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Americans drinking cheaper liquor

People are sacrificing top-shelf booze for the cheaper stuff in tight times.

By Kim Peterson Feb 2, 2010 1:58PM
Expense habits © Steve Mason/Getty ImagesAmericans have set the bar lower when it comes to drinking liquor. We're still drinking, all right, but Grey Goose has been replaced by Popov, and Macallan has been booted by Black Velvet.

The amount of liquor sold in 2009 edged up only 1.4%. That's the smallest increase since 2001, reports The Associated Press.

The lowest-priced liquors grew the fastest, at 5.5%, while the top-shelf brands fell by 5.1%.

And people prefer drinking at home to restaurant cocktails, it seems. Restaurants saw a 3% drop in liquor sales, while store sales rose.

People have a few tricks up their sleeves to get away with buying the cheaper stuff. Researchers (yes, there are researchers who study this) tell the AP that people are mixing margaritas at home before their guests come over so the guests won't see the cheap tequila being used.

One consumer says he now buys his liquor at Costco, where he can get 1.75 liters of Maker's Mark bourbon for $36. The only problem, he says, is trying to pour the thing. How about a super-long straw?
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