By Angela Hansberger - December 4, 2021
It’s time to consider holiday gifts for the friend who enjoys a drink, the perfect hostess, the stocking that needs stuffing or a treat for yourself. Here are a dozen ideas:
Glassique Cadeau coupe glasses
These Roaring ‘20s speakeasy-style saucer goblets with stems will jazz up Champagne, a sidecar or a Manhattan. Packaged in an art deco gift box laden with pink satin, they hold 7 ounces to the rim.
Duke Kentucky straight bourbon
This American-made bourbon (88 proof) was inspired by the legendary John Wayne’s collection of rare whiskies, and was blended to match a 1962 recipe. It has notes of vanilla, toasted nuts, caramel and charred oak.
$46.99 per 750-milliliter bottle at gacraftspirits.com.
Nütrl cranberry vodka seltzer
Why not celebrate with four refreshing takes on a seasonal favorite, the cranberry? Nütrl cranberry vodka seltzers are a limited release offered only during the 2021 holiday season, with four flavors: classic cranberry, cranberry orange, cranberry grapefruit and cranberry apple. Each is just 100 calories and is made with vodka, seltzer and real fruit juice.
$16.99 for an eight-pack of 12-ounce cans, available at Midtown Moon, Two Dog Bottle Shop and Midtown Liquor. nutrlusa.com.
Perfect for stuffing in a stocking — or a jacket pocket at the old fire pit — Dashfire’s trio of Old-Fashioned cocktails includes the classic bourbon version, with notes of orange and cherry; cane and allspice, with rum, allspice and demerara sugar; and rye and ginger, with spicy rye whiskey and notes of fresh ginger.
$14.99 for three 100-milliliter cans. dashfire.us.
With two layers of thermal insulation, Puffin’s drinkwear can keep your can or bottle cool, your hands warm and dry, and they will put a smile on your face. Get a life jacket for the friend with a boat, or a vest for a pal into hunting or fishing.
$12.95 and up at puffindrinkwear.com.
Pink gin collaboration
Perfect for a hostess who likes botanical gin and tonics, this spirit is pretty in pink and comes in a versatile clutch created by designer Cynthia Rowley. The Victorian-style gin is distilled with eight botanicals; is juniper-forward, with hints of licorice; and has a clean citrus finish. Bonus: proceeds benefit the Pink Agenda, seeking a cure for breast cancer.
$37.99 per 750-milliliter bottle at ginlane1751.com, Tower Beer & Wine, Decatur Package and Grapes & Grains.
Candles in cocktail glasses
Make things cozy with great-smelling candles in containers that can be used as pretty 7-ounce cocktail glasses afterward. Wixology’s Bourbon Neat ($24) aims to capture the aroma of bourbon — think vanilla, oak and caramel — using hand-poured natural ingredients, and has a 36-hour burn time.
Ranger Station’s Leather & Pine candle ($36) is reminiscent of walking through a coniferous forest, with the addition of leathery spice. Made with premium soy wax, the candles have a 40-hour burn time. After cleaning, the container becomes an 8-ounce glass, and comes with a perfectly paired cocktail recipe.
Distilled in the small town of Tequila, Mexico, the aromas and flavors of Siempre’s handcrafted, clear tequilas offer something special. Plata ($29.99) is grassy on the nose and bright and citrusy on the palate, while reposado ($44.99) is aged in new barrels and has hints of caramel, vanilla and wood notes. Aged in former bourbon barrels, añejo ($59.99) is a sipper, with a soft sweetness. Each comes with a rose charm that founder Alex Lacroix said “represents beauty born from struggle.”
Widely available at local stores and at siempretequila.com.
Harmony Alpine digestif
Inspired by the flavors of a traditional Italian amaro, the nonalcoholic Harmony Alpine digestif is a complex blend of 15 traditional botanicals, such as gentian, eucalyptus, sweet wormwood and dandelion. Sipping it gives you flavors of pine and mint, as well as all the classic herbaceous bitterness of an amaro. Drink it chilled, over ice, or with a splash of club soda for a pleasant wintery chill.
$28 per 750-milliliter bottle at thezeroproof.com and Elemental Spirits Co.
High West barrel-finished cocktails
High West’s barrel-finished Manhattan and Old-Fashioned are mixed with a blend of bourbon and rye, then matured in former rye barrels for a rich product that is ready for a glass. Pour over a large cube and garnish, for an elegant cocktail with ease.
$29.99 per 375-milliliter bottle in stores, or at highwest.com.
Monte Manhattan cocktail kit
Make a twist on a classic cocktail with this fun kit. Balanced for the whiskey lover or amaro fan, the Monte Manhattan takes a classic Manhattan to new heights, with the bold spiciness of WhistlePig Piggyback 100% rye, rounded out with Amaro Montenegro. Created in 1885, this amaro is made with a blend of more than 40 botanicals, and has a rich, orange, bittersweet taste.
Kits ($69.99) include six Montenegro and six rye 50-milliliter bottles, Scrappy’s aromatic bitters and Filthy cherries. drinkmontenegro.com.
Sweetens Cove Tennessee bourbon
Though sports stars Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick are co-owners, Sweetens Cove is not a celebrity whiskey. Rather, it a legitimate, albeit pricey, bourbon. Carefully curated and hand-blended by Marianne Eaves, Kentucky’s first female master blender, it’s uses three Tennessee bourbons, aged 16, 6 and 4 years. With a nose of brown sugar, brown butter, cookies, caramel and dried fruit, and a little spice on the palate, it finishes with sugars and clove lingering. It’s a special gift.
$200 per 750-milliliter bottle. sweetenscovespirits.com.