Â Alright.Â I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia.Â I love this state.Â I was born in the mountains, received most of my education from “state” schools (even though one is the only public Ivy . . . ) and both sides of my family have had roots in Virginia since the theÂ wagon trainÂ ride from Ellis Island.Â If fact, my mother’s side of the family was one of the first families to go through Ellis Island in 1892.Â Let’s also add to thatÂ that on my father’s side of the family, I have great-aunts & uncles who ran moonshine during Prohibition.Â I remember some of them telling stories about outfitted cars where they hid the hooch and racing the cops through the mountains to deliver their mountain dew to various places “up north.”Â (Okay, that really doesn’t have anything to do with my rant, but it is a cool fact none-the-less.)
Anyway . . . why, good Jebus WHY, do I have to deal with the Virginia ABC board to get hooch that I want???Â I can understand they want to “control” this vice of ours.Â I can even understand if it is based on tax revenue.Â But the lengths one has to go through to get something is marvelous.Â Â The stores never carry the same things.Â At the ABC store close to me, I can buy Agnostura, Peychaud’s or Stirrings Blood Orange bitters.Â Â While the store close to Sean I can get St. Germain and 6yo Sarerac Rye.Â Good luck trying to find something high end, and on the shelf, at any store.Â Plus, their special order method is hit or miss.Â They do have a list, but no telling how up to date it is or how long they can get you a bottle on the list.Â If what you want isn’t on the list, you have to order a CASE of it.Â A f’in case!Â Now, compare this with liquor stores in the District.Â They are owned by private individuals who order their supply directly from the distilleries.Â Further more, if you want something they don’t have they will happily call other liquor stores in DC to find it or order you a bottle from somewhere else.Â [Note:Â If you ever get a chance, go to Schnieder's liquor and wine store on Mass. Ave in the Capitol Hill area.Â Great people, fantastic selection of goods and a high energy experience.]Â Â
The point of my rant . . . you have to be willing to search out the ingrediants you want and have a little patience.Â If you can’t find the kind of bitters you want, call around.Â If you are looking for that special bottle of rum or straight rye, stop in at every liquor store you see.Â Ask people.Â Google search.Â And pray that you can find it somewhere within driving distance because here in the 21st. century the good folks in Virginia will not let you order wine or liquor online . . . that would be just too easy.