BEST LIQUOR STORE - 2005
What makes a liquor store the best one? The liquor, mostly. Like how the last time we were in Liquor Depot we got the daft idea of counting the varieties of vodka. Right as we hit number 138, we completely lost track, so awestruck were we by the vodka in the bottle shaped like a 1920s Tommy gun, replete with circular bullet cartridge and ridged pistol grip, and everything. So wait. If you drank from the mouth of the bottle it would be like you were shooting yourself in the mouth with a crystal clear Tommy gun? Which is to say nothing of the bottle next to it, vodka in a bottle shaped like a hunting rifle. Or the Swedish one called Thor's Hammer. Or the tippity-top-shelf 1.75 liter of Level vodka with accompanying martini glasses priced at half what it cost last Christmas. Or the Russian vodka flavored with honey, or the Soy vodka or the...did we mention the Tommy gun? So shocked were we, in fact, that we fled the vodkas and sought solace in the rums: Haitian, Jamaican, Dominican, Anguillan, Barbadan, Guyanan, Nicaraguan, Brazilian, Bermudan, and over there some from St. Croix--yikes! Suddenly we wished we had memorized the names of all the tropical nations that produce sugar cane; was any of them missing? We backed away in wonderment, at which point we encountered five sorts of Amaretto (not counting the cream Amarettos). You want liquor? You don't even know what liquor is until you go to Liquor Depot. Liquor isn't one thing. It isn't even a thousand things. It's tens of thousands of things, like the 3,000 wine labels Liquor Depot stocks, the seemingly endless towers of beer, and the truly uncountable thousands of bottles of liquor. (The secret to Liquor Depot's success: 15,000 square feet of storage space. They can gobble up hundreds of cases of booze when the price is right; they're also various liquor distributors' first choice when that distributor needs to hide their own purchasing mistake, or come up with cash fast.) With all that liquor to befuddle the senses (even before you drink a single drop) it's nice that the Liquor Depot employees are sweet, pretense free, and helpful in a laid-back, supremely Minnesotan way. But if it's the most liquor that makes a most great liquor store, rest assured that Liquor Depot has the absolute most.