Spirited Gifts For The Holidays!

‘Tis the season for cocktails, parties, and celebrating! Giving the gift of mixology and unique spirits to pair along is perfect for the cocktail or spirits lover in your life! Through a lot of cocktail tasting, sipping, and mixing, I have compiled a list of my favorite spirits for the holiday season!

Vodkas

Haku Vodka- The name Haku doesn’t just mean “white”. This vodka celebrates the craft of this premium Japanese vodka that’s perfect for your holiday cocktails and gifting. Suntory recently released Haku, which is filtered through bamboo charcoal, creating an undeniably smooth taste and feel. $27.99

Black Infusions Fig Vodka-  Handcrafted and free of artificial sugars, Black Infusions Fig is just what the holidays ordered! This makes one of my favorite winter cocktails, a Fig Mule! Simply combine the vodka with some ginger beer, and lime and you have yourself a very refreshing cocktail. You can also add it to sparkling wine over crushed ice, and it’ll taste just like winter. $39.99

Black Infusions Gold Apricot Vodka- Another fun and sweet vodka that mixes well into margaritas, bourbon cocktails, and so much more. $39.99

Bourbons, Whiskeys, Scotches

Bulleit Tattoo Edition-  We know my feelings on Bulleit. It’s usually one of my go-to brown spirits, especially for cocktails. Bulleit decided to launch something new and fun, adding some uniqueness to their bottles. Frontier Works, is a series of projects where Bulleit collaborates with people who are pushing the edge of their craft or expertise. Whether that’s creating the world’s largest tattoo billboard or giving new life to the old craft of neon signs, all of their Frontier Works projects highlight the interesting people and places at the edge of the modern frontier. $35

Trails End Bourbon- Trail’s End Bourbon as a gift that gives back as a percent of sales goes to National Forest Foundation to replant trees in forests devastated by Fire. Committed 5,000 trees this year and have agreed already to a second year. This is one of my favorite affordable bourbons because it’s smooth with aromas of vanilla, spice, raisins, and oak. On the palate, it’s well balanced and very on the rocks friendly. $39

S.D. Distilling Co. Straight Rye Whiskey- This whiskey is made in a cave, that creates a unique flavor in great conditions. This was my first time trying bourbon from Missouri, but it’s great! The cave adds the perfect temperatures for this rye whiskey, while also providing a consistent process from distilling to barrel aging. Each bottle is hand numbered, showcasing the spirits uniqueness and craft.

Toki Whisky- This is my top whisky to make a high ball cocktail with! It’s light, spice driven, and very smooth with a medium finish. On the palate it’s bright and is “Inspired by that interplay, Suntory Whisky Tokibrings together old and new -the House of Suntory’s proud heritage and its innovative spirit- to create blended Japanese whisky that is both groundbreaking and timeless.”-Suntory.com

Tequila

Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila- Want to make the perfect Jalapeño Margarita? Tanteo has the perfect spicy tequila to do just that. This tequila is 100% agave and results in an award-winning artisanal product that is unlike anything you have had before. No longer do you need to infuse your tequila to get a great result because now you have this awesome Jalapeño tequila to enjoy! $29.99

Tanteo Chipotle and Habanero Tequila Just like the above, if you enjoy chipotle or habanero spice, then you’ll love the other Tanteo options. Their careful process, brick oven cooking, and craft blending are what make these tequilas not so ordinary, and pretty extraordinary! $29.99

Gins

Roku Gin A gin made with Japanese botanicals including Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea (green tea), Gyokuro tea (refined green tea) and Sanshō pepper. This creates a balanced flavor that’s surprising and alluring. I was very attracted to this gin once I tasted it, and fell in love when I paired it as a high ball with a big steaming bowl of ramen. It’s a beautiful gin that’s unique and perfect for the gin collector in your life! $27.99

S.D. Strong Distilling Co. 136 Gin S.D. Strong Distilling is the world’s only known distillery in a cave, located 65 feet under Parkville, Missouri. This ensures the temperatures and conditions never vary and provides a unique flavor experience. ” The foundation of Pillar 136 Gin is Juniper, however, you will notice the forward citrus flavors of fresh Lemon, Lime, and Orange peel. Additional complex flavors are added using Angelica Root, Cassia, Orris Root, Ginger, and Licorice root. By vapor infusing these botanicals, we are able to create the cleanest tasting gin possible, making Pillar 136 Gin as smooth as it is Strong. Enjoy” – Steve Strong. $29

Brandy & Cognacs

CAMUS XO Borderies- From the most sought after Cognac areas, comes this beautiful VSOP Cognac. These vines have the perfect amount of water, and chalky soils, which transitions nicely into this one of a kind Cognac. CAMUS is unlike any other Cognac in the area, and they are some of the best coming from the region. The nose is full of caramel, complexity, and minerality with a touch of fig and spice. On the palate it’s undeniably smooth and seductive, leaving long-lasting spiced finish on the palate. $129

Clear Creek Distillery Pear In The Bottle This company grows the pears in the bottles! This pear brandy has all the lovely notes of Bartlett pear, plus the uniqueness of the pear inside the bottle. This is a great gift that will wow your friends and loved ones, and it tastes great in cocktails and winter sangria. Clear Creek Distillery produces many different types of fruit brandies, to gift this holiday season. This fun and festive fruit forward spirits are perfect for your gatherings and celebrations!

Clear Creek Apple, Cranberry, and Douglas Fig Brandy- These three are also part of the Clear Creek portfolio, and they are very interesting brandies! These are especially fun in cocktails, as well as make for delightful sipping by a warm fire on a chilly winter evening. If you’re more into cocktails, however, using these in sangria or a sidecar cocktail, mule, or anything with a touch of sweetness is a great choice.

For those of you seeking some awesome spirits to sip and gift for the holiday season, look no further! This list has something for everyone that’s 21+ with a great palate. Happy Holidays and please pair responsibly!

Sara Lehman

About Sara Lehman

Sommelier, Private Chef, & Food and Wine Pairing Expert in NYC! Sara is a Wine Writer, Wine Ambassador, and Wine Consultant specializing in pairings, parties, entertaining and education.

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