10 Best Liquor Stores in Los Angeles
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The cocktail revolution is well documented. In bars and restaurants across the country, the American cocktail has returned. But the serious booze professionals I know argue that if the cocktail is truly to take root again as part of our national identity, it must make the leap from the barstool to the couch.
The at-home cocktail used to be the psychological distinction we drew between the work day and the evening. Cocktail hour said definitively that work was over, that this is our time now. Reclaiming this tradition, the nerds argue, is paramount if we want to see our current cocktail obsession stand the test of time, to be more than just another passing fad. People, it is your cultural duty to make cocktails at home.
With that in mind, we set out to find the best places in Los Angeles to further our at-home cocktail ambitions. As such, we gave preference to places with the best liquor selections, rather than looking for good wine or beer selections, although great liquor PLUS great wine and beer definitely won our favor. Turn the page for L.A.'s top 10 liquor stores.
Emilio's Beverage Warehouse
Located in Bellflower, Emilio's is notable mainly because it looks like a crappy liquor store but actually hides some strange and geeky liquors amongst its other offerings. It carries around 150 tequilas, and some oddities such as Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky, a Canadian Rye flavored with maple syrup, for all your breakfast whiskey needs. It also should be mentioned that Emilio's has the most extensive, impressive selection of disgusting-looking, colors-not-found-in-nature liqueurs I've ever seen. 17251 Lakewood Blvd., Bellflower; (562) 630-8683.
Gourmet Wine & Spirits
This downtown store doesn't have a huge selection, but it does have some very cool things on offer. It's one of the few stores in L.A. to carry Rittenhouse Rye -- a fantastic, affordable rye whiskey. It also carries some very rare old cognacs and Scotches. And if you live downtown, it offers free delivery. 626 Wilshire Blvd., #120, dwntwn.; (213) 489-2666.
The small wall of liquor tucked into a nook near the front of this Silver Lake wine shop holds many delights. They're serious about their gins, offering small-batch brands, Old Tom gins, and even a genever or two. Lots of cocktail-friendly aperitifs: Cynar, Fernet Branca, Averna Amaro, as well as vermouths including Carpano Antica Formula. Rums, tequilas and mezcals are definitely an edited selection, although almost everything on the shelves is special in some way. 2395 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 662-9024.
Turn the page for picks 7 through 5...Next Page
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