The alcohol business is one of the few industries that improves sales during times of economic hardship. We even postulated that liquor and beer might be recession-proof, but now some hard evidence has emerged showing that Wall Street is really reaching for that bottle after last week’s mess. And who can blame them?

Crain’s New York quoted some Manhattan liquor stores talking about their increased sales reports last week:

1.)Vodka and scotch sales are up, there’s no question about that,” said Chris Adams, executive vice president of Sherry-Lehmann Wines & Spirits, on 59th Street. He says that traffic in his store has increased this month—over the counter sales are up 23%, and delivery volume is up about 18%, compared to last year. But, he added, revenues have remained flat. “We have more people coming in, and people are buying more wine and liquor, but they’re trading down,” he said.

2.) Red White & Bubbly in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is noticing a similar trend. “People who normally buy a $22 bottle of wine are now buying a $16 or $17 bottle,” said Darrin Siegfried, owner of the store. He also noticed another slight change in his customers’ behavior. Usually, about 10% of his business is spirits sales, but that’s jumped up to about 15% over the past two months.

Those crazy bankers, they’re not particularly well-known for being a ‘thrifty’ bunch, so maybe this shows they are turning over a new leaf?

Remember back in July when Bush secretly announced he thought ‘Wall Street got drunk and now had a hangover’? We did this awesome list of dumb things Wall Street would do if it was actually drunk, like puking on Broadway and drunk texting the London Stock Exchange. Of course you remember!

Well now it appears Wall Street is ‘getting drunk’ again to cope with this massive hangover it’s getting from those years of excess. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Or maybe this is the best cure? The ole ‘hair of the dog‘ technique. Hope it works, we need these guy back on their feet molding the financial landscape ASAP.

Crain’s: New Yorkers hitting the bottle, September 19, 2008