A totally sober rant

by Lisa Rosen on January 26, 2011

This is a bottle of Maraschino liqueur.  I want to use it to make my own maraschino cherries when cherry season rolls around in June.  I wanted to make them last summer, but I didn’t have the right kind of alcohol, and I couldn’t get it.

Liquor stores here in North Carolina are owned by the state, and controlled by local ABC boards.  I once asked an employee how they decided what to stock; he told me that they are allowed to order from a master list maintained by the state board.  I can tell you from experience–it’s a limited list.

I don’t drink a tremendous amount, but I do use a lot of alcohol in my kitchen.  It can be really useful for adding a layer of flavor (important if you’re trying to cook without a lot of fat), for preserving things, and for achieving certain textures (especially in frozen items).  But I’m very particular about what liquors I use.  I’m not trying to get drunk; I want the stuff that tastes good.

Invariably, I have to go out of state to buy it.  It’s totally frustrating, and requires a lot of advanced planning for where to find things, and how to get them home.

Today is the opening day of the NC General Assembly’s new session.  The legislature is abuzz with plans for overcoming the state budget shortfall.  The governor called a press conference last week to announce that NC liquor stores should not be privatized.

Really?  Really.  I realize that I don’t understand the complexities of our state-run system, and frankly, I don’t need to.  What I know is this:  if we had private liquor stores, we’d have access to a much broader range of products.  Stores could even special order items for customers (like me).

That bottle of Maraschino?  I paid almost thirty dollars for it.  The tax on those thirty dollars?  That went to the state of Florida.

End rant.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bobbi Janay January 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I am so sorry to hear that.

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Eileen January 27, 2011 at 8:39 am

I never really thought about all the fabulous things I’ve been missing at the liquor store, but am now totally annoyed knowing that the master list exists and we are missing out on great things! Can’t wait to hear how the cherries turn out!

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Lisa Rosen January 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

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