Bartenders Tell Us The Best Value Booze Bottles For The Holidays


Halloween has been over for more than a week. That means the holidays aren’t far behind. This is bad news for budget home bartenders, especially anyone severely lacking in the booze department. In the weeks ahead, there will be a lot of entertaining to do, and if you’re not ready everyone will feel it.

If you don’t want your guests to leave wondering why you only have plastic handles of bottom shelf spirits for their holiday cocktail creations, you’d better take a look at what our favorite bartenders have to say about the best high-value booze. Check out their go-to bang-for-your-buck bottles before you start hosting. From rye, to bourbon, to mezcal, to Amari, to gin, to vodka, they’ve got you covered.

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey – $17

Sam Cable, head bartender at P.S. Speakeasy in Kansas City

“I talk about Old Overholt all the time. It’s cheap in price, but not in flavor. Works in a Manhattan or a Horsefeather; it even works by itself surprisingly well.”

Larceny Bourbon – $23

Evan Hosaka, lead bartender at Electra at The Venetian Las Vegas

“Favorite bargain bottle for fall would be Larceny Bourbon. Price hovered near $20 a 750ml bottle. It is 92 proof wheated bourbon. Easy to enjoy neat or on the rocks. To put it in perspective with other wheated bourbons, Makers Mark is about $30, WL Weller reserve is about $20… though I don’t like either as much as Larceny. WL Weller 12 yr goes for about $30 and Pappy Van Winkle is much more expensive.”

Cynar Liquer – $30

Harrison Peaks, bartender at The Patterson House in Nashville

“Cynar is perfect for all seasons and that includes fall. Having Cynar in the house, especially in the fall, to make a Black Negroni, is the literal best thing to keep at your bar when the temperatures drop.”