CINCINNATI — As the owner of Market Wines at Findlay Market, Michael Maxwell knows how much hope, and stress, hangs on the outcome of this year's Presidential election.
"We've seen a lot of people who've said they want to have a good stash on hand because a few of them said, depending on what happens after the election, they may not go out for a few weeks," Maxwell said.
Market Wines isn't the only place to see an increase in alcohol sales during the lead-up to Tuesday, when officials will begin tallying votes to determine who will lead the United States for the next four years.
"I've had people come in and look for a nice bottle of Champagne because their candidate, they want to celebrate when their candidate wins," said Ferdinand Sneed, certified beer specialist manager at Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield.
Sneed, along with Maxwell at Market Wines and Micah Dennison, general manager of The Party Source in Newport, said the increased interest in alcohol is part of a broader uptick in alcohol sales that started with the coronavirus pandemic in March.
"We've gone through roughly a full store reset," Dennison said concerning the steps the Party Source has taken to meet the needs of customers over the past several months. "We've expanded our wine area. We've moved beer to the center of the store."
He added that he's also seen increased customer interest in tequila, bitters and other liquors – critical ingredients used to make cocktails – at his store.
"The things they are honestly missing from going out and socializing," Dennison said.
Sneed said he had witnessed the same trend with customers at Jungle Jim's, too.
"People come in with lists for cocktails they've read online or that they heard about via Facebook," Sneed said.
Sneed, who has worked at Jungle Jim's for six years, described interacting with those customers as "a blast."
"It's been a whole lot of fun to explain products to people," he said. "People aren't as much in a rush anymore."
As far as which products outside of a bottle of bubbly Sneed is recommending customers enjoy during election night . . .
"Ohio supports Ohio better than any other state I've seen," he said. "Like, we've had to grow our Ohio beer aisle with the amount of beers being produced in Ohio."
Dennison said he is happy to help people pick a little stiffer drink while watching results roll in on Tuesday night for his customers in Kentucky.
"We're in bourbon country — so Manhattans and old-fashioneds are always going to be in style," he said.
Party Source also offers a wide array of Negroni and Aperol spirits as low alcohol-by-volume options for those planning to be there for a long night of vote counting, Dennison added.
For those looking to stick with a bottle of wine or bubbly, though, Maxwell has a suggestion that will save customers money at Market Wines.
"About a year or so ago, the state of Ohio changed the discount where you can get ten percent off of six bottles of wine rather than 12," Maxwell said. "So, now people come in, they are like at four or five bottles, say, you got to get another bottle because of ten percent off of what you buy."