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Can I Make That Cocktail at Home?

Ask Eater Dallas tackles a query on where to shop to bartend at home and make it taste like the pros

A row of cocktails in various glasses and of varying types stand in a row of six, with a colorful, multi-patterned wallpaper in the background.
All of this could be yours, with the right liquor and mixers.
Kathy Tran
Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

Welcome to Ask Eater, a monthly-ish column where Eater Dallas editor Courtney E. Smith answers specific or baffling restaurant questions from readers. Have a question? Send them via the tipline, and Eater will feature the answer to one or more each month. No question is too difficult or silly to be considered. The names of the people who write in with questions will remain anonymous on the site.

Dear Eater Dallas,

This may be tangential to restaurants, but what are the best liquor stores to shop at, beyond the chain stores, if I want to make cocktails while entertaining at home?

Dear Cocktail Shaker,

What a great question to ask ahead of the holidays, or after the election. We’re heading towards the season of entertaining at home, and for every bar that needs a stock up, Eater Dallas is happy to recommend some places and ways to shop local and support small businesses.

Our favorites include Liquid Courage up in Plano, which husband and wife team Divya and Ankit Jain opened last year. They told the Dallas Morning News that they aim to offer concierge-style service, and their shop is a wonderful place to get not only the stuff to make cocktails but some ideas on what kind of cocktails to shake up. It stocks loads of locally made liquors, wines, and mixers.

Monticello Liquor in Uptown is also a favorite, well-known for supporting local booze brands and being ahead of the curve on trends with what it stocks. Kindred Spirits near Love Field is owned by two brothers who moved here from New York. And Biagio Wine and Spirits in Vickery Park focuses on stocking small distilleries and wineries, making it a great spot to get turned on to niche products. Biagio also puts together holiday gift baskets so that you can kill two birds with one stone on a trip there.

Finally, if it’s primarily interesting mixers you’re after, try stopping into some of the small chain grocers around Dallas. Foxtrot is an especially good choice with multiple locations — it carries sodas and flavored waters you won’t get just everywhere and artisanal and small-batch mixers to spice up your cocktails.