by Stefanie Powers
Here in Louisiana, we love a party. And with that party comes liquor. What are the locals buying to stock their bars? We checked around with some retailers to find out what’s trending this season. There are some new best sellers, but it’s clear that some favorites will never go out of style.
Rachel Hardesty, manager of Hokus Pokus, say she’s been selling a “crazy” amount of wine and bourbon lately. “But recently, bourbons are getting harder to come by, so we are seeing quite an increase in high-end tequila and mezcals,” she says.
The 2022 Mardi Gras season saw the favorite, Crown Royal, fly off the shelves, as usual. “It’s so popular!” Hardesty says. “I’ve been in this business for almost 12 years, and I think that’s a trend we will never see die down. We could order 25 cases at a time and blow through it in two to three weeks!”
Fireball buckets are hugely popular. “A bucket fits 20 of the .50 ml bottles. People love the tiny bottles in general just for the sake of convenience,” she says.
Jell-O shots remain big. “There are ready-made ones now,” Hardesty says. “Some of them are liquid and you put them in the fridge to solidify. Others come with a gelatin consistency, and you just have to keep them chilled. Of course, we still have plenty of customers who make their shots at home and come to us for their ingredients.”
At Sunshine Liquors, Stella Rosa wine has suddenly become a favorite due to its low-alcohol content, reasonable price tag and variety of fruit flavors. It sounds like something a wine-lover would quickly dismiss—but it’s the best-selling wine in California! While the winery is on the West Coast, Stella Rosa is actually produced in Italy and is getting rave reviews.
The manager at Sunshine says their best sellers are cognac (especially Hennessy), brandy and bourbon, but again, bourbon is hard to keep in stock. Crown will never go out of style, and luckily, he is able to keep up with the demand. Tequila sales are on the rise, especially Jose Cuervo. And when folks buy nips, it’s generally Fireball!
Like everyone else, Ashley Rozas, owner of Lake Street Liquor, can’t keep bourbon on her shelves. “Everyone wants Maker’s Mark, and due to supply chain problems, we aren’t getting it,” she says. “People are turning to sipping tequilas, which are becoming big sellers.”
Tito’s is the vodka of choice at Lake Street, and Crown still wears the crown.
“I’ve seen a decline in Jell-O shots this season, but an increase in people buying little .50ml bottles of liquor,” Rozas says. “With the change in the state law in 2020, we are now allowed to carry these smaller bottles. And they sell.”
Rozas says that hard seltzers have become the hit of the season. “They’re lighter than beer and don’t have the calories, and are approximately five percent alcohol,” she explains. Corona, Bud Light, Truly, White Claw, High Noon, Smirnoff . . . all produce seltzers, and the list goes on. They come in a wide variety of flavors and go down easily; without the full feeling you get from beer.
So, what’s on your bar? Cheers!