Splurging – Part III: Anti-Splurging (IKEA Bar – Part II)

Like I said in the previous posts, there's nothing like spending tons of cash on expensive booze to make you realize just how good a value the everyday stuff is. I partied pretty high on the hog this weekend. I treated myself (numerous times) to fancy bottles, fancy meals, and luxurious living.  I won't lie—it was pretty great. That being said, I still love my basic hooch bargains. Much like fashion icon Coco Chanel once preached: it's not about looking rich, it's about looking good. That's why she always wore fake pearls; unlike the thousand dollar strands her namesake company peddles today. Since the IKEA bar post from last summer was such a hit, I thought I'd come back with round two today.

Let's see if we can keep it under $100, yet again:

Rye: Jim Beam Rye $14.99 — A hot deal for this little 40% workhorse. There's a new Green Label rye coming from Beam later in 2015 that will be bottled at 45%, but for now this guy is tough to beat. I prefer it over Bulleit Rye for cocktails as there's a more pronounced note of pepper and creamy corn.

Bourbon: Jim Beam White Label Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey $12.99 — By the end of 2015, the Beam renaissance will have taken place. There's a concerted effort—even more so since the Suntory merger—to restore Beam's reputation amongst the craft crowd of whiskey sippers. This is like the Pabst Blue Ribbon or Miller High Life of Bourbons. Drink it ironically if you want, but it'll hit the spot either way.

Gin: City of London Gin $14.99 — This is from the same distillery portfolio that imports Hayman's Old Tom and the Royal Dock London gins. It's clean, dry, and it's the personal home bar gin of both myself and Champagne buyer Gary Westby. Another unknown gem.

Vodka: Real Russian Vodka $7.99 — Our owner bought so much of this stuff a while back we're still trying to get rid of it. You won't see drinkable, clean neutral grain for cheaper than this. It's not normally this price, let's put it that way. An IKEA bar must.

Tequila: Cimarron Blanco Tequila 1L $15.99 — Still going with the Cimarron. Nothing better, and nothing ever will be better for the money.

Rum: Appleton Estate V/X Jamican Rum $17.99 — Campari is back to wheelin'-and-dealin' with the legendary Jamaican brand. A great, characterful rum for sub-$20. You can sip this over ice, mix it with Coke, or shake up a Daiquiri. It's even bold enough for a punch. Love it.

Subtotal: $84.94

CA Tax: $7.87

Total: $92.81

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll