Retailers That Will Ship Distilled Spirits
One of the biggest challenges I faced as began to add bottles to my home bar was finding those hard-to-find spirits at a retailer. Perhaps you live around the corner from a fabulous liquor store that carries everything that you need. But for the rest of us, knowing a retailer that will ship to you is a tremendous resource.
Legal Disclaimer: Shipping liquor in general and specifically distilled spirits is a highly regulated business. I have no desire to get into an exhaustive legal discussion here, but any reputable liquor retailer will follow two basic rules when it comes to shipping distilled sprits:
- Someone of legal drinking age must sign for the package; and
- There are a plethora of mind-numbing laws that your state, county or municipality have put in place that may or may not restrict the delivery of distilled spirits into your neighborhood.
In my home bar-building journey I found a handful of retailers that I would recommend for those looking to find that bottle when you cannot find it locally. I am not commercially affiliated with these places in any way - my recommendation is based on the fact that these retailers have two things:
- They have a great selection of spirits; and
- They have taken the time to learn the shipping laws and will ship to anywhere in the US that is allowed
Beekman Liquors - New York City, NY
This is a classic old-school wine and liquor store located in Midtown Manhattan. The proprietor (David Frieser - who in the interest of full disclosure is my Wife's Uncle) is extremely knowledgeable about distilled spirits - and he is skilled at helping the novice as well as the connoisseur find what they are looking for. Plus his relationships with distributors usually get him an allocation for bottles that many other shops can't stock. Call the store and ask for David - he'll tell you straight up whether it is possible to ship to your location.
K&L Wine Merchants - San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA
A great wine shop with a large and growing selection of distilled spirits on hand as well. They have a really well done website that allows you to search their stock and arrange for delivery. Their web store will tell you the shipping restrictions for your location and if it can be shipped to you they will ship it.
Cask Spirits - San Francisco, CA
Cask is a sprits shop home mixologist's playground. They carry a huge array of high-end spirits, bar tools, mixers and glassware. They are a much smaller organization, and tend to be slightly more expensive than some other shops, but they carry a number of items for the home mixologist that other shops do not. Note that they are the online retailer for Small Hand Foods' fine line of cocktail syrups.
They publish their delivery policy pretty clearly here.