A Very Spirited Holiday Gift Guide
Whether you’re buried in six feet of powder or it’s 98 degrees, our holiday gift guide is perfect for the spirit lover in your life. From Vodka distilled in sunny Southern California to single malt Whisky from Australia, these bottles come from around the globe with the intention of adding an extra shot of merriment to your holiday season.
Gin, Vodka, Bourbon, whatever you fancy, all the beverages here are perfect for a fun twist when it comes to stuffing stockings. Bottles are some of the best gifts you can give (or receive) this time of year, so check out the guide below to see our favorite options for lifting your spirits this holiday season.
A Very Spirited Holiday Gift Guide
For The Whisky Lover With A Taste For Exploration
Starward Australian Whisky launched in the US earlier this year, introducing Americans to a distinct new style of whisky that utilizes the unique climate, terroir and raw materials of Australia. Starward Nova is an Australian single malt whisky elementally matured in Australian red wine barrels for 3 Melbourne years. Starward draws influence from the vibrancy of “big red” wines from southeastern Australia where the distillery team sources barrels from local wineries that previously held Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. This proximity allows the team to maximize the flavor of the wine permeated into the oak, lending a vibrant red ochre color to the final liquid. The full maturation in red wine barrels creates a light and fruity whisky with a long and spicy finish, similar to some of the country’s award-winning wines.
For The Gin Lover Who Blossoms With The Smell Of Fresh Fruits
The Spirit Guild’s flagship spirit is distilled from clementines, and tastes of Southern California summer (perfect for trying to forget these cold winter months). The clementines are grown in Bakersfield, and pink peppercorn and pistachio compliment quintessential gin botanicals such as juniper, coriander, cinnamon, and angelica. Astral Pacific Gin uses two types of juniper, helping to give it a balanced warmth. The Spirit Guild distills their gin in Los Angeles’ Arts District, on a site where the state’s first commercial vineyards and orange groves once thrived.
For The Mezcal Lover Looking For An Herbal Touch
Gem & Bolt Joven Mezcal
GEM&BOLT Mezcal + Damiana is an innovative and herbaceous spirit utilizing fair-trade and sustainable agave that’s converted into mezcal by fourth-generation master distillers in Oaxaca. It is one of the only mezcals on the market that uses Damiana, a traditional herb that thrives in the same regions as agave. Damiana is classified in Mexico as a National Treasure and was a favorite of the Aztecs as a heart-opening stimulant.
For The Vodka Lover Who Drinks By The Beach
Made by Surf City Still Works in Huntington Beach, California, this gluten-free Vodka is derived from 100% organic corn, and possesses a naturally sweet taste along with a creamy mouth feel. It is distilled and filtered to be extremely smooth, and cab be drank alone or added as a delicious kick to your favorite mixed drink.
For The Bourbon Lover Who Is Into The Classics
Woodford Reserve is built around flavor. The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is composed of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes. Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 45.2% ABV and is created at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, KY.
For The Amaro Lover Who Wants A Taste Of California
A golden liquid dressed in an elegant wrapper that is covered with orange-colored fruits, Amaro Angeleno brings the terroir of Southern and Central California to the blossoming Amaro scene. Dozens of types of the Italian digestif are available on the market, and each speaks of the land, climate, and people where they are created. The same is to be said for Amaro Angeleno, which Ventura Spirits has cleverly dubbed, “An amaro of place.” While it is certainly a bitter liqueur, Amaro Angeleno’s vinous quality makes it perfect for replacing aperitif wines in a variety of cocktails. It’s also excellent on its own, served neat or on the rocks.
For The Tequila Lover Who Supports Locals
Tanteo Blanco Tequila
Made in small batches in the ONLY distillery owned by its co-op of agave farmers. Blanco is bottled at 85 proof and joins Tanteo Tequila’s existing line of all-natural, infused expressions including Jalapeño, Chipotle and Habanero. Tasting notes are bright and zippy, with hints of black pepper and minerality on the palate to balance the sweetness of the agave.
For The Apple Lover Looking For A Spirited Addition
The hills surrounding San Sebastian-Donostia are filled with apple trees. Come fall, green, red, and yellow fruits litter the deep green fields. Basque country is verdant and lush and is known for the quality of its apples and the cider they produce. The Zapiain surname has been connected to cider since before 1595. Under their umbrella, those interested can find Sagardoz, who produce three unique Basque cider spirits: Txuria “Le Blanc”, Goxoa liqueur, and Haritza oak aged. All three provide unique ways to taste the Basque terroir through their most famous product.
For The Gin Lover Looking For An Instant Classic
Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651
The Vale Fox Distillery of Hudson Valley, NY, released their debut expression, Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651, made by Master Distiller Roselyn Thomson and top bartenders: the late, great gaz regan, Leo Robitschek and Jeffery Morgenthaler. Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651 is made on a Forsyths gin still from 100% wheat neutral spirit with botanicals including juniper, coriander and angelica root, red rooibos tea and Makrut lime. Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651is non-chill filtered, resulting in a robust and flavorful gin.
For The Vodka Lover Trying To Save The World
Can drinking Vodka help combat harmful carbon emissions? Finally, the answer is Yes. A startup called Air Co. is making a new brand of carbon-negative Vodka that is made from captured CO2 instead of yeast. To make the Vodka, Air Co. captures CO2 from nearby factories. Then, the team uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. From there, the oxygen is released, and the hydrogen is combined with CO2. The combination makes alcohol and water. The final step is to remove the water through distillation. The whole process, including the still, runs on solar power “so the overall lifecycle carbon intensity of all the energy that we use is minimized, and in the end, we get a product that is net carbon negative.” That’s pretty cool.
For The Music Lover Who Enjoys Their Whiskey
The Bob Dylan-fronted whiskey brand Heaven’s Door has unveiled “Volume 1” of its Bootleg Series, a rare 26-year old whiskey finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak barrels. It comes in a handmade ceramic bottle that features Dylan’s painting, Train Tracks. Each edition comes in an individually numbered leather journal. Only 3,000 bottles of the whiskey will ever be released.