See what we’re up to!

Close this search box.

See what we’re up to!

Stocked holiday liquor cabinet

Holiday Liquor Cabinet: How to Properly Stock



’Tis the season yet again, and as we prepare to gather and make merry, let’s be sure not to skimp on the holiday liquor. Knowing what to have on standby is crucial to creating the perfect drink.


A well-stocked home-for-the-holidays offers drink selections that are both diverse and accessible, with a mix of classic crowd-pleasers and exceptional choices to prominently feature holiday and deep-autumn flavors.


The Holiday Liquor Cabinet


A liquor cabinet that can hold up through Thanksgiving and well into the New Year is important. Nobody wants to break their holiday groove to make an emergency run to the liquor store in their Christmas pajamas. So, make sure you have the following liquors available for guests at a minimum.


  • Rum—Try a spiced rum for warm wintertime vibes. You can’t go wrong with Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry’s. Mixes well with nog and in hot mixed drinks.


  • Whiskey—Make sure you have something on hand for the whiskey connoisseurs at your holiday gathering. Irish whiskeys and bourbons can both hearken back to the memories of a traditional country Christmas. Try exploring offerings from Jameson or Knob Creek.


  • Vodka—a simple, clean vodka is a must-have for guests who want mixed drinks. It’s the most versatile and adaptable of the liquors. Try Svedka or Smirnoff, both of which also offer flavor-infused vodkas that might spark your holiday creativity.


  • Peppermint Schnapps—for those candy-cane-themed mixers or shooters, of course. Try spiking your hot cocoa.


  • Brandy—Brandy is another drink that can go well with egg nog, but it’s also a favorite for just sipping around the fire. Rémy Martin XO is a staple, but in some households, it’s a Christmas tradition to acquire a bottle of Spanish Brandy, or Brandy de Jerez, which owes its unique qualities to being derived from Spanish sherry.


Hearty Winter Beers


It’s not all about liquor. The beer-drinkers at your holiday festivities also deserve consideration. Stock up on a crowd favorite like Budweiser, with their annual holiday-themed cans, but think outside the gift box as well.


There is no shortage of craft brewers putting out seasonal brews each year. Try to have choices in at least three categories. Grab a lager, an ale, and round out the offerings with a porter or stout because you’ll want to have something hearty and dark on hand this time of year.


  • Bell’s Brewery—Christmas Ale
  • Tröegs Brewing—Mad Elf
  • Revolution Brewing—Fistmas
  • Sierra Nevada—Celebration Ale
  • Samuel Adams—Winter Lager
  • Leinenkugel’s—Snowdrift Vanilla Porter


Mull-Worthy Wines


Mulling wine is a fun and easy way to add some warmth and holiday spice to your celebration. You simply simmer a dark wine at low heat and add cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, and whatever other herbs or spices you like, infusing it with that magical Christmastime flavor. Don’t boil it. Set your heat too high, and you’re likely to burn away alcohol content.


  • Merlot
  • Zinfandel (not white)
  • Garnacha/Grenache


Mixers and N/A


Don’t forget your nog, sparkling juice, ginger ale, and cola. Head to your nearest Payless Liquors and stock up on holiday cheer.

Grey Goose

“I didn’t approach this as stripping out the impurities – I never let them get in there in the first place,” said Francois Thibault, the maker and master of Grey Goose.

Grey Goose is made with only the finest of ingredients, that give the finished product the exceptional taste from which it is known by. Grey goose uses the highest grade of wheat grown in France; the same wheat that is traditionally used in bread and pastry making. After the wheat is transformed into a high-proofed spirit, it is distilled once using a continuous column distillation process, ensuring the quality of the wheat remains. The spirit is then transported to the Cognac region of France, where it is combined with artesian spring water that is naturally filtered through 500 feet of limestone, making it remarkedly pure for blending. Prior to bottling, each batch is taste tested and approved by Francois Thibault and tasting experts, to ensure every bottle is perfection. How can you make the most of your Grey Goose? We found unique cocktails you’re sure to love.

Looking for a refreshing spin on the vodka cranberry you love? Spritz it up with some club soda, simple syrup, and lime juice.

Check out how to make a Cape Fizz:
1 1/2 Parts GREY GOOSE® Original
2 Parts Club Soda
2 Part Cranberry Juice
1/2 Parts Simple Syrup
1/4 Parts Lime Juice
1 Slice of Lime

Add all ingredients to a rocks glass filled with ice, stir gently, and enjoy! Not in the mood for bubbles? Try a martini inspired by the origin of Grey Goose itself with this French Martini.

1 1/2 Parts GREY GOOSE® Original
2 Parts Fresh Pressed Pineapple Juice
1/2 Chambord
Raspberries for Garnish

Build ingredients in a Boston glass topped with cubed ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a raspberry.

We even found a coffee cocktail that’s perfect for your next brunch or post dinner cocktail. Here’s how to make a L’Espresso Martini:

1 1/2 Parts GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 Part Single Origin Espresso
3/4 Parts Premium Coffee Liqueur
1 Pinch of Salt

Shake all ingredients together, strain into a martini glass and garnish with salted dark chocolate powder.

Looking for Grey Goose to make these yummy cocktails? Payless Liquors has you covered! Our 1.5L bottles are now just $39.99. Pick up yours so you can make one of these scrumptious cocktails. Stop by your local Payless Liquors or reserve yours today. Bon appétit!

Medea Vodka

Medea vodka may look like a glimpse into the future of spirits, but it really has a very rich and long history that goes back seven generations. The family name behind this world renowned product is Herman Jansen. The clan has its origins in the Netherlands, where the House of Herman Jansen was erected in 1777 and still stands tall today. Awarded Honorable Distiller of the Year in 2012, and with a production team sharing over 100 years of experience between them, it’s clear that the taste of Medea has been perfecting the craft for several lifetimes.
MEDEA-Vodka_bottleThis particular bottle of Vodka from The House of Herman Jansen that you can find on the shelves of your favorite local Payless is the world’s only programmable bottle, complete with patented LED technology. So, from the very start, you know this is going to be a fun experience. With a pop of the bottle, you’re greeted by the familiar and delicious scent of sharp lemongrass and pleasantly surprised by notes of apple and cream. A second waft brings about a hint of orange zest.
At your first sip, it is clear that this is a truly impeccable vodka. There is no doubt in the quality as you feel the smooth taste roll over your tongue. Your palate will be excited to unfurl the complex flavors coming at you courtesy of Medea. The white pepper and beeswax are a welcome surprise but the undeniable treat is the vanilla sweetness that is left after you swallow and go for your next sip, and then another and another and another…
Even if you’re not a fan of vodka, you’ll definitely want to give this one a chance. If not for the exceptionally smooth taste, definitely for the nifty bottle! You can get your very own bottle and program it to make it one-of-a-kind! Reserve yours soon and get to personalizing your drinking experience.

Ciroc Ten

Early in 2015,  Sean “Diddy” Combs announced on Instagram the latest expression from Ciroc Vodka was coming — Ciroc Ten. Ten is made with a blend of the finest grapes, including the first harvest grapes of 2013. Vintners have said that those grapes were the crispest of the harvest.

ciroc tenCiroc was founded in France by Jean-Sebastien Robicquet.  Robicquet’s family hails from the wine-growing region of Bordeaux and has been in the wine business for 400 years dating back to the 17th century. He was approached by the Diageo to produce a vodka made from grapes as opposed to grain or potato common among most vodka. The brand was introduced in 2003.

In 2007, Diageo partnered with Sean Combs for a strategic alliance to manage all branding and marketing initiatives for Ciroc Vodka. Combs said he wanted to work with Diageo because the company understood that “I’m not just a celebrity endorser, I’m a brand builder. I’m a luxury brand builder.”

The nose is clean, mild, with a hint of mint. The palate is quiet, touched just barely with vanilla, and fading out with a clean, simple finish that has a trace of sweetness. For straight sipping, Ciroc Ten offers a straightforward and quite enjoyable experience.  It would also blend well naturally with just about anything.

Less than 10,000 cases of Ciroc Ten will be made available annually, and were able to secure a limited quantity. Use our contact us form to reserve your bottle of Ciroc Ten today.

Heisenberg Blue Ice Vodka

“Say My Name”…”I’m the one who knocks”…”Tread Lightly”

Sound Familiar? They are popular catchphrases of Walter White/Heisenberg from the hit AMC Show Breaking Bad.  And now, Sony Pictures Television and 21st Century Spirits have partnered up to launch a limited edition line of “Heisenberg” Blue Ice Vodka, inspired by the hit television series.  Collect all three special edition bottles of Heisenberg by Blue Ice, with distinct graphics and infamous quotes


Blue Ice Vodka is produced in Idaho from Russet potatoes. Less than 3% of the world’s vodka is made from potatoes.  Blue Ice Vodka does not add sugar and is certified gluten-free and Non-GMO.  It was rated the #1 American vodka by the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, with 94 points. Other awards Blue Ice has one include Gold Medal Winner San Francisco Spirits Competition 2014, receiving 92 Points Wine Enthusiast, and 94 Points Beverage Testing Institute.

And of course, there are also Breaking Bad inspired cocktails as well:


  • 2-3 oz of Heisenberg BlueIce Vodka
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 1oz triple sec
  • 1/2 cup of ice.
  • Cube watermelon into 1″ -2″ thick chunks. Place approx 6 cubes in the blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend!


  • 3oz  Heisenberg BlueIceVodka
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 8 cubes of watermelon
  • 1/2 a jalapeño (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • Add everything to a blender and blend!

You can find Heisenberg Blue Ice Vodka at all Payless Liquors locations.  Or contact us to reserve your bottle today.  Cheers!

Shake and Shimmer

A violet liqueur that shimmers. Viniq combines premium vodka, Moscato, natural fruit and a one-of-a-kind shimmer when shaken for the perfect refreshing drink. The fusion of style and taste makes it the go-to beverage for any celebration.

Viniq’s tantalizing signature shimmer is made with the same ingredients that give cake frosting its shine and that sparkle in rock candy. The edible glitter adds that special touch that no other liqueur out there embodies. But Vinuq is more than just the shimmer. The first of its kind- you’ll find one sip is exploding with sweet flavors of grape and peach that come from the contribution of the Moscato. Not only does Viniq have that enticing look and sweet taste, it’s also bottle at 20% alcohol. Which is makes it perfect for sipping just by itself.

Drink Viniq right out of the bottle or mix to make a lovely looking cocktail. Don’t worry- when mixed with other liqueurs the shimmer doesn’t fade, even when paired with Blue Curacao! We recommend pairing it with tequila, lime juice and agave nectar for a sweet twist on the margarita. Viniq is perfect for a girl’s night out, bachelorette party gift or similar special occasion.

Does your night call for Viniq? Visit a local Payless Liquors store and pick up a bottle of this shimmery party-starter.

12.05 is More Than the End of Prohibition

This week’s blog is about a local hometown hero in Indy. It’s Vodka from 12.05 Distillery located on Virginia Avenue in downtown Indianapolis. The vodka gets its name from the date The Prohibition was repealed on December 5th, 1933. It’s a celebration of our right to legally drink whatever spirits we wish.

The Man Behind the Vodka

12.05 Distillery is man by experienced liquor distiller, Brad Clover. Originally from Indiana, Clover spent several years mastering his technique in Colorado at Breckenridge and Peach Street micro-distilleries. His system at 12.05 is made up of 20-plate copper which allows him to distill a wider variety of liquors including their two big products: vodka and gin.

12.05 & Repeal

Not only is 12.05 Vodka sold at Payless Liquors stores, but it will served at its neighboring restaurant, Repeal Restaurant in late April. The restaurant will serve small-plate entrees paired with signature cocktails made with spirits from 12.05. They are located right next to each other on 636 Virginia Avenue in a building that use to house the former Virginia Avenue State Bank. The inside of the establishment is appropriately decorated with the original terra cotta exterior from 1924. It’s also proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The perfect place for spirits that embody the rich history of America during The Prohibition.

The Vodka

12.05 Vodka is specially crafted from triple distilled non-GMO Indiana Corn. The corn is sourced from a farm located in Lebanon. Not only is the corn local, but the distillery also uses local materials and services, including artisanal water, grains, labels and cases. Each bottle is distilled and bottled right here in Indianapolis at 40% ALC by VOL. 

Celebrate your legal right to drink quality spirits by purchasing a bottle (or 2) or 12.05 Vodka at your local Payless Liquors or reserve here on our website.