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Chicago Area Liquor Stores


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Admin: Split from the Reverse Cocktail thread in the Cocktails forum.

This is what's available at the "big two" in Chicago:

Dekuyper Kirschwasser, Cordial (USA) 750ml $13.99/Bottle

Etter "Kirsch", Cordial (Swizterland) 750ml  $52.99/Bottle

Maraska Kirsch, Cordial (Croatia) 750ml  $16.99/Bottle

Schladerer "Edel-Kirsch" Fruit (Cordial), Germany 750ml  $21.99/Bottle

Schladerer "Kirsch", Fruit (Cordial) Cordial (Germany) 750ml $34.99/Bottle

Weis Kirsch Fruit Brandy, Germany 750ml $23.99/Bottle

Kammer Black Forest Kirschwasser 750ML  $39.99/btl 

Miscault Kirsch 750ML  $37.99

Kurt

I know I've seen Clear Creek's cherry eau de vie at Sam's, though since they don't call it kirsch it probably wouldn't turn up in a search. That stuff isn't exactly cheap either.

Incidentally what's the other "big one" in Chicago?

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...I know I've seen Clear Creek's cherry eau de vie at Sam's, though since they don't call it kirsch it probably wouldn't turn up in a search.  That stuff isn't exactly cheap either.

Incidentally what's the other "big one" in Chicago?...

Binny's is the other biggie. The two stores on my side of town are quite large and with impressive selections of both wine and spirits. I find Binny's is usually, but not always, a buck or four higher than Sam's but the staff's are equally as friendly and knowledgable and I like 'em both (or all three as it were). Binny's has quite a few other locations as well.

Kurt

“I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy.” ~W.C. Fields

The Handy Snake

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Any comments on Schaefer's on the north side? I used to find some real treasures at the Foremost on North ave, but haven't been there in some time.

Binny's is really working hard to outdo Sam's.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Thank you for reminding me of Schaefer's. My grandfather is buried just across the street from the Skokie branch and we always say that he has a direct line put in underground. Now that my aunt's joined him, she's probably got one too. They do have interesting selections. I'll have to stop in sometime before we bury the next family member.

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Thank you for reminding me of Schaefer's. My grandfather is buried just across the street from the Skokie branch and we always say that he has a direct line put in underground. Now that my aunt's joined him, she's probably got one too. They do have interesting selections. I'll have to stop in sometime before we bury the next family member.

I love Schaefer's. We used them for our wedding and they came through for us most satisfyingly. They also carry a very nice array of gourmet food products, as well. On Saturdays the whole store becomes one big tasting area which is a lot of fun. And my dad's buried over there at Memorial Park too, so we always get to say "hi."

Small world :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Knightsbridge (in Northbrook) and Schaefer's are the most expensive places to buy wine and spirits in the Chicago area, unless you catch something during a rare sale.

If one needs to buy a lot of spirits, it would be well worth their while to go to Kenwood Liquors in Oak Lawn (on Cicero just north of 111th Street). They have the lowest spirits prices in the Chicago area, and in many cases the difference between their price and the next-lowest is pretty amazing.

Of course, I'm only talking about price here. The value of service is subjective and varies from person to person, and I'm sure that's why Schaefer's is such a popular place in spite of its high prices.

Mark

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Knightsbridge (in Northbrook) and Schaefer's are the most expensive places to buy wine and spirits in the Chicago area, unless you catch something during a rare sale.

If one needs to buy a lot of spirits, it would be well worth their while to go to Kenwood Liquors in Oak Lawn (on Cicero just north of 111th Street). They have the lowest spirits prices in the Chicago area, and in many cases the difference between their price and the next-lowest is pretty amazing.

Of course, I'm only talking about price here. The value of service is subjective and varies from person to person, and I'm sure that's why Schaefer's is such a popular place in spite of its high prices.

Mark

Thanks, Mark, for the input and information. Price-wise, I think Binny's is very competitive and that's where I go when price is my primary consideration. I like Schaefer's more for their overall selection (food and wine) and the fact that they carry some slightly more obscure items.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

:biggrin:

The French-born owner of First Evanston Liquors, on Davis Street just half a block west of the Metra/CTA stop, seems to be working really hard to be responsive: new cash-register/barcode inventory systems, annual scouting/buying trips to Europe, careful service and advice. They've been really prompt and knowledgeable about special-ordering stuff for me that they don't carry on hand, and their hard-liquor and beer selections look really nice (probably the proximity to NU is a factor there!). I'm enjoying building a relationship with 'em, even though they aren't nearly the size of Binny's or Sam's.

(Disclosure: It doesn't hurt that they're half a block from my home, either.)

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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:biggrin:

The French-born owner of First Evanston Liquors, on Davis Street just half a block west of the Metra/CTA stop, seems to be working really hard to be responsive: new cash-register/barcode inventory systems, annual scouting/buying trips to Europe, careful service and advice.  They've been really prompt and knowledgeable about special-ordering stuff for me that they don't carry on hand, and their hard-liquor and beer selections look really nice (probably the proximity to NU is a factor there!).  I'm enjoying building a relationship with 'em, even though they aren't nearly the size of Binny's or Sam's.

(Disclosure:  It doesn't hurt that they're half a block from my home, either.)

:biggrin:

I've been going there for years. But there's a section of red wine labeled "Charbono/Zinfandel" - in many years I have yet to see a bottle of Charbono there.

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I've been going there for years. But there's a section of red wine labeled "Charbono/Zinfandel" - in many years I have yet to see a bottle of Charbono there.

I'm sure that Charbono/Zinfandel sign at Evanston First dates back to when Bob Back was the wine manager. That sounds like something he would have done...

Mark

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  • 3 months later...

In the past I've stumbled across some nice finds at the Foremost at Ashland & Wellington. Their selection's pretty huge, and in many cases, their prices were a buck or two less than the Jewel across the street.

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Thanks, rhrad, for the input and welcome the eGS :smile:

There are strong and credible rumors that Sam's Wines is expanding into Highland Park. I do think Binny's is solid (good pricing, decent inventory) but Sam's will certainly give them a run for their money.

My brother has been dealing with the wine buyer at Convito Italiano in Wilmette and he's been able to source some hard-to-find wines through that conduit.

Another place I like is the Wine Discount Center (multiple locations). But their name doesn't really do them justice. It really is better than it sounds.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 2 years later...

Cocktail fans and Buffalo Trace nuts will want to visit Warehouse Liquors on 634 Wabash Ave (near Harrison). You can grab a bottle of Regan's No 6 orange bitters, any of a number of fine BT bourbons or ryes, and a good selection of vermouths in this nook.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Dammit, I wish I'd have know about Warehouse Liquors sooner. I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and went to Sam's to fill out our bar supplies, there was stuff I just couldn't find in Madison. I was disappointed that I couldn't find any bitters there besides the usual. I also couldn't find Marie Brizard creme de cacao, which the last time I was there (ok, it was 6 years ago) they carried. According to an employee some investment firm now owns 80% and they're being encouraged to not stock interesting things, but just things that sell well. I also couldn't find the cognacs from small makers that I loved to splurge on previously.

Will I sound like a lush to say that moving is very hard on cocktail making? We gave away or drank down for our 2K mile move, but I am missing not only the creme de cacao but my homemade bitters, cherries in brandy or bourbon, limoncello, vin de noix etc.

regards,

trillium

Edited by trillium (log)
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  • 1 year later...
Has anyone seen any VERJUS in any wine/liquor stores recently?

Thanks,

Toby

Isn't it more akin to vinegar than wine? I would think maybe Fox & Obel or the like...perhaps a middle eastern grocery?

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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