Poolside Cocktail

Poolside Cocktails: Our Top 5 Favorites

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There’s no treat quite like some summer poolside cocktails! When you’re using tried and true ingredients like fresh seasonal fruits as well as the occasional tropical touch like coconut, the recipe options are endless. However, with such a great selection, when you’re planning your next day by the pool, you might not know where to begin. To help, we’ve gathered our top picks, perfect for relaxing in the summer sun. Plus, they’re all simple to prepare so you can get right back to soaking in the rays.

1. Lemon Drop

This summer, consider trading in the lemonade for another classic with a bit more of a punch. Making this luxuriously tart cocktail is as simple as mixing 4 fl oz lemon juice, 2 fl oz vodka, and 1 tsp white sugar. Then, stir the mixture until everything’s dissolved. Pour over ice and garnish with mint and a slice of lemon. For a slightly sweeter interpretation, simply add an extra teaspoon of white sugar, or add sugar to the rim of the glass.

2. Classic Sangria

Packed with fresh, seasonal fruits, this classic is one of the staple poolside cocktails for a reason. Begin by slicing lemon, lime, and orange into thin sections. Feel free to substitute or add fruits as you prefer, depending on what you have on hand. Place the fruits into a large pitcher and in 1½ cups of rum and a half a cup of sugar. After chilling to allow the flavors to develop, stir in a cup of orange juice and a bottle of your favorite dry red wine.

3. Shandy

This summer classic is beyond simple, as well as both refreshing and customizable. At its core, the shandy is a straight-forward mixed drink— all you have to do is mix equal parts beer and lemonade. Personalize the drink further by experimenting with different beers, from light lager to hoppy IPAs. This way, you can find the flavor profile that works for you. (However, dark beers are probably best to avoid.)

4. Strawberry-Lemon Mojito

Another fruit-filled option, fresh strawberries are used to sweeten the taste of a traditional mojito. Use a cocktail shaker to muddle 8 lemon wedges with 4 whole strawberries and approximately

24 mint leaves. To the mixture, add ice, 8 oz aged rum, 3 oz fresh lemon juice, and 2 oz cane syrup (or agave nectar), then pour into glasses with ice and enjoy.

5. Piña Colada

No classic drink screams “summer” quite like a good old fashioned piña colada. From the tropical flavor of coconut to the tang of pineapple, this creamy drink is perfect for poolside. Start with 2½ oz rum and add 3 oz unsweetened pineapple juice plus 1 oz coconut cream. Blend the ingredients with crushed ice, before garnishing as desired. Maraschino cherries are a good place to start, but feel free to experiment with flavors and get creative. It’s your summer, after all.

Payless Liquors has everything you need to begin mixing your next summer staple. Browse our extensive selection of liquors online, or take advantage of our convenient pre-order and curbside pick-up options.



5 Different Types of Margarita to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo All Month Long

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While Cinco de Mayo literally means “the 5th of May,” with this holiday, it’s hard to resist the urge to celebrate all month. It’s even more difficult to resist indulging in a classic margarita. A fresh and simple drink, there’s plenty of room for personalization within the confines of the margarita recipe so you can try out a variety of flavors.

Traditionally, a margarita is made up of just four ingredients: tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, and a slice of lime for garnish. However, we’d be neglecting our duties if we didn’t acknowledge that there are always ways to customize your margarita— whether that’s on Cinco de Mayo or all month (or year) long! If you’re looking to escape your margarita comfort zone, try one of these creative margarita varieties.

1. Watermelon

Summer is approaching, and so is watermelon season. To create this juicy and refreshing twist on a classic margarita, begin by making a simple syrup from 2 cups of watermelon (cubed) and 1 cup of sugar. You’ll need to combine both ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, before mashing together, making sure to push out the liquid. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, before pouring over a mesh sieve.

While the syrup cools, blend together 2 cups of seedless watermelon and ½ cup of water. Pour this juice through a mesh sieve. Use a cocktail shaker to combine the syrup and juice with 4 oz tequila, 2 oz lime juice, and ice. Rim glasses with lime juice and salt, pour your margaritas, and garnish with lime wedges.

2. Blood Orange

The blood orange margarita is an easy option with a bit of tartness. All you’ll need to do is combine ice, 1 ½ oz tequila, ¾ oz fresh lime juice, ¾ oz agave nectar, and 1 tbsp frozen blood orange purée in a cocktail shaker. (Typically, blood orange purée can be found online or in select food stores.) Rim glasses with lime juice and salt before pouring the mixture over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge, then enjoy.

3. Honey Vanilla

Interested in a drink with a subtle twist in flavor? Look no further. To prepare, use a cocktail shaker to combine ice, 1 ½ oz white tequila, 1 oz Licor 43 (a Spanish liqueur with honey and vanilla), ½ oz orange liqueur, and ½ oz lime juice. Rim glasses with lime juice and salt, then pour the mixture over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

4. Beer Margarita

Time for something a bit different. For this simple fusion of beverages, pour 12 oz frozen limeade concentrate, 12 oz tequila, 12 oz water, and 12 oz beer in a large pitcher. Stir the mixture and add ice, as desired. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with lime wedges.

5. Blended Margarita

A simple twist on the classic, blended margaritas are icy and perfect for the warmer weather. Combine 1 ¼ cups of fresh lime juice, 1 cup of orange liqueur, 1 cup of tequila, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 2 cups of ice. Blend well, before mixing with ice in a cocktail shaker. Serve and enjoy.

Ready to get your cocktail started? Browse our extensive selection of liquors online, or take advantage of our convenient pre-order and curbside pick-up options.


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With the ‘Freshest Margarita’ Recipe

Honey Vanilla Margarita Drink Recipe

4 types of gin

The 4 Types of Gin

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Has anyone ever told you that gin was juniper-flavored vodka? Or that there are 4 types of gin? The more you know! Vodka and gin are both made from grains like rye, barley, wheat, and corn. The difference is in what happens after the spirits are distilled.

Once distilled, gin is infused with juniper berries and other botanicals (usually dried herbs, roots, flowers, and citrus peels) before it is distilled for a second time, giving it its distinctive piney, herbaceous flavor. Vodka, on the other hand, gets distilled repeatedly until you can taste hints of the grain.

These 4 Types of Gin are Most Common Around the World:

1. London Dry

As you might suspect, London Dry gin was first formulated in England but is now made world-wide. It’s the most popular type of gin and likely the kind you have in your liquor cabinet right now. For example, if you make your gin and tonics with Beefeater, Tanqueray, or Bombay Sapphire, then you are drinking London Dry gin. The term dry refers to the fact that there is no added sugar, and each of the botanical flavors (including juniper) come from natural sources.

2. Plymouth

This style of gin is only produced by one distillery, and it happens to be the oldest distillery in the U.K. Plymouth gin was very well known in the first half of the 20th century when gins were the most desirable spirits on the market. If you’ve ever seen a bottle of Plymouth, you can tell that this gin has some history from the drawing of the sailed ship on the front. Believe it or not, Plymouth is even drier than London Dry. Its somewhat spicy aftertaste makes it perfect for making martinis and negronis, as the other ingredients’ bitter flavors complement this style of gin well.

3. Old Tom

Named after master distiller Thomas Chamberlain, this type of gin came about during a time when the distilling process was new and primitive. At that time, distillers were using turpentine and sulfuric acid to cut their spirits, which made some almost deadly. To make the gin more drinkable, distillers often sweetened it with licorice and sugar. As technology and the distilling processes improved, so did the gin. There was less of a reason to add so many sweeteners and the gin became significantly drier, much like the flavor of other gins we enjoy today.

4. Genever

Known as the original style of the 4 types of gin, Genever gin’s robust flavor is primarily due to the fact that its base grains are malted. The malt flavor outshines the juniper, allowing the taster to experience unique, earthy tones. As a result, it’s only slightly flavored with juniper compared to other gin types. If you care to try (which you should), why not drink it the traditional Dutch way? Stand at the bar with a glass filled to the brim with Genever, a bottle of beer and your hands behind your back. Bend down and sip the Genever until you absolutely need to pick up the glass and then chase it with a beer.

Visit Payless Liquors and try our amazing selection of gins. We offer convenient pre-order and curbside pick-up for all your favorite spirits.

brunch cocktails

Six Easter Brunch Cocktails You’ll Want to Sip Every Sunday

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The best part of Easter brunch is definitely the springtime cocktails that accompany the meal. Brunch cocktails give you the opportunity to bring a little sweetness, a little color, and a little kick to the average brunch-time beverages, helping you celebrate an extra-special holiday with family or friends. Here are eight Easter brunch cocktails so good, you’ll want to sip them at every Sunday brunch of the year!


1. Boozy Strawberry Lemonade

This is a beautifully festive pink drink made with, you guessed it, lemonade. It’s perfectly sweet and pretty for your Easter brunch! Rub a lemon slice on a glass rim and dip in white sugar. Mix 4 oz of your favorite lemonade with 1 oz Canadian whiskey, ½ oz Fireball cinnamon whiskey, 1 t fresh strawberry syrup. Pour over ice and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

2. Vodka Spritzer

We hate to include another Easter pink drink, but if you like bubbly and simple, this one just might be your jam. Start with a handful of fresh or frozen berries in your favorite pint glass (or, split into two champagne glasses). Add 4 oz chilled pomegranate juice, 1 ½ oz plain or berry-flavored vodka, 1 oz simple syrup and 4 oz flavored seltzer. Garnish with fresh mint or an orange slice.

3. Blackberry Lavender Gin and Tonic

The fruity and herbaceous flavors of homemade blackberry syrup and fresh lavender are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. To make an easy blackberry syrup, heat 3 oz blackberries on the stovetop with 3 oz water and 3 oz sugar. Once the mixture starts to boil, add ½ t fresh lavender flowers and mash gently with a potato masher. Once mixture is cooled, strain it into a glass jar (use some now and save some for later). To make your cocktail, fill a tall glass with ice. Add 2 oz gin, ½ T limoncello or lemon juice and top with chilled tonic water and blackberry syrup. Garnish with a fresh sprig of lavender and enjoy!

4. Royal-Tea Drink

Who doesn’t love a glass of iced tea with brunch? This fancy version will suit both the casual meal and something a bit more elegant on Easter. Mix 1 ½ oz London dry gin with 2 oz freshly brewed and chilled Earl Grey tea, then add lemon and sugar to taste. Garnish with a fresh lemon wedge.

5. Apricot Sour

This is truly a drink that looks like sunshine and shouts springtime! The apricot sour is easily made by mixing 2 oz of apricot brandy and homemade sour mix (equal parts

simple syrup and fresh lemon juice) into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and fresh mint.

6. Strawberry Mimosa

A classic brunch cocktail made for a special occasion, this strawberry mimosa starts with your favorite champagne- don’t forget to chill! Puree fresh strawberries in a blender and add a pinch of sugar, then pour your homemade strawberry puree into the bottom of a champagne flute. Add champagne to fill the glass halfway and top with orange juice. Garnish with a fresh orange slice.

Stop in or place an online order at Payless Liquors for all your Easter brunch needs. We sell all your favorite liquors to make the best cocktails all spring long!

sweet or dry

Dry or Sweet: What Makes Your Wine Taste

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Even if you don’t have a favorite wine that you consider your “go-to”, you likely prefer either dry wine or sweet wine. While there is a wine (or several) to fit just about every taste and preference out there, what gives the wines you love their signature dry and sweet qualities? Let’s talk about the difference between dry wines and sweet wines, and what makes wine taste the way it does.

What Makes a Wine Dry or Sweet?

How sweet or dry a wine is depends on the amount of residual sugar and the length of the fermentation process. Residual sugar comes from the natural sugars found in grapes and is left over after fermentation is complete. This natural grape sugar consists of both glucose and fructose. During the fermentation process, yeast “eats” these sugars, using them to form alcohol.

Winemakers stop the fermentation process to control both the flavor of the wine and the alcohol content it contains. If a winemaker stops fermentation before the majority of the sugar is consumed by the yeast, the result is a sweeter wine. Allowing the fermentation process to go on for a longer period consumes more sugar and results in a less sweet, or “dry” wine. In dry wines, alcohols and compounds called polyphenols interact with compounds in the mouth, causing an acidic or astringent sensation that covers most of the wine’s remaining sweet taste.

How Do You Know if a Wine Is Dry or Sweet?

Residual sugar is measured in grams/liter. Commercially sold wine is organized in 5 categories of sweetness based on the amount of residual sugar it contains:

  • Bone dry – 0-1g/liter
  • Dry – 0-17g/liter
  • Off Dry – 17-35 g/liter
  • Medium Sweet – 35-120g/liter
  • Sweet – 120+g/liter

Take a glance at the bottle to find any indication of sweetness listed above, or a numeric value for residual sugar.

Popular Wines in the Middle

Wines with more tannon pair well with fresh seafood, naturally sweet foods, or anything citrusy. Popular dry varieties sold at Payless Liquors include:

  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chablis
  • Riesling
  • Moselle
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel


By contrast, sweet wines pair particularly well with sweet foods (hence, dessert wines), but also with salty, savory, and spicy foods. Popular sweet wines sold at Payless Liquors include:

  • Riesling
  • Moscato
  • Port
  • Tokaji
  • Sauternes
  • Dolce
  • Madeira
  • Dessert wines
  • Sec
  • Late harvest wines


You’ll notice Riesling is on both the dry and the sweet list. In fact, any wine can have either taste depending on the individual choices of the winemaker. Riesling is a varietal that is quite often made using both sweet and dry production methods.

Whether you prefer a glass of dry wine or you’d rather sip something a little sweeter, there is truly a wine for everyone, whether you love the extremes or those in between. We suggest a wine tasting to try out several different dry whites and dry reds, then some sweeter wines of all colors. Wine tastings are a fun way to experiment with a variety of wines until you land on your favorite. Stop by and check out the extensive selection of dry and sweet wines at Payless Liquors. Or, take advantage of our pre-order and curbside pick-up options for a convenient and safe way to shop

green spot

Green Spot – A History of One of Ireland’s Last Bonded Whiskies

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Green Spot is the premier example of an Irish bonded whiskey. That is, it is a whiskey that is distilled by a single distiller for a single season and then aged for a specific amount of time controlled by law. Unfortunately, it is one of the last true bonded Irish whiskies, part of a family of whiskies that make up nearly the entirety of bonded Irish whiskies today. How Did Green Spot Come to Be?


It all started when the Mitchell family opened a bakery in the heart of Dublin in 1805. Called Mitchell & Son, the bakery soon gained a reputation as the place to go when you were on Grafton Street to get the finest teas, candies, cakes, and baked goods. However, as the years went by, Mitchell & Son decided to try their hands at other businesses and began importing wine. In those days, wine was imported in large, fortified casks and soon, the Mitchells realized that they would be the perfect containers to mature whiskey.


The Mitchell family sent these empty wine casks to a distillery called Jameson Distillery on horse-drawn carts. They were filled with whiskey and then returned to the Mitchells, where they were aged for many years under the cobbled streets of Dublin. Green Spot got its name when the family decided to mark barrels of whiskey meant to age for ten years with a spot of green paint. Now, Mitchell & Son produce four distinct whiskeys, including:


Green Spot

Today, Green Spot is still aged for 7 to 10 years in bourbon and sherry casks and distributed exclusively by Mitchell & Son. It is known for its spicy body with hints of fruit and topped off by a lingering barley flavor. Anyone who enjoys whiskey should make time for Green Spot— there’s a reason it’s been popular for well over a century.

Blue Spot

Just like Green Spot’s maturity time was marked with green paint, Blue Spot was marked with blue, indicating that it would be aged for no less than 7 years. This whiskey has a hint of tropical fruits, as well as vanilla and cinnamon. Tasting notes come from Blue Spot’s extensive aging in bourbon, sherry, and Madeira casks.

 Yellow Spot

Yellow Spot has an array of unique spices owing to pot-still production and aging in Malaga wine casks, as well as bourbon and sherry casks. These include nutmeg, red bell peppers, green tea, and clove oil as well as notes of honey. This is also a choice for a whiskey drinker who wants to experiment with more exotic and spicy flavors.

Red Spot

The top tier of the Mitchell & Son whiskey is Red Spot whiskey, which is aged over 15 years in bourbon, sherry, and Marsala wine casks. The care that goes into this whiskey is apparent in its taste, including hints of black cherries and baked apples. The long maturation time means that the fruits and spices have plenty of time to infuse perfectly with the whiskey.


At Payless Liquors, you can find all these Mitchell & Son whiskeys and more Irish, Scotch, Canadian, and American varieties, as well as whiskeys from all over the world. Browse our website to pre-order for pickup or stop into our store to discover why this whiskey has lasted for generations.

vintage cocktail

Vintage Cocktails To Make You Feel Nostalgic

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Throughout history, there have been plenty of cocktails that had their moment in the spotlight as the epitome of glamour. Unfortunately, most of them are rarely seen in bars and nightclubs today. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be recreated easily in the comfort of your own home. Learn more about four vintage cocktails and try out our recipes to get a taste of eras gone by.

Vintage Cocktail #1 – The Gin Gimlet

Legend has it that the gin gimlet was first created by British sailors trying to prevent scurvy, a condition that occurs when a person doesn’t get enough vitamin C. A sailor would have to make sure they drink plenty of orange or lime juice when on shore leave to keep their vitamin C levels. As the story goes, sailors realized that lime juice on its own was not very tasty, so they mixed it with gin, and the gin gimlet was born. The drink gained notable popularity in the 1920s due to Prohibition, since gin was a popular spirit that could be made discreetly at home. Sadly, the gin gimlet is not as common as it used to be. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make one for yourself. Here is a simple recipe: 2 oz gin 1 oz lime juice, fresh if possible ½ to 1 oz simple syrup to taste Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker, then strain into a glass. Add a lime wedge to the side.

Vintage Cocktail #2 – The Sloe Gin Fizz

If you’re craving gin, there are more vintage cocktail options than just a gimlet. Made from gin infused with sloes, a red fruit related to the plum, the sloe gin fizz was popularized in the 1930s by the Roosevelt hotel in New Orleans and, later, in New York City. Although they’ve fallen out of fashion, you can make your own by following this simple recipe: 1 oz sloe gin 1 oz gin 1 to 1 ½ oz lemon juice, fresh if possible 1 teaspoon sugar or simple syrup 2 oz club soda Combine ice and the other ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Add more sweetener and lemon juice if preferred.

Vintage Cocktail #3 – The Brandy Alexander

From the early 1900s into the 1970s, the brandy alexander was an insanely popular drink.

No one knows exactly where it came from, but there are many legends that lay claim to its creation, from a royal wedding in London to a bartender in New York City named Troy Alexander. Whatever the origin of this once-popular drink, you can taste it for yourself with this simple recipe: 1 ½ oz cognac 1 oz dark crème de cacao 1 oz cream Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and shake with ice. Serve with a pinch of nutmeg on the top.

Vintage Cocktail #4 – The Mamie Taylor

You may have never heard of a Mamie Taylor, but chances are that you are familiar with the  spiritual successor to this vintage cocktail, the Moscow Mule. Named after the actress Mayme Taylor (the bartender who created the drink may have had one too many Mamie Taylors themselves, because they spelled “Mayme” wrong), this popular drink is reminiscent of times gone by. Fortunately, you can try one with this easy recipe: 2 oz Scotch ¾ oz lime juice 4 oz ginger beer Add all ingredients in a glass over ice and stir.

Just because we’re well into the 21st century doesn’t mean we can’t try the drinks that defined previous generations. You can find all the ingredients you need at Payless Liquors. Browse our website and pre-order online or stop into one of our stores today and start recreating a little part of history.

Spring Beers

Refreshing Beer Varieties to Try This Spring

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Spring is here! When the snow begins to melt and grass starts to grow, it’s time to match the warmer season with the ideal drinks. Think about it — you’ve hung up your winter coat for the final time this season and put away your big sweaters, so why would you keep drinking the same beer you did all winter long? It’s time to say goodbye to the season of warm cocktails and heavy beers and lighten things up. Fortunately, there are many distinct types of beer that pair perfectly with the much milder spring weather. Here are some refreshing beer choices that will liven up any spring day.

Sour Beers

If you have never tried a sour beer before, spring is the perfect opportunity to start. In fact, spring is the season many breweries begin brewing these tasty beers with a bite. Don’t let the name “sour” dissuade you from trying out these unique beers, because they come in a variety of different strengths and flavor profiles, many with hints of fruits and berries. The exciting thing about sours is that they are fermented with wild bacteria and yeasts, giving the brew master all kinds of tools to work with when exploring new flavors.


While a very hoppy IPA may have kept you warm during frigid winter nights, now is a suitable time to try lighter, more flavorful varieties. An IPA flavored with berries or soft vanilla flavors evokes the sensation of the flowers and fruits and berries that are now beginning to grow. Meanwhile, a citrusy version can be a fresh approach to a warm weather favorite.

Blonde Ales

Springtime means spring break is here, a time when many people travel to warmer climates for some much-deserved vacation time. Fun in the sun often means you’ll want a lighter beer to stay hydrated, and a blond ale is just what you need. These golden beers are easy to drink and don’t feature strong malts or hops, perfect for a refreshing beach beverage.


If you’ve never heard of a Witbier, now is the time to give it a taste. Witbier is a Belgian-style beer that gets its name because of its hazy, whitish hue. Witbiers owe their color to the wheats and aromatics involved in the brewing process, and an orange peel adds the perfect touch to this coriander and citrus-forward beer. Witbiers may be lesser known than the other types of beer on this list, but that won’t be the case for long.

Hard Seltzers

This one might be breaking the rules a little bit. After all, hard seltzer is not exactly a beer. However, if you find yourself not in the mood for beer, chances are, you’ll find the perfect beverage in today’s ever-widening selection of fruit-flavored hard seltzers, teas, and lemonades. Hard seltzers are perfect for keeping you refreshed in the spring sun.

It’s been a long winter, but we’ve made it through, and now is the time to celebrate! Payless Liquors has the largest selection of beers in the Indianapolis area, many of them ideal for warm spring weather. Browse our website to pre-order or stop in to talk to our knowledgeable staff to pick out just the right beer to pair perfectly with the springtime sun.


What Irish People Really Drink on St. Patrick’s Day

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When you think about St. Patrick’s Day, your mind likely fills with ways you can celebrate with family, friends, and a few Irish drinks. Many Americans celebrate by dying beer green, or even with an Irish Car Bomb, a drink enjoyed by filling up a shot glass with whiskey and Irish Cream and dropping it into a glass of Guinness. While these drinks are a great time, they differ in many ways from what people traditionally drink in Ireland. If you want a more authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience, these are few of the drinks that will have you living the real Irish experience. Irish Coffee

What better way to start off St. Patrick’s Day than with a drink that will wake you up and get you in the right mindset for celebration? Good news: the Irish Coffee is a drink actually enjoyed by real Irish people. A traditional Irish Coffee results when you brew your favorite kind of coffee, mix it with a shot of Irish whiskey and top it with a bit of Irish Cream (usually Baileys). You have a long day ahead of you, so you might as well start it right.

Black and Black

A Black and Black is the perfect traditional drink for someone who enjoys Guinness but wants to add a little extra flavor to it. To make a Black and Black, you simply take a shot of blackcurrant juice and add it to your Guinness beer. For the unfamiliar, blackcurrant is a berry grown in Europe that looks a little bit like a grape. Blackcurrants are notoriously tart with delicious hints of raspberry and blackberry-like flavors. When you add this to your Guinness, be prepared for a drink that is a little bitter. However, it is also a very flavorful one that is definitely worth your time.

Dublin Mule

A Dublin Mule is a twist on the Moscow Mule (traditionally vodka, ginger beer, and lime) enjoyed the Irish way. The Irish prefer to use Jameson Irish whiskey in place of vodka, although it is fun to experiment and put your own twist on this Irish favorite. If you want to make your own, fill a copper mug with ice and add 2 oz Jameson. Top with ginger beer and add two dashes of bitters and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Irish Cider

The tradition of drinking hard cider in Ireland goes back a very long time. In fact, archeologists and historians have found evidence that people were enjoying fermented cider on the land that would become Ireland as far back as 5,000 years ago. Traditionally made with apples, the Irish have had plenty of time to perfect the art, and now craft ciders from multiple different fruits. Any respectable Irish pub has more than one brand of hard cider on draft.


If your idea of St. Patrick’s Day includes a pint of Guinness, you have the right idea. When you want to live it up like a true Irish person, you can’t go wrong with this Irish classic. Originating in 1759 in a small Dublin brewery, there’s a reason this dark, dry stout has been around so long.

St. Patrick’s Day With Payless Liquors

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Holiday the way it was meant to be celebrated! Whether you want to try something new, or are craving a classic Guinness, Payless Liquors has a huge selection of beverages in the Irish style. Pre-order online, or stop in and browse to prepare for this fun, boozy holiday.


Sazerac – America’s Oldest Cocktail

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Few cocktails feature a history as varied and intriguing as the Sazerac, widely regarded as the world’s oldest cocktail. According to legend, the Sazerac was invented in 1838 by a Creole apothecary named Antoine Peychaud in his shop on Royal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. He originally provided this drink after business hours to his fellow Masons by serving it in an egg cup, also referred to as a coquetier. This is often considered the source of the word “cocktail.” Peychaud named his drink after his favorite French cognac, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils from Limoges, France, a popular choice among the Creole community during the 19th century.

Sazerac Through the Centuries

Over time, the recipe changed throughout New Orleans, and bartenders began substituting rye whisky for the cognac as the result of the phylloxera epidemic decimating most European vineyards. Sources claim that in 1873, famous bartender Leon Lamothe changed the Sazerac forever by adding a splash of absinthe, a licorice-flavored high-proof spirit known as the Green Fairy for its characteristic green color. Absinthe is made from green anise, sweet fennel, and Artemisia absinthium, or grande wormwood. Grande wormwood contains the substance thujone, which is considered responsible for producing hallucinogenic effects—although the modern US market strictly regulates thujone levels.

Peychaud’s favorite cognac lends its name to the Sazerac House, a famous drinking establishment in New Orleans that served as the social center of the city. Founded in 1850, it quickly became the premier spot for cultured New Orleanians to drink, play cards, and discuss business matters. By 1957, the popularity of the Sazerac cocktail led Peychaud to purchase an ad in the local paper promoting his line of bitters and informing readers of its availability at the Sazerac House and other leading “coffee houses” within the city. In 1903, the Washington Post reported on “the spectacle of the immortal Sazerac,” and today, it is the official drink of New Orleans.

How to Make a Sazerac

Check out this recipe from our friends at My Kitchen for the perfect Sazerac:

1. Muddle two sugar cubes, two dashes of Peychaud’s aromatic bitters, and two dashes of orange bitters in a shaker glass.

2. Add 2 oz of your favorite whiskey to the shaker and stir gently.

3. Place two ice cubes in the shaker and continue stirring the mixture until chilled.

4. Coat the inside of two chilled rocks glasses with ¼ oz absinthe, swirling to evenly cover the glass, then discard the absinthe.

5. Rim the rocks glasses with lemon zest, pour the mixture into the glasses, and enjoy.

Visit Us for Everything You Need to Make the World’s Oldest Drink

If you’re ready to find out first-hand why the Sazerac holds the title of the world’s oldest drink, visit Payless Liquors today to pick up all the necessary supplies to make this beloved cocktail.

Our experienced staff can help you choose the right whiskey from our extensive selection, so your Sazerac turns out just the way you want. We even offer convenient online ordering for curbside pickup. Complete your order today by calling us at (317) 784-9105 or submitting the form on our website.

ready-to-drink cocktails

The Best Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

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Everyone loves a delicious cocktail, but many of us rarely have the time or skill needed to prepare our favorite drinks like a master bartender. Whether hosting a party or simply enjoying a relaxing drink after a long day of work, ready-to-drink cocktails are here to save the day. With prepared cocktails, you don’t need to buy an extensive collection of liquors or source rare ingredients that will expire before you have the chance to use them. These products allow you to avoid the hassle of muddling, straining, and shaking while offering the same impressive flavor you can expect from a professionally crafted cocktail.

If you’re interested in experimenting with prepared cocktails, check out the list below of the most popular, highest rated options available, then visit Payless Liquors today to pick up one of these tasty treats!

1. Bacardi Mai Tai – This ready-to-drink cocktail features Bacardi rum distilled in Puerto Rico mixed with exotic fruit flavors. Purchase a few 1.75-liter bottles of this delectable concoction, and you’ll be totally prepared for your next impromptu get-together.

2. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktail – For a new, refreshing spin on your favorite whiskey, these cocktails can be enjoyed right from the bottle. With flavors like Berry Punch, Jack Apple, Lynchburg Lemonade, and Southern Peach, the only difficult part will be selecting which one to try first.

3. Jack Daniel’s & Cola – This prepared cocktail takes the guesswork out of measuring the right portions of whiskey to Coke, leaving you with the perfect mix every time. Along with the regular version, the company also carries versions with Diet Coke or Ginger.

4. Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita – When you want to relax on the beach and enjoy the best cocktails with the least amount of effort, check out these expertly mixed classics. Jose Cuervo is the most popular name in tequila for good reason, and these smooth cocktails offer the tartness we love in margaritas without the syrupy texture found in most pre-made mixes.

5. Kahlua Mudslide – Combining Kahlua with chocolate, vanilla, and buttery caramel, this creamy, decadent ready-to-drink cocktail is best enjoyed with hot coffee or chocolate ice cream for a boozy milkshake.

6. Smirnoff Grand Cosmo – This prepared cocktail mixes Smirnoff No 21, the world’s top preferred vodka, with cranberry juice, triple sec, and a splash of lime. Simply pour over ice and enjoy.

7. White Claw Hard Seltzer – Our list concludes with a brand that has taken the market by storm, Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw Hard Seltzer. In the three years since its initial release, sales of this extremely popular drink have increased exponentially, from less than half a million cases sold in 2016 to a whopping 27.5 million cases sold in 2019. Consider it a fresh alternative to mixing your own liquor and flavored seltzer or sodas.

Transform Your Home Bar with Our Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

Ensure your next cocktail hour is as easy, simple, and carefree as possible with prepared cocktails from Payless Liquors. We carry a wide selection of the most beloved ready-to-make cocktails to suit even the most discerning tastes, and our knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the right variety for you. Contact us today by calling (317) 784-9105 or filling out the form on our website.

The Secret to Pairing Wine

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If you’re a wine lover, one of the most exciting parts of a dinner out can be trying a new dish and sampling a few ideal wines chosen specifically for the way they enhance the flavor of the food. Unfortunately, when you’re cooking at home, you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated sommelier to help you choose the right wine for the food you’ve made. However, these basic guidelines will help you achieve similar results on your own.

Step 1—Find the Basic Taste Components


While there are many different taste components found in food and wine, you only need to focus on the six most basic when it comes to pairing the two:


  • Food contains components of acid, fat, salt, sweet, bitter, and spice. Identify the tastes in your dish and simplify it to the two or three most dominant. For example, pasta with sausage and red sauce has strong fat, acid, and spice components, while a green salad with shrimp has acid, bitter, and fat components.
  • Wine contains just three components of acid, sweet, and bitter. Red wines tend to be more bitter, while whites have more acidity. Meanwhile, sweet wines have dominating sweet components.


In addition, you’ll need to consider intensity. Is your food light in intensity, very rich in fats, or high in acids? Are the wines you have on hand light in body, very acidic, or high in tannins and bitterness?


Step 2—Determine if You Want a Complementary or Congruent Pairing


Complementary pairings consider your food’s different flavor components and play against them with contrasting components of the wine. Congruent pairings play up the flavor components of your food with similar components in the wine. Both balance the food and wine on the palate, just in different ways.

For example, a high-acid white wine is a complementary pairing for a rich, cheesy dish like a grilled cheese sandwich or pasta with hollandaise or alfredo because the acid balances out the salt and fat. A congruent pairing for the same dish would be a much creamier white wine like a chardonnay. In general, red wines are more likely to create congruent pairings, while whites create complementary pairings.

Step 3—Use Our Cheat Sheet


If you have your doubts about the complementary and congruent flavors among your dishes and the wines you have to choose from, this quick cheat sheet can help you decide. In general:


  • Choose a wine that is sweeter and more acidic than the food
  • Choose a wine with a similar flavor intensity as your food
  • Pair wines based on the flavors of the sauce versus the meat or pasta
  • Absent a sauce, try these general meat/wine rules:


  • Red wines pair well with boldly seasoned red meats
  • White wines pair well with fish or chicken


The best part about wine pairing, however, is the freedom you have to break the rules. If your favorite wine is a bitter, high-tannin Cabernet Sauvignon, pairing it with a delicate seafood dish is completely acceptable so long as you enjoy it. For more information about the many varietals of wine, you can find at Payless Liquors, ask one of our trained staff. Alternatively, reserve your favorite bottle today via our online order form.




Coffee Cocktails

4 Best Coffee Cocktails

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Depending on who you ask, the “right way” to drink coffee varies by country, by culture, and can even be wildly different within each household. Whether your preferences are light or dark roast, espresso or machine drip, black or with as much creamer as possible, we’d like to present our take on the “right way” to drink coffee—with a healthy dose of spirits in coffee cocktails.

Best Coffee Cocktails


The coffee cocktail offers an ideal start to any evening out, with the perfect blend of caffeine and booze. Similarly, the right coffee cocktail can provide additional warmth to a weekend morning in, with just the right kick to start your day. This list of our favorites provides a variety of ways to imbibe in your preferred coffee and some choice spirits all at once:


  1. The Perfect Irish Coffee. While many people pour a shot of whiskey into a steaming hot mug of coffee and call it an Irish, you’ll need a couple of extra steps to make this drink in the traditional fashion. You’ll need:


  • 1 cup prepared coffee
  • 2 oz. Jameson Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings


Start by pouring hot water into two mugs to warm them, and let them sit for two minutes. Pour out the water and add a teaspoon of brown sugar to each. Pour hot coffee over the sugar and stir to dissolve sugar. Add whiskey and stir to mix. In a separate bowl, whisk heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Pour-over coffee and top with chocolate shavings.

  1. Siciliano. Forget coffee-flavored liqueur and cream in a stemmed glass—this “coffee martini” comes with far fewer frills and even more boozy flavor. You’ll need:


  • 2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1½ oz. Amaro (Campari or Averna work quite well)
  • 1½ oz. cold-brewed espresso (strong)
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Orange wheel for garnish


Pour Amaro, vermouth, cold-brew, and simple syrup into a tall glass. Add ice until filled, and top with club soda. Strain into a stemmed martini glass or enjoy over ice.


  1. Coffee Old-Fashioned. This twist on an American staple gives you the warmth of whiskey and the buzz of espresso, all in one glass. You’ll need:


  • 2 oz. espresso (room temperature or cooler)
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup
  • Dash Peychaud’s bitters
  • Lemon peel


Add espresso, bourbon, simple syrup, and bitters to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Twist lemon peel over the drink, rub around the glass rim, and use as a garnish.


Other Coffee Cocktails


You may have noticed a lack of some of the most popular coffee-flavored drinks on our list, including the White Russian and the Colorado Bulldog. Kahlua—the coffee element in both of these drinks—is made by combining Arabica coffee with sugar, vanilla, and rum. The caffeine contents are negligible compared to using coffee itself (5 mg versus up to 200 in a cup of coffee). Therefore, we’ve kept our list to our favorite buzzy and boozy cocktails that include full-fledged coffee.

Need help finding some of the items mentioned in these recipes? Simply place an advance order online, or call ahead to inquire about our stock at your nearest Payless Liquor location. We look forward to serving you.