How to Buy the Cheapest Alcohol in Your Home State

Learn liquor pricing state-by-state to buy booze like a pro.

The night before Thanksgiving is known as one of the heaviest drinking nights in America. Almost no one works Thanksgiving, people are often home with friends and family they don’t often see, and no one wants to stay in or entertain the night before the biggest entertaining day of the year. It makes sense the night is colloquially known as “Blackout Wednesday.”

But you may find yourself going out in a city you haven’t lived in since you were underage. So what’s the most efficient drink to purchase in your home state on Blackout Wednesday?

Using the Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham’s excellent but Virginia-specific analysis of comparative alcohol prices, Slate endeavored to answer this question and entered a morass of state liquor regulations, underpinned by a confusing and nonsensical system of excise taxes. So we headed down to the bar, did some math, and tried to figure it all out anyway.

Once you’ve watched, compare your own state’s excise taxes with these handy maps from the Tax Foundation.

State excise taxes for beer:

State excise taxes for wine:

State excise taxes for spirits: