Every year around this time, people start buying nice things for each other. Here are some alcohol-related gifts that might be just right for a friend or family member.
Jackson Cannon is an award-winning Boston-based bartender who oversees The Hawthorne, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks. Cannon designed this square hand-edged and honed carbon stainless steel blade with a Cocobolo tropical wood handle. It’s meant for cutting limes, lemons, and other citrus. But if you wanted to cut a rope or a Coke can like in those Japanese infomercials, I’m sure it can do that too.
2. Tequila Fortaleza Blanco
Fortaleza Tequila Blanco is incredible sipping tequila, but it makes stellar margaritas, too. It’s made from 100-percent estate-grown Blue Agave Tequilana Weber in the foothills of the 9,560-foot Volcan de Tequila. (Who doesn’t want tequila made in the foothills of the Volcan de Tequila?)
3. Mint Julep Tours
Mint Julep Tours is an exceptional tour company that takes you into the heart of Kentucky Bourbon and horse country. Their guides are among the most knowledgeable in all of bourbon. They can take you inside the distilleries a regular pass cannot get you. And, most importantly, they can help you buy your own barrel of bourbon.
4. Big ice cubes
You know those big ice cubes at the hipster bar? You can make them at home. Cocktail Kingdom carries several big ice cube trays.
5. The HomeMade Gin Kit
No bathtubs needed. The HomeMade Gin Kit comes with botanicals, funnels, flasks, and all you need to make gin. You just need to pick up the vodka. I would also recommend trying the gin kit with one of these fancifully named moonshine products. Either way, this is the perfect gift for a gin drinker or any booze enthusiast. If they like making cocktails, they’ll love making their own gin.
6. Neat Glass
The Neat Glass is the only glass I’ve seen that comes with directions. Its unique shape probably leaves people wondering if it’s a miniature flowerpot. Rest assured, the glass is not meant for dandelions. When nosing a spirit with the Neat Glass, the alcohol moves away from your nose and you only smell notes that get lost in the alcohol with other glasses. It’s a fantastic gift for somebody who loves analyzing whiskeys and brandies.
7. Parker’s Heritage
Parker Beam is the long-time master distiller for the Heaven Hill Distillery, the producer of Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Larceny bourbons. After Beam made his ALS battle public, Heaven Hill announced its annual Parker’s Heritage Collection would be the “Promise of Hope,” a beautiful bourbon with spice, caramel, and cinnamon notes. Heaven Hill donates $20 of every bottle to the ALS Association’s “Promise of Hope Fund.” In addition to being one of the best bourbons of the year, Parker’s Heritage goes to a good cause.
8. Brenne French Single Malt Whisky
Wait, what? The French make whisky? Yes! In addition to France’s fine brandy regions, there’s a somewhat unknown whisky history in this fine country. Brenne French Single Malt Whisky is fruity and would make the perfect holiday gift for a whisky fan in the family. Five bucks says they open the gift and say, “What? I didn’t know the French made whisky.”
Fred Minnick is the author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey.