We liquor nerds suffer under a perpetual issue: the interesting, exciting bottles we like to try are available in highly limited quantities. And worse, they often only get doled out to a handful of liquor stores, usually in the same select handful of major cities. Fortunately, we live in the internet age where we can get things delivered at the touch of a button or the awkward request of a digital assistant. And for people who find their local liquor stores lacking, online liquor stores are here to fill the gap. Whether you’re looking for hard-to-get Japanese whiskies or highly allocated mezcals, these are the best online liquor stores to find whatever you’re looking for, no matter what you like to drink.
Whether you like New York or not, you should be grateful that one of Manhattan’s biggest and best liquor stores has an interweb option. If you want deep-dive bottles in literally every category of liquor made on the Earth, this is the store to find them. Rare mezcals? Check. Amaros? Check. Hard to find scotches? Check. Rare Hungarian plum eau de vies? You got it. Can’t find it anywhere online? You’ll find it here. With knowledgeable write-ups and reviews, including tasting notes, the staff at Astor Wines has made it easy for even the most discerning palate to decide upon a bottle.
Note: They don’t ship to Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas or Utah.
One of the giants in the online liquor industry, BevMo!, which is based in California, is like the Target of liquor stores. Founded in the Bay Area in 1994, the store sells liquor online and has 148 physical “box” stores throughout California, Arizona and Washington state. With over 3000 different types of wine in stock, including their own house blend, and over 1500 different liquors to choose from, chances are you’ll be able to find whatever you’re looking for at a BevMo! near you. The only downside to this store is that if you’re buying beer or liquor, they only sell and deliver in California, Arizona and Washington where there are physical stores. They will ship wine more widely though.
Another powerhouse online seller, Drizly is an app-based liquor delivery service that uses liquor stores near your address to bring you booze straight to your door as quickly as possible. Available in 70 cities in the US and Canada (check the website to see if it’s available in yours), Drizly is one of the most reliable online liquor websites. While they don’t specialize in any specific spirit categories or offer esoteric, small batch bottlings like other stores on this list, they do guarantee to have the liquor you purchase delivered to your door in an hour or less. You’ll be lucky if you get your bottle by the end of the week with any of the other sellers on this list.
If you’re a fan of all things agave-based—whether it be tequila, mezcal, raicilla, or sotol—Old Town Tequila is where you should be shopping. Based in San Diego, California, this online liquor store has the largest selection of agave spirits outside of Mexico. (Truth be told, they probably have more tequilas and mezcals than most Mexican liquor stores.) No matter how rare or how limited an agave spirit is, chances are that Old Town Tequila has it in stock. Two of our favorite mezcals of 2017, Tosba’s Tepeztate and Mezcal Koch’s Pulquero, which were highly allocated and hard to track down, can be found here. Spend 15 minutes on the site and we'll guarantee you’ll find something delicious to buy.
One of the most unique online spirits shops, Old Spirits Co. specializes in selling vintage bottles of booze. Acquiring bottles through private collections, this shop sells everything from vintage Campari and vintage vermouth, to antique rums and Mad Men-era American whiskeys. If you want a bottle of Kina Lillet so you can make your Vesper exactly like Ian Fleming when he wrote Casino Royale, this is the shop that has it. Even if you’re not a serious booze collector, Old Spirits’ site and its mailing list is fun to peruse for the bottle designs alone.
Japanese whisky lovers take note: This online liquor store features the largest collection of rare Japanese whiskies for sale, period. There are whiskies on here that we’ve never seen or heard about before, and may never see again. From limited edition Yamazaki to special edition Nikka whiskies housed in ceramic vases adorned with hand painted maps of Japan, Dekantā is a treasure trove of rarities. Just be advised, rare and cheap don’t go together. If you can’t commit at least several hundreds of dollars to a bottle of whisky, you might want shop at one of the other sites on this list.