Bwog on a Budget: Cheap Shots

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Classes are tough, the economy is bad, life is hard. But drinking is always good. Unfortunately in recent times, we’ve have seen our drinking habits suffer due to Columbia’s war on fun and the economy’s war on our wallets.   When a bar tab on any given night out easily runs upwards of $25, the simple solution is to buy in bulk.  That’s right, skip the bar and go straight to the liquor store for a handle.  Think how many drinks you can make and how much money you can save by purchasing a huge fifth of Jack Daniels instead of seven watered-down cocktails.  

Like bars, however, all liquor stores are not created equal.  Today Bwog on a Budget brings you a rundown of the most affordable and most expensive liquor stores in the area.  To determine the valor of each liquor store, Bwog compared the prices charged for a fifth of Jack Daniels, 750 ML size of Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of Yellow Tail chardonnay and a magnum of Robert Mondavi merlot.  Admittedly Bwog is no enologist; the wines were selected because they are prevalent and relatively potable.


International Wines and Liquor

Broadway between 113th and 114th Sts

Sure, International is convenient and user-friendly but the prices are high. To make matters worse, their ID policy is unpredictable.

Smirnoff: $19

Jack Daniels: $25

Yellow Tail: $9

Robert Mondavi: $16


Ramon A. Jimenez

3139 Broadway at 123rd St

Ramon’s got a pretty decent selection of cheap wine, but no Mondavi and no magnums.  His pre-chilled wine selection is not terribly extensive. Also it’s a bit of a walk.

Smirnoff: $15.99

Jack Daniels: $24.99

Yellow Tail: $7.99

Wine and Liquor Authority

574 W. 125th St between Broadway and Amsterdam

The store was just renovated and staff is eager to help.  But their cheap wine section is small.  Most bottles cost between $14 and $20.  Liquor, on the other hand, abounds in all sizes and varieties. That said, the prices here are not worth the walk.

Smirnoff: $15.99

Jack Daniels: $24.99

Yellow Tail: $10.99

Amsterdam Liquor Mart

1356 Amsterdam Avenue at 126th St

The wine selection here is very small and the overall atmosphere is less than classy.  Think lotto machines and plexiglass barriers between the customer and the cashier and liquor.

Smirnoff: $15.00

Jack Daniels: $23.99

Yellow Tail: $8.50


Polanco Liquor Store

948 Amsterdam at 107th St

The shoddy appearance of Polanco would lead one to assume it offers cheap prices.  Don’t be misled.  Despite of the plexi-glass and the proprietor’s leering eye, the wine prices are high.

Smirnoff: $16

Jack Daniels: $26

Yellow Tail: $11

Robert Mondavi: $16

Riverside Liquor Store

2746 Broadway between 106 and 105th Sts

Riverside has tons of liquor and a large selection of cheap wine and pre-chilled white wine.  The walk is not terribly far.  And there’s no plexiglass here so the sketchy factor is relatively low.

Smirnoff: $15

Jack Daniels: $24

Yellow Tail: $7

Robert Mondavi: $13

H&H Wines and Liquors

Broadway at 102nd St

Although this place has an extensive collection of cheap wines, the liquor stocks are paltry.  The staff is slightly peculiar and the merchandise is a little dusty…

Smirnoff: $15

No Jack Daniels fifths

Yellow Tail: $7

Robert Mondavi: $12

Roma Discount Wine and Liquor

737 Amsterdam Avenue at 96th St

It’s definitely a walk, but the prices and selection are worth it.  It’s not sketchy, but the interior is chaotic and it can be difficult to find what you are looking for.  Nonetheless it’s open on Sundays – a major plus!

Smirnoff: $12

Jack Daniels: $22

Yellow Tail: $7

Robert Mondavi: $12


Best Bet: Roma Discount Wine and Liquor

Best Alternative to International: Riverside Liquor Store.


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  1. hmmm  

    Useful, but I really want to know the carding policy of various places.

  2. best prices  

    at "wines and liquors" on 125th next to kennedy fried chicken. or maybe it's lincoln, which is on 116th. always confuse them.

    • yes!  

      #2 is right. "wines and liquors" kicks major ass.
      beautiful shop, free shots upon entry, and an excellent 'special deal' section in the back. can anyone beat $25 for a liter of anejo?

  3. kennedy

    fried chicken is on 116th at 8th ave.

    does the liquor store next door card?

  4. wino  

    you forgot to mention that the 105th store has 3 bottles of wine for 15 dollars for the rack in the front. not bad.

  5. FYI  

    9th Avenue Vinter has a great specialty Beer and Cheese shop (aside from a great wine one). Check it out; a lot of local American and imported brews. Good stuff.

    And how could you forget to mention Trader Joe's? Columbia undergrads need to get out more...
    Anyway, it's a staple in NYC. RIDICULOUSLY good and cheap beer.

  6. FYI  

    I meant ridiculously good and cheap wine.

  7. ...

    Pioneer grocery on 75th and Columbus (roughly) has slightly expired Baltikas for 59 cents each. they're big, tasty, and beer doesn't really go bad anyways.

  8. fyi  

    beer wholesaler on 207th and 9th sells cases of expired baltika for 5.99. And 30's of delicious natty for 9.99.

  9. senior  

    What about Martin Brothers and Morningside Liquor on Broadway in the low 100s?

  10. and don't forget`  

    2 buck chuck! head down to trader joes

  11. bulk buyer

    i'm a fan of P&J wine supermarket on broadway and 207th. they've got the best booze selection withn 50 miles easy. devils springs, cachaca, pucker of all kinds, and an aisles worth of every wine varietal/doc. near wholesale prices too, and they never card for cash. if you have time to take the trip, there's no other place to go.

  12. wtf  

    you guys are snobs, who the fuck cares about plexiglass

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