienced immediate popularity. They offer flavors such as orange soda, cherry soda, lime soda, and cola. For a fun, unique beverage, fill a glass with a few scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Pour your hard soda over the top and enjoy!

Have Fun With It

There is no wrong way to enjoy a hard seltzer. Hard seltzers can be used to replace the mixer in several different popular cocktails. With the wide range of flavors available, you’ll be able to experiment with something new all summer. When you’re looking for the perfect ingredients, Payless Liquors can help. We offer a wide range of hard seltzers, wines, liquors, and all the mixes you need to embrace your creative side. Use our convenient pickup order form to have your supplies ready.

charcuterie board

Charcuterie and Wine Pairing Guide

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Charcuterie boards provide an array of tantalizing meats, cheeses, and other snack items to create an amazing treat that pairs perfectly with a wide range of wines. When designing a charcuterie board of your own, there are a few key elements to consider. You’ll want to provide a variety of meats and cheeses that are perfectly complemented by great-tasting wine.

What Is a Charcuterie Board?

Charcuterie is the term used for the meat that is a highlight of these popular boards. Most charcuterie boards come with at least three different meat options, ranging in different spice levels and textures. Cheese is the next most popular item for this platter. It is recommended to include at least three different types of cheeses. With cheese, you also want to provide a variety of textures, fat content, acidity, and saltiness.

Other items that can be found on a charcuterie board include pickled vegetables, bread, crackers, olives, fruit that is either fresh or dry, nuts, and some type of spread, such as honey or mustard. After you know what you want on your board, the next step is the wine selection. It is best to choose wines following your meat and cheese choices. Wines are meant to pair with your food flavors, not overpower them.

Pairing Wine With Your Board

Once you’ve decided on your meats and cheeses, you can consider the best wines to complement your selection. The main focuses when it comes to meat are the texture, fat content, salt, and spice. When selecting a wine, you want to focus on acidity, structure, and the undertones it features.

If your board consists of salty mild meats, which are great for beginner boards, you may choose prosciutto or mortadella. These savory meats pair best with a lighter-bodied white wine such as Pino Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. If you are more of a red drinker, light or medium reds, such as a Pinot Noir or a Merlot, pair perfectly. In general, it is best to go with a wine that has high acidity.

Mild spice meats such as peppered salami pair well with light whites such as a sweet Riesling or fruity reds like Malbec. If you are looking to include bold, spicy meats such as bresaola, you’ll want to pair it with a wine that is equally as bold. For red wine, Syrah is a great option, or you can go with Chardonnay for a white wine.

When it comes to cheese, you’ll want to consider a variety of soft cheeses, semi-soft, fresh cheese, and hard cheese. Each category comes with its unique flavors and textures. You’ll want to consider their acidity, fat content, and saltiness. Soft cheese such as brie or robiola pairs well with sparkling whites and light-bodied whites. Semi-soft cheese like asiago, gruyere, and Havarti pair well with a dry wine such as Chardonnay. Fresh cheeses like burrata, goat cheese, and feta pair with medium-bodied whites and reds such as Pinot Noir. Hard Cheeses like aged cheddar or parmesan pair perfectly with bold reds like Chianti.

Get Creating and Pairing

When it comes to creating your perfect charcuterie board, there is no wrong way to do it. You’ll want to provide variety, creating an array of flavors that your guests are sure to love. Having a few different bottles of wine on hand, ranging from light to bold provides the perfect options for your guests. At Payless Liquors, we have a huge wine selection to create your charcuterie pairings. Use our pickup order form, or stop into the store!


About Bell’s Brewery

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For more than three decades, Bell’s has been making a variety of one-of-a-kind, artisanal beers, and as a result, Bells’ breweries have become a preeminent Great Lakes Regional and further.

The Brewery was the first in Michigan to sell beer by the glass and open an onsite pub. Bell’s beer is distributed to 43 states, and their two breweries feature an unparalleled beer garden, a space for concerts, and a taproom and are operated with environmental sustainability in mind.

Bell’s takes pride in their beer and breweries and in an equitable, inclusionary workplace that encourages diversity, individualism, and a business environment that nurtures diverse ideas among their 500 plus employees. In short, Bell’s is craft beer on a mission.

Some Historical Perspective

After arriving in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to attend Kalamazoo College, Larry Bell started humbly home-brewing beer in his basement in the early 1980s. In 1983, in Downtown Kalamazoo, Larry opened a homebrew supply shop.

As word spread about his beer, people requested more samples. Larry responded by opening the Kalamazoo Brewing Co, started brewing beer commercially in a 15-gallon soup pot, and his brewing company sold its first beer on September 19, 1985.

A Bell’s Brewery timeline:

· 1985: Bell’s first brew beer was Amber Ale.

· 1900: By installing a 2-barrel brew system, Bell’s increases brewing capacity.

· 1995; Bell’s debuted their Beer Garden. An outdoor space near the Eccentric Café.

· 2000: Comstock Township, Michigan, becomes the home of Bell’s main Brewery.

· 2005: The Comstock Brewery expands.

· 2010: Oarsman Ale and The Oracle were first brewed; Larry Bell takes home the Brewers Association Recognition Award

· 2015: Improvements at the Comstock Brewery: A wastewater treatment facility called “the Cube” comes online. The Quality lab upgrades its technology game to measure water quality and analyze beer DNA.

· 2020: Bell’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion strengthens through implementing multiple initiatives.

Celebrate Spring. Celebrate Oberon Day

On March 21, 2022. Bell’s Brewery released their renowned seasonal wheat beer Bell’s Oberon and celebrated the release of the beer and being one step closer to spring by celebrating Oberon day at their breweries in Michigan.

Next year, celebrate Oberon Day Like They Do at Bell’s Brewery!

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson: A Rich Irish History

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Jameson Whiskey has been a popular Irish Whiskey for a long time. Learn about the who, what, where, when, and how of Jameson Irish Whiskey. We bet that the next time you’re enjoying this smooth Irish whiskey, you’ll appreciate it for more than its smooth taste.

Jameson’s Whiskey: A Long, Proud History in Ireland

In 1786 after stepping off a boat landing in Ireland, John Jameson, a Scotsman, became General Manager of The Steins Family Bow Street Distillery located on Bow Street in Dublin’s Smithfield area. The distillery opened for business in 1780, and by 1805 Jameson wholly owned and then expanded the distillery. In 1810, the whiskey’s name was changed to The John Jameson and Sons Irish Whiskey Company, or for short, Jameson’s Irish Whiskey.

Jameson’s, One of the Biggest Distilleries in the World, Falls on Hard Times

By the 19th century, Jameson’s became Ireland’s biggest distillery and one of the world’s largest. However, hard times fell on the distiller during the 20th century after Ireland’s independence from Britain was declared. Increased tariffs during the trade war with Britain made exporting to one of the distillery’s biggest markets costly. Additionally, Jameson’s largest market, America, was cut off because of prohibition. On the bright side, Scotland’s Whiskey boom surged because of low-cost exports to Canada, which opened the door to smuggling whiskey to America.

Four Factors That Make Irish Whiskey Different

Check out these factors that make Irish whiskey unique.

Its history. While confirmation is impossible, the story is that the distillation process was introduced to Ireland by St. Patrick. Additionally, around 1000 AD, after returning to Ireland from traveling the Mediterranean, monks acquired the knowledge of perfume distillation, and they brought it with them.

It’s popularly assumed that whiskey had its start during the middle ages, either in Ireland or Scotland and the first whiskey distillery allowed in the British Isles was Bushmills in 1608. And by the 1890s, Ireland had over 30 influential distilleries producing Irish whiskey.

The Way It’s Spelled. Near the end of the 19th century, convention dictated that Irish (and Americans) produced “whiskey” while the Scots (and Canadians) manufactured “whisky.” According to John Ayto, author of the Gluttons Dictionary, the spelling distinction was more market-driven than linguistic.

Additionally, whiskey is a derivative of the Irish word meaning “water of life.”

Aging, Alcohol Volume, Grain Mix, and Location. The standards for Irish whiskey are high.

Irish whiskey must:

  • Be aged for three years, at least.
  • Contain minimum alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%.
  • Grain must be 50% barley, at least, with the remainder being wheat, rye, or regular barley.
  • Must be distilled and aged on the Isle of Ireland, as per the Whiskey Conservancy.

The Specialized Production Process of Irish Whiskey. Here’s a highlighted overview of the extensive process of distilling Irish whiskey.

  • Malting and Fermentation.
  • Washing and Distillation.
  • Aroma (perfume) created by storage barrels.

Also, before entering the barrels to age, Irish whiskey is distilled three times, while Scotch whiskey is distilled only twice before being barreled.

If you’re ready to try some Irish whiskey, consider one (or all) of these four types of Irish whiskeys:

  1. Single Malt Irish Whiskey
  2. Pot Still Irish Whiskey
  3. Grain Irish Whiskey
  4. Blended Irish Whiskey

10 Need to Try Irish Whiskey Cocktails

While the smoothness of Irish whiskey makes it perfect for sipping neat, don’t overlook it as the ideal whiskey for mixing a delicious drink.

Experience the versatility of Irish whiskey by trying these drinks.

  • McGlashan
  • Good Cork
  • Psycho Killer
  • Brotherhood
  • The Nose to Cocktail
  • Irish Blonde
  • Irish Coffee
  • Irish Old Fashioned
  • Dubliner
  • Emerald

You can get the recipes for these Irish Whiskey drinks and more by visiting this article: 20 Irish Whiskey Cocktails to Try Right Now.

Can’t wait to try them? Pre-order and pick up the ingredients from our store!



5 facts about guinness beer

Guinness Beer: 5 Fun Facts

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Since the mid 18th century, Arthur Guinness and his heirs have guided the Guinness Brewery while honing their craft.

Their expertise in beer brewing is known and appreciated in 150 countries, and they currently produce over 20 world-class beers. Inspired by the pioneering spirit of the founder, Arthur Guinness, and the batches of legendary stout created over 200 years ago at the original Brewery, the always enterprising brewers at Guinness carry on the tradition but evolve their lines of beer through their innovation and experimentation. As they put it, their greatest work is yet to come, never resting on their laurels. Here are five fun facts about Guinness Beer. Sláinte!

1. Guinness Beer Is the World’s First Nitro Beer

Michal Ash (1927-2016), who joined Guinness in 1951, was a mathematician turned brewer. He thought serving Guinness Beer in draught and adding nitrogen would transform the beer. Guinness’s famous “surge and settle effect” was created by Ash’s “Easy Serve” system, which is why Guinness is the world’s first nitro beer.

2. Guinness Beer Won the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement.

In 1991, Britons voted Guinness’s Rocket Widget, the top invention of the past 40 years, beating the internet in the voting!

Not surprisingly, the original widget was patented in Ireland by Guinness, and Guinness’s ingenious, world-famous device delivers the draught experience in a can. When the beer can ring is pulled open, Guinness’s widget (a nitrogen-filled capsule) releases a surge of bubbles when opening the can, result-ing in Guinness’s unmistakably smooth beer.

3. Guinness’s Bubbles Sink Because of the Shape of the Pint Glass

A pint glass is designed wider at the top than the bottom. The ingenuity of this design influences the head formation. A Guinness poured down the side of a pint glass creates a circulatory pattern. This pour pattern drags bubbles to the bottom of the glass, and the glass design allows more space, so bub-bles rise from the middle instead of the side, resulting in a creamy head.

4. The Perfect Pint of Guinness Pours in 119.5 Seconds

If you want to enjoy the perfect pint of Guinness, you’ll need to wait almost two minutes between the first and second pour for the beer to settle. According to Guinness, achieving the ideal Guinness pint takes 119.5 seconds. Some things are truly worth the wait. If you’d like to know more about how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness, you’ll find a fact sheet on the Guinness website.


5. Guinness Had Originally Leased Its Brewery in Dublin for 9,000 Years.

At St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Arthur Guinness started his business brewing beer in 1759 by locking in an annual rent of 45 British pounds sterling after paying an initial 100 British pounds sterling for the next 9,000 years. The lease for the property, which was a four-acre, dormant brewery before Arthur Guinness’s use, was voided when the property was purchased by the company and expanded its brew-ing operation to 50 acres.

We hope you found these five fun facts about Guinness Beer entertaining and educational. And now reward yourself with a Guinness for getting a bit smarter — pre-order and pick up from our store!


Crafting the Perfect Sangria

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Sangria is a beautiful, refreshing cocktail that elevates any warm weather gathering. At its earliest inception, this cocktail first began in 1100 B.C. in Spain. It eventually travelled to France and England in the 1700s and 1800s. For centuries, people have enjoyed this fruity wine cocktail. Sangria continues to be a favorite drink for many people because of its vast recipe possibilities.


How to Make Sangria


So, what makes a perfect sangria? You need a delicious wine, fruit juice, and a complimentary blend of fruits and spices.


First, choose the wine. In traditional Spanish recipes, sangria is made with a red wine, chopped fruit, orange juice, and often brandy. Feel free to use your favorite red wine. If you choose a sweet red wine, we recommended limiting the sweetness of the other ingredients you add to your sangria so it doesn’t become overwhelming.  Low-tannin and fruity wines like Garnacha (also referred to as Grenache) and Pinot Noir are most recommended for sangria. This is because they taste great when chilled and are not too bitter.


Some more modern spins may include sparkling beverages like ginger ale or added sugars. Sometimes, these ingredients can make the sangria too sweet. We suggest using fruits or natural sweeteners such as honey to increase or balance the sweetness instead. If your sangria is too sweet, adding citrus juice like orange or grapefruit juice can help decrease the level of sweetness to your liking.


Another tip for a perfect sangria is using fresh fruit in their prime ripeness and preferably when in season. Berries and peaches are excellent additions during the summer months. The fall and winter seasons are a great time to use citrus fruits, apples, and pears.


Let the fruits steep in the wine for at least two hours, allowing the flavor to make its fullest impact. For added depth or balance, it’s common to use a modest amount of liqueur such as Aperol or Limoncello.


Create Your Own Sangria Recipe


Perhaps you’d like to take an unconventional approach, or maybe red wine just gives you a headache. Whatever the case may be, the world, or in this case the sangria, is your oyster.


To switch things up, we suggest trying a white wine or rosé to craft your perfect sangria. White and rosé wines are naturally lower in tannins than red wine, making them excellent bases for this chilled cocktail.

To make a delicious white wine sangria, you can adjust the fruit and herb mixture. For example, you can include peaches, pears, green apples, lemon, and fresh mint. For a bit of depth, you can add a couple sprigs of rosemary or basil if you like it herby.


For a rosé sangria, what better way to craft a refreshing pink cocktail than adding pomegranate juice, watermelon, oranges, and strawberries!


Finally, since sangria is served chilled, we recommend keeping it in the refrigerator and serving it over ice by the glass. When you place ice directly into the sangria pitcher, the ice will melt and dilute your beautifully crafted beverage.


Whether you chose a traditional red or opt for a white or rosé sangria, Payless Liquors has you covered. You can fill out our online order form to select your wine and then pick up your order.


St. Patrick's Day Jell-O shot ideas

St. Patrick’s Day: Fun Jell-O Shot Idea

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It’s that time of the year again! Every March 17th, millions of people gather to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick. Drinking Irish beer and Irish whiskey, wearing green, attending parades, all while sporting shamrocks and Irish flags are well-beloved traditions for celebrating the luck of the Irish.


This year, let us raise a special shot in honor of Ireland’s most beloved patron saint!


Who doesn’t love a Jell-O shot? The simple ingredients, festive colors, and seemingly limitless great-tasting recipes make them an exciting addition to any party. Although Jell-O shots are commonly made with vodka, for this occasion we suggest going all out with an Irish whiskey.


To get started, you will need:


  • One large box (6 oz.) of Jell-O
  • Two cups of boiling water
  • One and a half cups of cold water
  • Half cup Irish whiskey
  • Shot glasses, disposable cups, or a baking pan


Once you’ve gathered your items, follow these simple steps:


  • Pour the Jell-O powder into a bowl.
  • Add the boiling water to the bowl, using a whisk or spoon to stir.
  • Once the Jell-O is dissolved, add the cold water and Irish whiskey.
  • Pour the mixture into the shot glasses, disposable cups, or baking pan.
  • Chill the Jell-O shots in the refrigerator until the mixture is firm, which usually takes at least 2 hours.
  • If you used a baking pan, you can cut them to size and serve.


For some decorative flair, you can use a St. Patrick’s Day candy mold with shamrocks or pots of gold. If you’re using shot glasses or cups, you can top your Jell-O shots by adding rainbow-shaped candy. Take it a step further and put a whipped cream cloud and gold sprinkles for a mini pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!


Another great festive beverage is an Irish Slammer. This popular drink can easily be made at home with three ingredients: ¾-ounce Irish whiskey, ½-pint Guinness Stout, and ¾-ounce Irish cream liqueur. To make an Irish Slammer, pour the Irish cream and Irish whiskey into the shot glass. Next, fill a pint glass halfway with Guinness and wait for the foam to settle. Once you’re ready to start drinking, drop the whole shot glass into the pint! That’s right, drop the shot glass completely into the larger glass and slam/drink it as fast as you can.


A word of caution: the cream hitting the acidity of the beer will cause an interaction, and the cream will curdle if this drink sits for too long. Even after a minute, the Irish cream will begin to curdle and create an unappetizing texture. As always, drink responsibly, but be sure to drink this one fast.


The most popular Irish Whiskey for the Slammer is Jameson. However, Kilbeggan and Bushmills come highly recommended, too.


Make the most out of this Saint Patrick’s Day with an Irish-inspired shot. Stock up ahead of time by using our online order form, and stop by Payless Liquors to pick up your order.



bloody mary cocktail

Bloody Mary: Cocktail Alternatives

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A Bloody Mary is a true classic. It makes a great companion if you’re looking for a weekend brunch cocktail or the cure for a wicked hangover. Bloody Marys are traditionally made with vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper or Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, and are garnished with a celery stalk and stuffed green olives.


There are plenty of ways to spice up your traditional Bloody Mary. You could add a splash of pickle juice or an extra dash of hot pepper, but have you ever considered swapping out the vodka for another liquor? A traditional Bloody Mary primarily combines tomato juice and vodka, but you can take liberties and make the Bloody Mary your own! Surprise your brunch guests with these amazing vodka Bloody Mary alternatives.


Red Snapper


Up first, try gin. A Bloody Mary that uses gin in place of vodka is called a Red Snapper. This beautiful red cocktail is a fresh take on the classic hangover cure. Gin offers unique botanical flavors to any cocktail from its juniper berry origins to its infusions with various herbs, seeds, roots, and berries. Depending on your preferences, gin can add botanicals of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and citrus peels. Instead of celery, perhaps add a slice of cucumber when using Hendricks Gin in your Saturday morning Red Snapper.


Bloody Maria


For a perfect and popular Mexican twist on the Bloody Mary, meet Mary’s counterpart: the Bloody Maria. In this cocktail, you’ll swap the vodka for tequila. Mary’s vodka sometimes gets lost in all the other strong flavors. No matter what else you add in a Bloody Maria, you’ll never miss the strength of tequila. Though Bloody Marys typically call for lemon juice, feel free to swap it for lime juice when mixing up a Bloody Maria.




You can also try a Bloody Mary with your favorite beer. Yes, you heard us right—beer in a Bloody Mary! Think of this cocktail as a combination between a margarita and a Bloody Mary, also known as a Michelada. To create a delightful vacation in a glass, swap the lemon for a lime. Then add hot sauce to this cocktail with salt and even chili seasonings around the rim. You and your party guests will love this fun and casual twist on your favorite Bloody Mary! Or is it a twist on your favorite beer?


Bloody Marianne

Finally, try bourbon in place of vodka for a sophisticated and incredibly flavorful gourmet twist. If you’re new to liquor, bourbon is a kind of American whiskey made with 51 percent corn and aged in oak barrels. The bold liquor can be garnished with bacon, bacon salt, goat cheese, pimento-stuffed olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. This zesty cocktail, called a Bloody Marianne, combines the classic spiciness of a Bloody Mary with the sweet aromatic of bourbon. Bourbon offers flavors like caramel, vanilla, and oak, bringing a sweet balance to the spices of the Bloody Mary.


Ready to get creative with your Bloody Mary recipe? Use our online order form for quick and easy online shopping and then pick up your order at Payless Liquors.

home bar

Home Bar: Building Your Own

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Building Your Own Home Bar


With many of us staying home with the current state of things, mixing cocktails at home has become an increasingly popular pastime. Being able to control flavor and alcohol content is an alluring draw, and the flexibility of home experimentation has never been more exciting than now with so many new spirits reaching the market. But, as with all things, there must be a place to begin. Assembling your own home bar requires just a few tools, and key liquors and mixers for a well-stocked home bar.


First, you’ll need tools:


  • Cocktail shaker and strainer. This is a classic. You’ll often see your favorite bartender shaking up a cocktail behind the bar, so this is an absolute necessity. Whether you pick one with a screw-on lid, or a lid that you can hold on tightly is up to you, but finding the right size and most comfortable option is important.


  • Shot glasses or a jigger. I know what you’re thinking, but this is for measurement purposes. If you want a good ratio, to follow a recipe, or want a repeatable creation, having a good shot glass set is vital. And of course, you can drink out of them too. A jigger has an hourglass shape, with different measurement sizes, so you’ll get the perfect pour every time.


  • Bar spoon. That long handled spoon isn’t just for show. While the cocktail shaker is fun and the right option for many cocktails, not every drink should be shaken. The right cocktail spoon will help you stir up the best drinks possible.


There are all kinds of other fancy things you can get, like smoking tools for different flavors, but these are the basics. A good knife is a big help too, for all those citruses and garnishes.


Next, you’ll need to think about the most important items, spirits. Having a good variety is key, so here are some good and popular items to have.


  • No list would be complete without this clear spirit. Coming in at a variety of price ranges and regions, vodka is perhaps one of the more personal spirit choices out there. A good option is Tito’s. Affordable and drinkable.


  • A popular spirit, used for martinis and G&Ts, having a decent gin is important. You can choose from some unique American gin or go with the classic Tanqueray.


  • Good for more than just shooters, tequila is an optimal addition to any home bar. Who doesn’t love a nice refreshing margarita in the summer?


  • A timeless option for different cocktails or for sipping, rum is a home bar must-have.


  • There’s a lot to say about this spirit, and we can’t force you which to choose. If you like a sweeter flavor, choose an Irish whiskey, or for a bolder option a rye. The choice is yours to make.


With the trickier items covered, whatever else you stock is up to you. A good dark and light cola are great for mixing, fresh fruits for flavor, and juices and liqueurs for experimentation. Whatever magic you mix up is up to you.


At Payless Liquors, you don’t even have to come in and browse around. Fill out our online pickup form, and we’ll have your order ready for you!

bubbly wine

Bubbly: Different Varieties

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Have you ever been shopping for Champagne and felt like a total fish out of water? Walked out of the sparkling wine aisle with your head reeling, and no real idea what you’re looking for? We’ve been there too. Sparkling wine/bubbly is a pretty big category with lots of options. Sparkling wine is exciting because it goes through two fermentations to achieve the classic bubbles associated with the style. While our list isn’t all-encompassing, here are some of the more popular options you might run into:


  • This is the big one. It’s certainly the most well-known of the style, although there are lots of options out there. Champagne must be from the Champagne region of France for it to be considered Champagne. It’s a pretty exclusive club. It’s not always a sweet wine, but typically has a fruity taste, and its classic bubbly, effervescence.


  • Cava is a sparkling wine that comes from Spain. Made in the classic method, where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle and the bubbles produced are smaller, Cava is made with the Macabeo, Parellada, or Xarel-lo grapes, which creates a more lemony flavor, or fruity pear undertones, respectively. Cava is typically on the drier scale of sparkling wines.


  • Prosecco hails from Italy, and is named after the town it originated from, Prosecco. While Prosecco is most notably bubbly, it can come in other forms, and is created using Glera grapes. Its typically a much sweeter wine than Cava, and rather than the classic method, it is made with the tank method, where the second fermentation happens in a tank, producing much larger bubbles.


  • Rosé. A recently more popular variety, rosé can also be made without the bubbles, or ‘still.’ It is known for its pinkish coloring, and its typically light and fruity aroma. While it is produced with success across Europe, it most notably comes from Provence, France.


Some additional things to keep in mind when looking for the right bubbly for you is its dryness level. Demi-sec is the sweetest, measuring 32 to 50 grams of sugar per liter of residual sugar, or 32-50 g/l. This is considered a sweet wine and typically pairs best with chocolate and strawberries, or rich desserts like cheesecake.


Extra-dry rates 12-17 g/l, and is noticeably less sweet than demi-sec, although it does still include a hint of sweetness. The sweetness it has is a left-over from the fermentation process. An extra-dry sparkling wine pairs best with lighter flavors from cheese and asparagus.


Brut is next and sits at 0-12 g/l and is the most popular of the varieties. Certainly, drier than extra-dry, it has just a light kiss of sweetness and Champagne most frequently comes in this dryness level. Some things to pair with this variety are the rich flavors of scallops, certain rich cheeses, and a nice flavorful risotto.


Extra Brut is the last of the list and features 0-6 g/l. During the process of fermentation, most or all of the yeast is eaten, leaving behind little residual sugar. Saltier foods like oysters and french fries pair best with an Extra Brut variety.


Looking to buy? Here are some imported sparkling wine options. Be sure to fill out our online pickup form with the bottles you want to try for easy and convenient pickup at Payless Liquors.

alcoholic beverages

6 Beverage Trends in 2022

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Just like every industry, the beverage industry sees different beverage trends over time. Whether IPAs become more popular than lagers, or every classic beverage recipe is “with a twist,” trends surge and flux with time.


Here are some of this year’s predictions on trends to look out for in 2022:


  1. More N/A or Low Alcohol choices. Whether you’re trying to cut back or are making a lifestyle change, festive drinks shouldn’t be exclusive to alcohol alone. Mixing up a ‘mocktail’ can be just as tasty and will certainly lead to fewer hangovers. We’re likely to see more options that are exciting, and not just flavored seltzer water. You can still feel fancy having a drink with friends, or with dinner, and have a clearer head to boot. With a more thoughtful approach to ABV, there’s an encouragement of more thoughtful consumption.


  1. Simplicity is key. Cocktails this year might tend more towards the simple side. Cocktails with fewer ingredients and fewer steps are much more likely to entice people to imbibe, versus overly complicated assembly, and ingredients you may only use once and then put away in a cupboard or on a shelf where it gathers dust. Just because the recipe is simple, that doesn’t mean the flavors aren’t complex.


  1. Hey, Tequila. Continuing the upward trend from 2021, tequila continues to see a rise into 2022. From Añejo to Reposado tequila, people are starting to gain a new appreciation for a spirit that takes a longer time to produce. And perhaps with this, a deeper understanding of the traditional culture surrounding tequila production and an environmental interest will cause consumers to be more thoughtful about the world.


  1. Bone Dry. With more people cutting back on sugar, dry drinks are the word. With a move away from the sweeter taste of cocktails, herbal choices with a more bitter flavor index are becoming more popular. Tastes seem to be shifting to interesting and complex vegetal flavors, and away from fruity and saccharine tastes.


  1. Upgrades to old faves. Most people have heard of a gin and tonic, or a whiskey old-fashioned, and during 2020 and 2021 more people had time to do their own experimenting with these classic cocktails. Using classic cocktails, but giving the ingredients a quality or style upgrade is one way to change up a go-to drink. Whether it’s a spirit that is rare, hard to find, or a label with a story, this is likely what consumers will crave during 2022.


  1. Bubbles, and more bubbles. Bubbly isn’t just for late night toasts anymore. Sparkling wine varieties pair well with other spirits, and make for an interesting and complex cocktail mix. Adding bubbly as a cocktail ingredient keeps it tasting fresh and can be consumed at any point of the day, not just as a dessert or with dinner. Bring on the bubbles!


This is in no way a comprehensive list or prediction, but we’re definitely seeing an exciting change to the drink industry throughout 2022. Start your pickup order today, and start your year out with some new flavors and old friends.