UPDATE: Spirits high in state alcohol trade

JACKSON — During the first eight months of the year, liquor and wine sales in Mississippi have increased by more than $523,000 to $173.5 million.

And it’s not even the busy season.

The Mississippi State Tax Commission tells The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson that nearly 40 percent of liquor sales are made between October and New Year’s Day.

Kathy Waterbury, spokeswoman for the Tax Commission, says sales are up nationally as well.

The Tax Commission reports the average price for a case is down 2.19 percent and the average price for a case of liquor has fallen 1.33 percent.

Nathan McHardy, co-owner of Briarwood Wine and Spirits in Jackson, says customers are buying less expensive spirits. He says he’s stocking cheaper brands, such as wines from places such as Argentina, Chile and Spain.

The Associated Press