5 Easy to Prepare Cocktails

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Sometimes summer fun can come along with gatherings and group functions that are unexpected. When this happens, you might find yourself scrambling to be a good host. To help you out with these last minute hang-outs, we created a list of some of the easiest cocktails to prepare, especially on short notice. Cheers!

Top 5 Easy Cocktails

1. Gin and Tonic

A gin and tonic is one of the most simple, refreshing cocktails, especially during the summer. You can make this easy, delicious cocktail with just three ingredients: any gin that you prefer (or have on hand), some tonic water, and a splash of fresh lime juice. This drink is great for parties, as it can be made quickly and is a crowd favorite.


-2 oz gin

-3-4 oz tonic water

-Lime wedge

2. Old Fashioned

This classic crowd-pleaser is another simple cocktail that is perfect for sipping during conversation. It only takes three ingredients and a garnish of fresh citrus. Here’s the recipe for a classic old fashioned—don’t forget to add the bitters on top of the sugar cube to help it dilute!


-1 sugar cube

-2-3 dashes of bitters

-2 oz of whiskey (bourbon or rye also work)

-Lemon twist or wedge of preferred citrus

-1 large ice cube

3. Vodka Soda

Quite possibly the easiest cocktail to be created, a vodka soda is exactly what it sounds like—vodka and soda mixed together. This drink is refreshing and flexible, allowing you to use whatever vodka or soda you prefer. A vodka soda is the perfect cocktail to enjoy with friends and family.


-2 oz vodka

-4 oz of any soda, plain or flavored

-lemon wedge for garnish

4. Spiked Lemonade

Another great cocktail that you can easily throw together this summer is a delicious batch of spiked lemonade. Many people either have the ingredients to make lemonade or already have pre-made lemonade during the summer, making this a great option for last minute cocktails. Spiking your lemonade is the perfect way to liven up an already great drink and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Recipe: (makes 4-6 cocktails)

-8 oz vodka

-24 oz lemonade (or to taste)

-fresh lemon slices

5. Martini

Martinis are another classic cocktail that are quick to make and perfect to sip on. They’re flexible too, in that you can use vodka or gin, as well as bitters being optional too. This drink is super simple to shake up and serve to your guests.


-2 oz gin (or vodka)

-1 oz vermouth

-dash of bitters (optional)

Making Easy Cocktails at Home

Whether you prefer a gin and tonic or a simple martini, there are a multitude of different, easy cocktails out there for you to throw together on a fun, summer night.

At Payless Liquors, we love a simple cocktail to share with friends. From vodka to whiskey, vermouth to gin, we offer a wide selection of liquors to help you make your favorite cocktails at any time. Check out our website to see all of our different options.

Top 5 Red Wines to Help You Undwind

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For many of us around the world, there is nothing quite like relaxing with a fine glass of red wine at the end of a long day.

Wine can play a much larger role in aiding in relaxation than many people tend to give it credit for. There are multiple ways to unwind with wine and use it as a form of self-care or delicious nightcap. In fact, there are even certain wines that can help you relax more than others. To help you with your journey on the destress express, we put together a list of some of the best red wines to settle down with after a hard day.

5 Best Red Wines to Help You Relax

  1. Altos Las Hormingas Malbec Reserve

One reason we started off the list with this lovely Malbec is because Malbecs contain more antioxidants than any other red wine. Antioxidants are crucial in helping your body function properly as well as fortifying your ability to combat stress, making antioxidant-rich Malbecs the perfect option for your night of relaxation. Argentina is known for their fine wines made from Malbec grapes, giving their flavor profiles a unique, rich taste with hints of berries. Altos Las Hormingas Malbec Reserve is an amazing Argentinian red wine that can help you unwind.

  1. Gary Farrell Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir is a consistent top choice for wine lovers across the country and a great option for anyone seeking a delicious red wine with lots of benefits.  Pinot Noirs are packed full of the plant-based compound resveratrol, which not only has recently been found to help with anxiety and depression, but also in reducing stress levels. Resveratrol can be found in the skin of many different kinds of grapes. When you drink this wine, you will feel your endorphins flowing, accompanied by the subtle hint of cherries and cinnamon.

  1. Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This Cabernet Sauvignon is a consistently delicious red wine that is also great for helping people unwind. Cabernet Sauvignons are high in polyphenols and resveratrol, making them a good choice for people who want to relax with their wine. The Silver Oak Alexander Valley cab is known for its bold flavors and complexity.’

  1. Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino

As we mentioned before, Malbecs are full of antioxidants and other health benefits, and it could be argued that nowhere does them better than Argentina. This Argentinian Malbec is top-rated by almost everyone who tries it. It consists of floral spices with hints of smoke and blueberry and is the perfect option to destress any night.

  1. Ritual Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir

Rounding out our list of red wines to help you unwind is another delicious Pinot Noir. Coming from high-quality vineyards that practice low-impact farming methods, these high-quality grapes are farmed with the utmost care, creating a full-bodied red with notes of blackberry and oak.

Finding Your Favorite Red Wine to Unwind

Here at Payless Liquors, we understand more than anyone how much a fine glass of wine can help you relax. That’s why we offer a multitude of red wines from all over the world, so you can find the perfect pair for you. From Pinot Noirs to Malbecs, we have you covered.

mint cocktails

The Power of Mint in 6 Summertime Cocktails

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While mint can technically be available year-round, it is much more accessible in the summer. Mint pairs perfectly with many summertime cocktails because it is so light and refreshing. When many think of mint cocktails, they automatically go to mojitos. While there’s no denying that the mojito is an amazing summer drink, it is just one of many that incorporate the use of mint. If you are looking to branch out with your mint-infused cocktail choices this summer, know that there are plenty to try. Here are our choices for the most fun summer drinks that feature mint beyond the mojitos.


Mint Julep

This is a classic that should never be underestimated or forgotten. And you shouldn’t limit it to the Kentucky Derby, either. We like to use bourbon, mint, and simple syrup with a dash of bitters—and, of course, a garnish of fresh mint.


Whiskey Smash

Revive an old 1880s mint favorite this summer. A distant cousin to the Mint Julep is the Whiskey Smash—a similar concoction with a citrus twist. Start with whiskey and add lemon, fresh mint, and a bit of your favorite sweetener. Serve over crushed ice. What we love about the Whiskey Smash is that you can use it with your favorite summer fruits and herbs as they come into harvest. Try blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, basil, and more. You can also swap out the whiskey for vodka or bourbon if you want to experiment a bit further.

South Side

To prepare for a summertime South Side cocktail, grab your cocktail shaker and add some ice. Chill your favorite martini glass as you prep. Pour gin, fresh lime, simple syrup, and fresh mint into the shaker. Vigorously shake before straining into the martini glass. Float more fresh mint on top for the perfect South Side.


Jalapeño Mint Margarita

What’s better than a margarita in the summer? A spicy, mint margarita in the summer, of course. The Jalapeño Mint Margarita adds a kicked-ed notch to a refreshing summertime favorite. Start with jalapeño-infused tequila and add fresh mint, fresh lime, agave nectar, and ice. Be sure to use pink Himalayan salt to rim your margarita glass.


Maid in Scotland

The Maid in Scotland is perfect if you’re looking for something crisp this season. Choose a 12-year single malt scotch and add lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber slices, and mint leaves. Don’t forget to shake.



This blended minty favorite doubles as a dessert and only requires three ingredients plus ice: creme de menthe, white creme de cacao, and heavy cream. It’s simple and delicious. We love it as an adult summer treat—perfect for hanging out on a warm summer night on the deck, porch, or patio after a barbeque.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to mint in your summertime cocktails. Grab some fresh mint and experiment using your own creativity, or try our suggestions from the list above. Be sure to stop in at Payless Liquors and check out what we have in stock, or use our convenient pre-order and curbside pick-up options.



brunch cocktails

5 Brunch Cocktails for Summer of 2021

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Brunch is always a fun time, but that is especially true in the summer months, where you can venture around and enjoy the sunshine outdoors. When people think of brunch, the typical cocktail selections usually consist of bloody marys or mimosas. While these are solid brunch choices, there are so many other options out there to try, too. Don’t overlook the brunch must-haves on this list. These awesome cocktails are sure to impress your guests and get the party started.

75 Redux

This is a great brunch take on the French 75, which substitutes cognac for gin. Combine cognac with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup. All you need to do is then shake it and strain it into a champagne flute. Top with a healthy pour of your favorite extra dry champagne and a lemon peel garnish.


Bourbon and orange will pack the right punch to get your brunch soiree off to a strong start. The Seelbach is much stiffer than your standard champagne cocktail. You start with curaçao and bourbon in a champagne flute. Then add bitters and top with sparkling wine.

Sangria Lemonade

There are plenty of ways to booze up lemonade, but we like using light rum and a dry, oaky chardonnay. Start with a simple homemade lemonade to impress your brunch guests (consider keeping some of it aside for non-drinkers and anyone underage; it’s a great non-alcoholic brunch beverage offering). Upgrade the rest of the lemonade to a sangria lemonade, adding fresh raspberries, sliced oranges, and granny smith apples. Be sure to chill it in the fridge for at least an hour before you serve for best results.

Raspberry Mimosas

No list of brunch cocktails would be complete without a spin on the classic mimosa. We love a good raspberry mimosa in the summer. Feel free to use blackberries, cherries, or blueberries as a substitution. The berries are fresh and you can get them local, so they’re a perfect addition to brunch. Make your own raspberry sorbet if you want to get fancy, or buy it in-store. Many recipes call for sparkling Moscato, but we prefer using a brut or extra dry champagne to balance out the sweetness of the Chambord.

To create a raspberry mimosa, drop a scoop of the sorbet into the champagne glass (with a sugar rim) and top with Chambord. Add your sparkly of choice and top with fresh berries.

Champagne Mules

This one is like a Moscow Mule but with a mimosa twist. Instead of ginger beer, this recipe calls for champagne. Combine vodka, champagne, fresh lime, and a splash of ginger liquor for a perfect brunch addition. Don’t forget the fresh lime and mint for the garnish.

We hope that something on our list of brunch favorites piqued your interest. Always remember that when you serve stronger drinks like these at brunch, you should include appetizers, too. Stop into stock up on everything you need for hosting your next brunch. Your guests will love something a little different!


7 cocktails for summer

7 Drinks You Must Try This Summer

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Summer is all about enjoying the sunshine before the weather turns. It is about taking a break and enjoying a multitude of outdoor activities. A great cocktail can set the tone for maximum summer enjoyment. These drinks can range from sweet and tropical to crisp and refreshing. Whichever way you choose to enjoy your summer, there is a perfect cocktail out there for you. Here are some of our favorite summer drink recipes that will be a boost to any summer shindig.


Tabernacle Crush

You can’t go wrong with any cocktail that includes fresh peaches. In this recipe, you muddle the peach with fresh basil and lemon juice, and then add gin, Lillet, and simple syrup. Top with ice cubes, add club soda, and garnish with a sprig of basil for a finishing touch.


High King Highball

Some say the High King Highball walks the line between a whiskey collins and a whiskey smash. Start with Irish whiskey and Aperol, and then add muddled grapefruit, lemon, raspberries, simple syrup, and bitters. Finish with a splash of sparkling water and a garnish of lemon wheel and raspberry.


Watermelon Tequila Cocktail

Every summer drink list needs something with watermelon. We like the watermelon tequila cocktail because it’s equal parts sweet and refreshing. The fresh lime and mint add a cool touch, and you can’t go wrong with tequila.


Blackberry Moscato Slushie

The blackberry Moscato slushie is sure to be your go-to frozen choice for summer barbeques, cookouts, and other shindigs of the like. We like to freeze blackberries to prep for this recipe, but you can easily replace them with another favorite summer fruit—or whatever you have on hand. Watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, and more all work well. Simply follow the recipe, blending all ingredients and adding white or rose wine. We prefer Moscato for our slushies, but you should opt for a dry rose if you don’t want it as sweet.


Cucumber Rose Gin Spritz

If you’re looking for something different—slightly floral and overwhelmingly refreshing—check out the cucumber rose gin spritz. Don’t overlook the rose petals; they truly make this cocktail recipe something special. Using gin as its base, the cucumber rose gin spritz combines cucumber, basil, and cardamom syrup with fresh lemon juice and club soda.


Limoncello Prosecco Champagne Cocktail

Limoncello is a staple for many cocktail artists in the summertime months. It’s delicious as a standalone beverage of choice or can be used for its versatility in many summer cocktails. We love the limoncello prosecco champagne cocktail because it offers a gorgeous presentation and tastes just like summer should.


Normandie Club Spritz

This lovely, light spritz is just what you need for the long days of summer. It’s a refined choice, combining elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice and liquor, pisco, tequila blanco, and more. It’s best with a splash of club soda and garnished with a grapefruit wedge.

Try any of these adventurous summertime recommendations to boost your fun this season. Contact us today for more cocktail ideas, or stop in to stock your bar for a memorable summer.



bloody mary

A Bloody Mary for All

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Bloody Mary’s are arguably great for any time, but they are especially popular for brunch. It is a hangover savior and a great way to start any “Funday.” Every once in a while, you encounter someone who will say they don’t like Bloody Marys. Odds are, they just haven’t had the right one. Playing with different ingredients can make all the difference. Let’s explore a few great options that will turn anyone into a Bloody Mary fanatic.

Bloody Maria

The Bloody Maria is arguably Mary’s better, or at least more adventurous, half. Simply swap out the vodka for tequila and enjoy a flavorful result. We like to use extra lime and Mexican hot sauce in our Bloody Marias for an enhanced Mexican flair. Be sure to chill your tomato juice mix for at least an hour in the fridge before you’re ready to serve it if you can’t let it chill overnight. This allows the flavors to meld, and your finished product won’t need to use too much ice (which will dilute the flavor).


Best garnishes for the Bloody Maria:

● More lime (we can’t get enough!)

● Obligatory celery stalk (always a must)

● Jarred peppers of any kind

● Your favorite Mexican cheese


Extra Spicy Bloody Mary

Depending on who you ask, Bloody Marys were meant to be spicy. And the spicier, the better! Here are a few ways to kick up the heat in your Bloody Mary:

● Consider using spicy vodka as your base. We like Absolut Peppar; jalapeño vodka is a great base liquor, too.

● Add extra spicy prepared horseradish to your Bloody Mary mix.

● Add tabasco sauce or any of your favorite hot sauces.

● Consider a dash of cayenne pepper.

● Use pickled jalapeño as a garnish.


The Michelada

The Michelada is a hybrid between a Bloody Mary cocktail and beer cocktail, and we’re all about it this summer. A michelada is a “cerveza preparada,” or “prepared beer,” in Spanish). It’s pronounced “mi-chay-lah-da” (so you get it right when you’re hosting brunch).

Grab your favorite Mexican lager beer, lime juice, salsa juice or tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and some hot sauce, and you have what you need for this fun cocktail. Don’t forget to salt the rim with chili powder, old bay, and celery salt.


Bloody Caesar

The Bloody Caesar is actually the national drink of Canada—and for good reason. It’s quite simple to make and has a distinct depth of flavor due to the combination of clam and tomato juice, dubbed clamato juice.

All you need to do is add all your ingredients (vodka, tabasco sauce, pickle juice lime, Worcestershire sauce—whatever you prefer) and then add the clamato juice on top. We like to top our Bloody Caesar with fresh cracked black pepper.

Whether you’re kicking off your vacation just nursing a summer hangover, there’s a Bloody Mary for you and all your boozy friends. You simply need to find what’s suited to your tastes with a bit of patience. We carry top-shelf liquors to make the perfect Bloody Mary, whether you’re going with a classic or trying one of these variations. Contact us today for more Bloody Mary ideas or stop by to grab your vodka (or tequila!).



tailgate lunch

Best Beers for a Summertime Tailgate

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As large events begin to start back up, so do many of our common pregame and preshow rituals. Tailgating is a popular social practice for many and can amplify our enjoyment of sporting events, concerts, and more. After all, it’s always great to relax with our friends and family at a tailgate on a hot summer’s day.

As many of us know, there’s no tailgate staple quite like a cold beer, which leaves an important question: which beers are best suited to your next summer tailgate? While there are many possibilities, we have some suggestions. Consider checking out these eight beers for your next summertime tailgate:

1. Oskar Blues IPA

This flavorful IPA is packed with light notes of fruit, including pineapple and citrus. The body is on the drier side, with a smooth finish. Simple yet sturdy, Oskar Blues IPA is perfect for a get-together or tailgate.

2. Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

This southern go-to features a fresh profile of herbal and floral notes. A true pale ale, this beer has the perfect amount of hops and a gentle hint of malt. Refreshing and reliable, try a can or two of Sweetwater 420 at your next tailgate.

3. Sixpoint THE CRISP

A highly refreshing option, this beer is ideal for a hot summer’s day. Featuring a floral aroma at first whiff, THE CRISP finishes with a flavor that is clean and crisp. It’s fair to say that this beer has earned its name.

4. Abbot Ale

For something a bit outside the norm, consider trying this English ale at your next tailgate or summer event. This beer is well-known for its natural, oaky taste, plus a malt flavor with a slight caramel touch. We think you’ll find the ideal, clean balance of sweet and bitter.

5. Founders All Day IPA

With a lower than expected ABV at just 4.7%, it’s effortless to toss back this beer without a care in the world. Plus, it doesn’t skimp on taste— this IPA features a complex flavor profile, striking a balance among malts, grains, and hops. Add on a clean finish, and you have yourself a great beer for tailgating.

6. Estrella Damm

Another highly refreshing pick with a light finish, Estrella Damm is perfect for a hot summer’s day. Brewed in the Mediterranean, this lager was formulated to suit warmer climates. It boasts an aroma of fresh spices, a flavor of toasted grains and drinks smooth, with a bitter, long-lasting finish.

7. Heineken Lager

Heineken is a staple worth mentioning, particularly when it comes to tailgates and summer outings. Smooth, clean, and refreshing, this popular Dutch lager is well-suited to a summer’s day. Take in the fruity aroma and relax at your next tailgate.

8. Tecate

Even though this Mexican beer is on the lighter side, it still provides a full flavor which pairs well with many go-to tailgate snacks. You’ll find this beer refreshing, crisp, and malty, all with a lingering, pleasant aftertaste.

Ready to prepare your next summer tailgate? Check out Payless Liquors’ vast selection of beer. Or, take advantage of our convenient pre-order and curbside pick-up options.


wine tasting party

How to Host Your Very Own Wine Tasting Party

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As a wine fanatic, attending a tasting hosted by a sommelier at your local vineyard can be enlightening. However, not everyone has easy access to a vineyard, or to official tasting events. That doesn’t mean you should miss out on the experience— hosting your very own wine tasting party is simple, no vineyard required. The first step, of course, involves selecting the most important components: the wines to be tasted. We’ve put together a guide regarding where to start.

Popular Wines for Your Wine Tasting Party

Selecting several of the wines on this list is the ideal way to ensure you have a full slate of tasty options for your party:


7 Deadly Zins

Boasting around, layered flavor, this red zin features jammy berry fruit, layers of dark fruits, currants, and toffee, and averages a 5/5 rating on our website.


6 Sense Syrah

Full-bodied, with a fruity, berry-infused flavor that lingers on the palate, this wine averages a 4/5 rating on our website.


Andre Cold Duck/Natural

A sparkling red wine that strikes a perfect balance between dry and sweet, finished off by hints of blackberry and cherry, Andre averages a 4.3/5 rating on our website.


Acacia Chardonnay

A white wine with a flavor that is both buttery and complex, this chard averages a 4.8/5 rating on our website.


Zellar Schwarze Katz

This crisp German wine features notes of citrus, green apple, and melon, averaging a 4.5/5 rating on our website.


Wolftrap White

Spicy and complex, this wine features fruity notes and a dry finish, and it averages a 5/5 rating on our website.


Wildekrans Franc/Merlot

This red wine is packed with a flavor that is both rich and intense, averaging a 4.3/5 rating on our website.


Now that you’ve gathered some wines to taste, it’s time to begin planning the event. There’s no one way to go about this—choose whatever suits you and your guests and really make it your own. No need to feel intimidated… just have fun!


However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have some suggestions:

● If you’re feeling unsure where to begin, consider choosing a theme. Maybe you’ll stick to red wines from a particular region, for example. This should narrow the palate of the event, while also making the selection process seem just a bit more manageable.

● For a fun twist, consider a blind tasting system. Select four red (or white) wines, before hiding each bottle in a burlap sack or other covering. Number each wine, and have another guest mix them up, so that you can participate in the blind tasting. Have guides prepared for each option, and have fun trying to figure out which wine is which, based on the profile.

● It’s best to invite six to ten guests. On the smaller end of that scale, aim to provide one bottle of each wine. With ten guests, it’s probably best to provide two bottles of each.

● Make sure to provide at least one all-purpose wine glass to each guest.

● It’s a safe idea to have bread available to nibble on, providing a simple way for guests to clear their palates between sips.

To begin planning your party, check out Payless Liquors’ extensive selection of wine! Or, utilize our convenient pre-order service.



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