Alcoholics I Have Known and Loved

I often list recommendations in each recipe because the question usually comes up during in-person conversations. Just occurred to me though, I actually do have a list that I’ve whittled down over the decades. Maybe someone will find it useful, or just something new to try.

These are the “stand-bys” that I usually keep on hand for myself, for company, and for cooking, there is (usually) no difference between those three situations, as far as I’m concerned.
** I mean, unless you gotta dump 2-3 cups of it in, then something like Wyborowa in a vodka sauce would just be irresponsible **

Disclaimer: I am not a connoisseur of the following (well, sake may be the exception). I just explore, find what I like, and keep it around.

*Hamorously Yours, Jimi


  • Ultimat – it’s the only blended vodka that I know of and it’s incredible.
  • Grey Goose, Chopin, Belvedere, Effen White Label – Standards, always kept in the freezer.
  • Van Gogh (Blue) – When budget and availability allow.
  • Wyborowa Exquisite – if you can find it.


  • Patron Anejo
  • Corzo Anejo
  • Tito’s Anejo


  • Jonnie Walker Black
  • Balvenie – Single Malt 12
  • Macallan – 12, 14
  • Woodford Reserve


  • Kraken – Spiced


  • Hennessy VSOP – good for flambe shellfish and desserts.


  • Tyku
    • White Bottle: Junmai – Warm, “Hot”
    • Black Bottle: Junmai Ginjo – Cold, Room Temp
    • Silver: Junmai Daiginjo – Cold ONLY
  • Otokoyama
    • Junmai – Warm, Cooked, Hot
    • Junmai Daiginjo – Cold ONLY
  • Kikusui Daiginjo – Cold ONLY

Red Wines

  • Casillero Del Diablo – consistently excellent
    • Cabernet
    • Carmenere
  • Coppola
    • Cabernet
    • Claret
    • Merlot
  • Merryvale Cabernet – one of the best reds I’ve ever had
  • Stags Leap Cabernet
  • Klinker Red Zin

White Wines

  • Hahn Chardonnay – excellent bang-for-buck
  • La Crema Chardonnay – one of my favorites
  • Merryvale Chardonnay
  • Coppola – Solid stand-by
    • Chardonnay
    • Sav Blanc
  • Stag’s Leap Sav Blanc
  • Fat Bastard Chardonnay
  • Leaping From Chardonnay
  • The Noble House Riesling – outstanding
  • Relax Riesling


  • Guinness Draft (or stout, based on need)
  • Ayinger Celebrator – possibly my favorite beer, it’s seasonal (Nov-Jan)
  • Ayinger Oktoberfest – also amazing, and seasonal
  • Weihenstephaner – Hefe Weissbier (aka: Hefeweizen)
  • Tripel Karmeliet – it isn’t a beer, so much as a fermented dessert in a beer trench-coat
  • Corona Extra
  • Sam Adams – decent stand-by for several types, based on need/season
  • Yuengling
  • Bass
  • Sapporo – pairs excellently with sushi and tempura

Ice Wines

  • Jackson Triggs – my standby, good mid range, not as sweet as Kiona
  • Inskillen – Best out there, and nose-bleed expensive
  • Kiona – Quite sweet if you’re looking for that

Irish Cream

  • Five Farms – best I’ve ever had
  • St Brennan’s – If I can’t find Five Farms (it’s that good)


  • Godiva – Milk, Dark or White Chocolates
  • Frangelico
  • Kahlua
  • Disaronno Amaretto
  • Plomari Ouzo


Marsala, Shaoxing, Port, Sherry etc… I usually get whatever is available (although I usually ask for a recommendation or pull from the “top shelf”). I only use these for cooking, and I can’t even find an alcoholic version of Shaoxing locally.

*Hamorous – (adj.) A portmanteau of Hammered and Amorous. First learned from a friend named Tina, who was indeed very, very drunk.

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