I've heard alcohol described as "an affordable luxury," and I think that's a great description. Even a bottle of booze that costs 300 bucks is easier to get your hands on than say, a yacht, or a fancy vacation. Still, most of us are on a budget, and can't just buy any bottle that grabs our eye. My solution? Drinking to average. The best way I can explain it is simply by telling you about a recent restocking of my liquor cabinet.
I was pouring a taste of bourbon one night and realized that, while my current collection has some stellar entries--Pappy 15, William Larue Weller, Aberlour A'bundh--I was a little light in "everyday" whiskies. As much as I complain about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, their Fine Wine and Good Spirits shop is a great place for this type of need. They have a half decent selection of bourbon, and their sale prices are great. I scanned the shelves and saw that Booker's, from the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection, was 5 bucks off. $42 for Booker's is a solid price, but still a bit more than I wanted to spend on everyday stuff. Another sale item was Benchmark, Buffalo Trace's budget bourbon (comes in a plastic container). I've had it before and while it's not memorable, it straddles the line of inoffensive/pleasant quite nicely, and will be great for filling my decanter. It was $18.99 with a $3 mail in rebate, final price $15.99 for 1.75 ml. That's more than two bottles of bourbon. I grabbed it, along with the Booker's, and a bottle of my standby house bourbon, Buffalo Trace, at $21.99. A total of about $80 for more than 4 bottles of bourbon. That puts the average bottle at sub $20. Now, on any given Tuesday night, I will have a choice of three bourbons, and won't feel guilty if I do choose the Booker's. I will also preserve my higher end and harder to find whiskies.
And that's drinking to average.