A non drinkers guide to buying hard liquor

So, I don’t drink, I never have. Still I fancied myself to be somewhat educated in alcohol considering the major social activity of my university was drinking. You just can’t go to Texas A&M and be ignorant about alcohol whether you drink it or not. Turns out I’m only educated in cheap alcohol. Apparently I didn’t hang out with the rich kids in college, we had to dream on a budget. I can tell you all about the best wines to get at Walmart and the rankings of cheap beer, but I have no knowledge of anything that costs more than $10.

So this week I decided I was going to make some homemade vanilla extract. I was aware that I needed vodka or rum to make it so I decided I’d just make a quick trip to Sams Club to pick up some hard liquor. No big deal. I was even smart enough to check online to see if Sams carried hard liquor (it’s a family store right? you never know) and it does. The suburb we live in was originally settled by Quakers so I knew there was some interesting liquor laws, but since we live on the county line I figured I’d shop in the county that encompasses the city of Houston which I assumed had liberal liquor laws. Because…Texas. I underestimated Texans ya’ll.

My first big check came when I realized that the only thing I needed at Sams was a bottle of rum, a HUGE bottle of low budget rum. My four year old was shopping with me and I realized it would look mighty interesting for me and my kid to go pick up a kegs worth of rum and nothing else. I mean I promise I wasn’t buying it to guzzle on the way home, but it felt weird. I just know I’d run into my kids principal or something and then they’d think “well that explains THAT family”! Or I’d run into an acquaintance I haven’t seen in a while because being sick kills your social life and they’d be like “oh, she has a chronic illness does she? Looks  like that’s a bunch of crap.” Because people judge. Heck, I’d judge me too.

So I turned to my partner in crime, my husband, who by the way also doesn’t drink. I emailed him a picture of the rum I wanted and figured it would be no big deal for him to pick it up on his way home. So he heads off to Sams and then a few other stores only be mystified at the unavailability of hard liquor. Hmmm, so apparently in our county you can only get it at a liquor store. I had no idea, I just assumed you could pick it up anywhere. Doesn’t Walmart have everything, isn’t that the entire point of their horrible existence?

So next I looked up a liquor store and I sent my spouse off to buy the cheapest rum he could find. The employees at the liquor store were horrified to see him buy rum in a plastic bottle and tried in vain to convince him that he had to buy some better stuff. They were equally horrified when they found out he didn’t intend to even drink it! Why would you ever buy alcohol if you don’t intend to drink it? If your wife is a DIYer and has a few too many screws loose, that’s why.

There’s really no point to this story, but it sure was an amusing experience. Now I know where to find hard liquor if I ever need it in the middle of the night, but not on Sunday because you can’t buy it on Sundays here. Because…Texas ya’ll.

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3 thoughts on “A non drinkers guide to buying hard liquor

  1. Yup, every county is different (and states) some places are crazy with their liquor laws. We were in PA and you have to go to a different store for every sort of alcohol you want. A liquor store for liquor, a wine store for wine, and a bar to get beer. I'd never been anywhere where you could walk out of a bar with a 6 pack. Michigan on the other hand sells liquor in wal-mart and Sams. Alabama you have to go through the Beverage Control to get anything. You can get beer and wine at the grocery store, but liquor you have to get from the ABC store (or a store that bought it from the ABC store and marked it up)…. we tend to just go out to TN where it's cheaper.

  2. You should have called your Hospitality Business Major sister!

    In Texas, Alcohol can only be sold by the bottle by a licensed liquor store. They can only be open until 9pm, and are closed on Sundays.

    You can buy an alcoholic drink in a restaurant until 2am daily. On sundays, you can only order a drink before noon if you also have food ordered with it.

    You can go to grocery stores, gas stations, etc for beer and wine. That can be sold until midnight.

    Essentially they just try to control the sale of bulk liquor most rigorously than beer or wine by making it not convenient to buy.

    What kind did you end up getting?

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