Booze recommendations for barter during SHTF

Happy new year all!
Every once and awhile, I like to add on to our little larder, so I’m looking for recommendations for sales/value/brands of alcohol that you might like to trade when SHTF? I used to drink tequila and scotch, but know next to nothing about other types of alcohol.


  • Comments (10)

    • 1

      well i’m partial to beer myself, but as a barter item those with a higher alcohol content will be more valuable. a high proof vodka is good because it brings the additional benefit of being a fire starter or way to clean a surface or wound.

      stick with smaller bottles because they are easier to trade than a large wine bottle sized one. for example, if you need a dozen eggs, it’s easier to give two of the little bottles than pour out an amount from your large bottle. keep some large bottles though for larger transaction like five large bottles for a gun compared to a backpack filled with smaller bottles.


      • 2

        Is it really a good idea to introduce alcohol into what is inherently a touchy, volatile situation?  lots more items that could be traded just as easily, with more positive effects.

      • 2

        Keeping in mind, beer can be stored refrigerated for up to 2 years, and for 3 – 9 months if it’s room temperature. But hard alcohol stores forever! (Though if you can make beer yourself, that’d be an invaluable trade to have!)

        Just to clarify, liquor has to be about 57% alcohol content to burn, most vodka is about 40% alcohol content. 

        Also you can always pour your big bottles into smaller containers, nobody will care. Buying in bulk will save you money (those little bottles are expensive!)

    • 2

      I have to agree with hikermor that this seems dangerous.  Especially so because the only people considering it really valuable would be alcoholics.  If someone is willing to trade food or other items that could have helped their family survive for alcohol during a crisis, you can bet they will be back for more whether they have anything left to trade or not. 

      • 1

        Same thought process goes for those wishing to trade guns and ammo with others. You run the risk of those items then being used on you.

        I am going to stick with trading fuel, food, or water. It’s not as dangerous if the person you are trading with attacks you with a package of ramen noodles.

    • 3

      As a former bartender, alcohol is something I’m familiar with. As a regular drinker, alcohol is near and dear to my heart (I love a nice stout or a whiskey). I think alcohol for a SHTF situation is a great idea, both for surviving it (it’s a natural anti-anxiety med – lol) and for barter.

      Why I think it’s a good barter item:

      – People immediately recognize and see value in it
      – People who want it are willing to trade for it
      – It lasts forever
      – It can easily be broken down to smaller sizes
      – Nobody cares/most can’t tell if you’re trading the cheap stuff
      – If you don’t trade it, you can drink it yourself!
      – It’s relatively easy to store, with few extra precautions

      I’m not going to impose my morals/attitudes about drugs and alcohol on anyone. Alcohol is a commodity and would have a lot of value. I think there are other items along these lines that would barter well, but don’t store well, such as cigarettes or marijuana. But alcohol or wine (not beer) store great.

      All that being said, I would buy cheap vodka or whiskey (like <$10 per fifth). No need to get fancy. 

    • 3

      As someone who has made beer and spirits commercially and wine, mead and cider at home….bartering for alcohol is definitely on my radar for possibilities.  

      • 4

        You’ll be the most popular guy around, welcomed into any prepper community! 🍺🤣

    • 2

      I would think vodka and whiskey would be the two kinds of booze to keep on hand for trading, as suggested in smallest bottles possible. They can both burn, have some medicinal value (i.e., in place of pain killers), and could be used to somewhat sterilize in a pinch. 

      As for the dangers of having it for trade, when the SHTF EVERYTHING you have makes you a target once it is known you have it.

      • 0

        if you are going to a trade and are bringing your bottles of alcohol to trade. don’t bring them all. bring just what you are going to trade. otherwise they will know that you have a handful of more that they could come get from you in not so nice ways later on.