Economic Downturn Fuels Increase In Bourbon, Scotch Sales In Manhattan


We’ve already told you that the recession was leading to an increase in liquor sales, even before we officially knew we were in a recession. But apparently the types of alcoholic beverages people are craving, at least in New York, are bourbon and scotch. We wonder how many people are ordering bourbon because it sounds tough and then getting it and realising they don’t care for the taste.

Food & Wine’s Mouthing Off Blog: Manhattan’s barbecue mecca Blue Smoke is reporting a marked increase in alcohol sales over the past three months, especially for specialty cocktails and high-end bourbon. (At the same time, nonalcoholic drinks are down. BS’s managing partner Mark Maynard-Parisi thinks it’s because that group is choosing water rather than paying for soda or iced tea, “while those who like to imbibe are going all the way.”) Over at The Smith in the East Village, owner Jeff Lefcourt has seen a steady increase in sales of bourbon and scotch, with a particular spike since September. They’ve also gotten increased requests for after-dinner drinks—enough to be launching a dedicated scotch menu next week. Likewise at Almond, owner Eric Lemonides has noticed a dramatic increase in the sales of gin and brown spirits and gin since they opened in September (he now has to order Maker’s Mark by the case).

We’ve yet to see as many recession-inspired drink specials and food specials. (If people are already inclined to drink, you might as well make some money off of it.) But Jean-Georges Vongerichten has slashed the prices of wine to go with his “recession special” $24 lunch.

Even Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Perry St. recognises the importance of drinking right now. To accompany its $24 two-course prix fixe lunch (which is unofficially judged the best deal in the city by food cognoscenti), wines by the glass are $5 and bottles are $20.