As impoverished New Yorker, it's useful to know what the best deals on drink are so that alcohol costs don't make your wallet empty... emptier. Therefore in this article/blog entry/post I'm going to share what I think are the best value brands of cheap booze you can find in Brooklyn. Now, price is the main criteria for inclusion in this list, but as you want your drinks to taste at least somewhat decent until you can't really notice it anymore, flavor will also carry some weight.
Let's start with malt liquors. As you probably know if you're reading this, malt liquor is basically cheap beer with a higher than average alcohol content and commonly sold in corner stores. For my top five:
5 - King Cobra, although one of the most well known brands, rounds out my list as the least good of the best. It's smooth to drink but tastes bland, and its alcohol content is not as high as some of the stronger 'high gravity' (as they call them) malts. It is the easiest to find on my list however, and is good for a quick fix at $0.65 for a 12 oz. can in some places or $2 for a 40 oz bottle (the cheapest 40's I've found in Brooklyn), but there are better values out there.
4 - Natty Daddy, a relatively new product from the makers of Natural Ice and Natural Light, doesn't taste too bad, and is probably the best pure price deal at a standard $1.25 for a 24 oz. tallboy can of strong high gravity booze. However while not terrible its taste is again bland compared to more flavorful brands, and doesn't mask the alcohol strength well. Great for getting a buzz on a budget though.
3 - Crazy Stallion, the venerable drink once famously known as Crazy Horse before a predicable lawsuit, is the second best price deal here at an amazing $1 for a 24 oz. can. It's still not quite as much bang for your buck as Natty Daddy though due to a significantly lower alcohol content. It does taste better, and is easier to drink although a little too filling due to high carbonation. Goes well with some shots on the side...
2 - Steel Reserve is somewhat more expensive than the other brands so far so I might be being a bit of a price traitor, but at $1.50 for 24 oz. it's not too bad for being better tasting and better at masking its (actually slightly higher) alcohol content. The taste is in fact good and surprisingly distinctive - hence the name Steel Reserve, so you can drink it slowly and enjoy it.
1 - St.Ides tops my list as the most expensive brand on it ($3 for a 40 oz. bottle) but also the best tasting. I actually buy it less than the others to save money but when I do buy it, I consider it a treat. A very memorable flavor that doesn't give away its again higher than Natty Daddy alcohol content, possibly in part due to its pleasantly thicker feeling your mouth, makes it one of the best 40's to sip.
And now for the bottom shelf hard liquors... well actually, I think I'm going to take the cheap and lazy way out and save that for another post so stay tuned!