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Holiday Spirits Gift Guide

Holiday Spirits Gift Guide

Every holiday season, I’m plagued with how to shop for my family and friends. In years past, I have made list upon list and gone through each person, thinking of a personable gift that shows our friendship and how much they mean to me. But with the pressure of finding the perfect gift, I end up going with either a gift card to a favorite store, or a home-cooked dinner by yours truly. However, as we’ve gotten older and our tastes have matured, I’ve realized that while a pretty piece of jewelry, a good book, or even a good dinner is always a nice gesture, the heart wants what the heart wants.

This year, the heart wants liquor.

Liquor image via Shutterstock

This year, spirit brands have gone above and beyond to release some pretty fantastic expressions just in time for the holiday gifting and drinking season. Some of them are the standard liqueurs, full of sweet flavors like gingerbread and cinnamon. Others are a little more inventive, with a focus on smoky and spicy Scotches and bourbons. Toss in a couple of curveballs, like a flavored whiskey or a rare tequila, and you’ll be known as the best friend there ever was!

So as you brave the shopping malls and department stores, searching for the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones, consider browsing the aisles at the liquor store or on specific brands’ websites instead. Diamond necklaces show your love right now, but a bottle of good Scotch? That is everlasting love. Cheers, and happy gifting!

What spirited gifts are you hoping to get this holiday season?

Kahlua Gingerbread Liqueur: This is a perfect example of a timely holiday treat. Sweet and spiced, this gingerbread-flavored liqueur is great on the rocks or in a cup of hot coffee.

Baileys Hazelnut Liqueur: Baileys is a standard liqueur for this time of the year, and the new hazelnut expression is really enjoyable.

Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky: This new expression from Johnnie Walker is quite smoky, but makes for a great sipping whisky at a reasonable price point.

Don Julio Reposado Tequila: Tequila usually isn’t considered when thinking about cold-weather spirits, but don’t leave this one out! Its rich complexity and deep, oaky flavors are perfect for a holiday punch or to sip over ice.

Grand Marnier Natural Cherry Liqueur: Cherry-flavored anything is a pretty superb flavor for the winter time, and Grand Marnier, which is already known for its stellar orange flavor, makes an excellent product here as well. Enjoy over ice with a cherry and an orange wedge.

Godiva Chocolate Liqueur: Godiva is one of the best chocolate producers in the world, and as such, their chocolate liqueur is pretty extraordinary. It’s rich and creamy without being overly sweet, and also comes in a very attractive bottle. Friends who aren’t big hard liquor drinkers will very much enjoy this.

Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka: Van Gogh Vodka has some of the best flavored vodka that I’ve ever had, and they continue to produce fantastic new flavors every year. Van Gogh Pomegranate is definitely a vodka for the flavored vodka drinker as well as the non-flavored.

Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka: Just as with the Pomegranate, the Double Espresso vodka from Van Gogh is incredibly enjoyable, and one of the few vodkas that can be enjoyed on its own without any mixer. Give your friends the gift of good vodka this year with a vodka from Van Gogh.

Ron Abuelo Rum 7 and 12: Not many people appreciate a good dark rum, but people who do will appreciate Ron Abuelo. The seven-year is complex and has a very rounded taste, and is perfect straight up or on the rocks. The 12-year is similar in complexity but is noticeably smoother. Any sophisticated palate will appreciate this.

Click here to find more holiday spirits for the season.

— Sara Kay, The Spir.it


11 easy but outrageous homemade liqueur gifts to toast the holidays | Holiday Gift Guide

You don’t have to be a super DIY-er to make some impressive homemade liquor and liqueur gifts for the holidays that will wow your friends and family. I mean, I’m not the best baker in the family, nor a proficient candy maker, let alone knitter, seamstress, needle-pointer…you get the idea. But, I can follow a recipe pretty well and love cocktails around the holidays, so this is one homemade gourmet gift idea that’s right up my alley.

And, hey, even if you are the best baker or candy maker, homemade liqueurs packaged in pretty bottles make a thoughtful present or hostess gift for anyone on your list who enjoys a cocktail or two. Even better than a bottle of wine!

Check out these 11 delicious, easy-to-make homemade liqueurs that I think you’ll have a fun time making. Just make enough so you can keep a bottle for yourself. Maybe two.


Holiday Gift Guide: 6 Great Spirit and Cocktail Books

Great spirit and cocktail books make great holiday gifts. We’ve rounded up six of the best books, three Cocktail and three Spirits, as recommendations for the booze lover on your holiday list. Also be sure to check out some of our past holiday guides, including Great Alcohol to Give as Gifts, 6 Spirits under $40 that Make Great Gifts, and Spirits That Look Expensive But Aren’t.

Cocktail Books

The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried

The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried: 100+ Intoxicating Oddities You’ll Actually Want to Put Down by Andrew Bohrer ($14.95) – Andrew Bohrer is known as one of the leading craft bartenders in Seattle and has been incredibly influential in bringing hand-cut ice into cocktails. For his cocktail book, Bohrer spends time with one of the more ignored segments of the cocktail world, the shot. Masterfully assembled, this collection of over 100 shot-tails not only features fun drinks, like the Salted Caramel Shot (1 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz heavy cream, 1/4 oz butterscotch liqueur, 1 pinch kosher salt) and The Ginger Snap (1 oz black strap rum, 1/4 oz simple, 1/4 oz lime juice, 2 dashes of Angostura), it also features downsizes of many great classic cocktails (White Lady becomes the Little Lady, Cosmopolitan into the Pink Dale, and Margarita becomes the Pequena Daisy). The book is well laid out and easy to follow, a great book for beginners who want to try their hand at cocktails but find most cocktail books intimidating. One of the things that makes The Best Shots You’ve Never Tried so good is the sheer number of great drinks with over 100 recipes, you’d think there would be some dogs in the pack, but there aren’t. We made many drinks from this book and all were winners. Andrew Bohrer not only elevates the shot to the next level, he captures some of the best cocktail recipes out there, big or small.

The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy by Jim Meehan ($25) – PDT (aka Please Don’t Tell) and Jim Meehan have been credited as both key bar and bartender in kicking off the craft cocktail revival in the United States. The PDT Cocktail Book captures this with a collection of modern cocktails from some of the most important and influential bartenders in the country. The PDT Cocktail Book is a modern bible of cocktails and is to our generation what the Savoy Cocktail Book was to the post-Prohibition return of cocktails in the 1930s. One of the things we love about The PDT Cocktail Book is the absolute precision of the drinks, with pitch perfect recipes for some of our favorite drinks like Tommy’s Margarita, Hemmingway Daquiri, Statesman, Ti-Punch, and Negroni. If you are serious about cocktails, The PDT Cocktail Book should be on your bookshelf.

Drinks – Unraveling The Mysteries of Flavour and Aroma in Drink by Tony Conigliaro ($30) – Tony Conigliaro is hands down the best mixologist in the world. Many of the great advancements in the current cocktail revival, including barrel aged cocktails, came out of Tony’s lab above The Bar With No Name (69 Colebrooke Row). When it comes to breaking down flavors and using innovative methods for creating drinks, there’s no one who comes even close to Tony Conigliaro. With methods that include centrifuging ingredients (for the best Dirty Martini in the world), measuring ingredients with a micron pen (for the Kolon Martini), and sous vide ingredients (as he does for the Flintlock, one of the best gin drinks in the world), Conigliaro could have easily written a technical whitepaper on his cocktails. Instead, he’s written a beautiful and often poetic book that both captures his love and fascination for flavors and aroma as well as the extremely advanced technical steps to recreate his drinks. Drinks isn’t a book for the casual cocktail enthusiast – it’s as advanced as books get – but it’s also one of the most significant cocktail book releases of the year. Drinks – Unraveling The Mysteries of Flavour and Aroma in Drink is the beverage equivalent to The Modernist Cuisine and could prove to be as equally influential. (Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com)

Books About Spirits

101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die

101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die by Ian Buxton ($20) – if you go to any large whisky gatherings like Whiskylive or WhiskyFest, you’ll often see people clutching Ian Buxton’s 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die like it’s a whisky bible, and for the most part, it is. Ian Buxton is one of the most knowledgeable whisky experts alive. He has a rare and magical ability to condense an immense amount of experience and knowledge into an easy-to-use and approachable book. 101 World Whiskies is a worthy sucessor to this modern whisky bible and expands the scope to whiskies from around the world including some great American, Irish, and Japanese whiskies. As with 101 Whiskies, Buxon emphasizes that the collection in the book doesn’t represent the “best” whiskies in the world, but a list of “whiskies that enthusiasts really should seek out and try – love them or hate them – to complete their whisky education.” It’s a superb collection of spirits and a must-own book for anyone who loves whisk(e)y.

Canadian Whisky – The Portable Expert

Canadian Whisky The Portable Expert by Davin De Kergommeaux ($22) – Everything you know about Canadian Whisky is wrong. It’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s the sentiment that Davin De Kergommeaux starts off his essential guide to one of the more maligned and misunderstood spirit categories. Stepping throughout the entire Canadian whisky world, De Kergommeaux blends together a book that deals with how Canadian whisky is produced, the history behind the legendary distilleries, and tasting notes on key Canadian Whisky releases. By the end of it all, it’s clear just how much misinformation is out there. De Kergommeaux sets the record straight on exactly what Canadian Whisky is made of, what really happened during prohibition, and who the key players were who really shaped Canada’s signature spirit. Canadian Whisky The Portable Expert is a must-own for any whisk(e)y lover and is one of the best resources for learning the truth about Canadian Whisky.

Beam, Straight Up – The Bold Story of The First Family of Bourbon

Beam, Straight Up – The Bold Story of The First Family of Bourbon by Fred Noe and Jim Kokoris ($23) – Jim Beam is the largest manufacturer of bourbon in the world, and it also has one of the most interesting back stories. Fred Noe is a 7th Generation Beam Master Distiller and son of legendary Booker Noe. Growing up around one of the greatest spirit revivals gave Fred a front row seat to history, and he’s captured it along with the skilled Jim Kokoris in a book that is as much an oral history of bourbon as it is about Jim Beam. Fred Noe has always been very much an “every man” and it’s a key element in his success as one of the leading global ambassadors for bourbon. That approachable style comes through in Beam, Straight Up, which is as entertaining as it is informative. Give Beam, Straight Up with a bottle of Beam Black Label for one of the best pairings we’ve seen for holiday gifts.


Here’s the ultimate alcoholic gift guide for Christmas 2020

It’s official: Mariah Carey is warming her vocal cords for yet another year of “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, and Michael Bublé is not too far off behind.

Before you ready yourself for the repeated (read: incessant) yuletide music on the radio, perhaps you’d like to find yourself a well-filled glass to tide yourself through the festivities.

Besides making extremely good gifts for your boozy chum — we all know you have at least one in mind as you read this — a tipple or two is the perfect wind-down to the day as you snuggle up (alone or otherwise) on the couch, streaming a holiday special on Netflix.

We count seven glasses here — not this year, folks. (Image credit: Yutacar on Unsplash)

This year’s been a trying one, but with 2021 coming up — no one’s got time for all that worry. Read on for ultimate alcoholic gift guide that’ll keep you and your friends inebriated through the holiday season.


Holiday Gift Guide: 6 Beautifully Bottled Spirits Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

Looking for a great gift bottle this holiday season? Something as lovely to look at as it is to drink? Maybe a bottle with a handcrafted touch? Or something a little retro? Or eye-catchingly new?

Here are 6 of my own suggestions for giftable booze with great packaging. (P.S.: I don’t want you to think I’m just being superficial. Rest assured, the spirits inside the bottles are all pretty special too.)

MODERN RETRO

1. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Bottle Beauty Quotient: A faceted crystalline bottle filled with pale, golden liquid, and topped with an embossed metal cap. Art Nouveau romance.
Price Range: $28-32/750 ml
Flavor/Uses: This delicately floral liqueur is all the rage with mixologists right now, and has found its way into many modern recipes. It’s especially nice mixed with Champagne.

2. Hendrick’s Gin
Bottle Beauty Quotient: A dark, squat, apothecary-influenced bottle bearing the warning: “It is not for everyone. Please enjoy the unusual responsibly.” Quirky Scottish charm at its best.
Price Range: $25-30/750 ml
Flavor/Uses: Another modern mixologist darling, this soft rose- and cucumber-infused gin is particularly good mixed in a Martini garnished with a cucumber slice.

HANDCRAFTED DESIGN

3. Delord Bas-Armagnac, 25-year-old (pictured right)
Bottle Beauty Quotient: This Armagnac comes in a tall, clear-glass bottle known as the “Ariane.” The handwritten label and wax seal lend a simple, artisanal appeal.
Price Range: $68-75/750 ml
Flavor/Uses: Sipped neat, it makes a lovely after-dinner drink. Especially good with a square of dark chocolate.

4. Oronoco Rum
Bottle Beauty Quotient: With its embossed recycled leather label, and individual batch-numbering, the bottle has an elegant, handcrafted look.
Price Range: $40-45/750 ml
Flavor/Uses: A barrel-aged blend of Brazilian rums made from fresh cane juice and South American rums made from molasses. Sweet and light and vanilla-y without being at all cloying. A nice after-dinner drink: very sippable on its own.

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS

5. Espolòn Tequila Blanco (pictured left)
Bottle Beauty Quotient: With its simple, clear glass bottle, wooden stopper, and Day of the Dead black and white label graphics, Espolòn manages to be tasteful and edgy all at once.
Price Range: $20-25
Flavor/Uses: New to the market in 2010, this value-priced tequila is great in Margaritas. Crisp, clean, and with a slightly peppery finish, it’s also surprisingly good sipped straight.

6. Zu Bison Grass Vodka
Bottle Beauty Quotient: The tall bottle contains a clear spirit with the faintest tint of pale, herbal green. Inside is a single thin strand of bison grass. Subtly intriguing.
Price Range: $25-30
Flavor/Uses: This Polish bison grass flavored vodka has a mild, herbal, chamomile-like flavor when sipped straight. Especially good in cocktails mixed with apple, honey, and lemon. A recent release to the U.S. market.

Are you giving any liquor as gifts this year?

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, some of the manufacturers did give us product for testing and review purposes.

Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC’s Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.


Books for Wine and Spirits Lovers: A Holiday Gift Guide

Possibly the most difficult thing about finding the perfect gift for the wine or spirits lover on your list is that you can never be quite sure that you are buying the perfect bottle. Even if you nail the brand spot on, there's always the chance that you will get the variety or vintage wrong. With that in mind, a book is a much safer bet, especially because unlike a bottle of wine or scotch, a book won't be gone shortly after it is opened it remains on the shelf to be referred to again and again. Our own Wines of California: The Comprehensive Guide is doing really well online and in bookshops, and in the spirit of the season we are giving kudos to our colleagues who turned out excellent books with terrific titles and even better subtitles this year. In all seriousness, these are the best wine and spirits books that came our way in 2014.

The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine with 115 Recipes for The World's Great Drinks by Jennifer Fiedler (Ten Speed Press, $19.99) is a wonderful gift for that friend who loves to host cocktail parties. The subtitle pretty much lets you know what you're in for but doesn't do justice to this attractive and informative book. Arranged alphabetically, it is a wine and spirits dictionary as well as a cocktail primer, with a lot of history and other interesting information included within its entries, which run the gamut from Absinthe to Zombie. A dynamo of a reference manual with a bright orange cover, The Essential Bar Book is sure to become a dog-eared family treasure with a place of honor above the bar.

American Spirit: An Exploration of the Craft Distilling Movement by James Rodewald (Sterling Epicure, $24.95) offers an extensive look into small batch distilling across the USA. In addition to profiles of outstanding producers of whiskey, gin, brandy, and vodka, Rodewald presents the challenges inherent in making and selling alcoholic beverages in a country whose arcane laws and regulations present obstacles every step of the way. The former drinks editor of Gourmet, Rodewald also makes a clear case for steering clear of big brands and honoring the modern day spiritual descendants of moonshiners. The sharp-eyed journalistic style employed here turns a potentially tedious subject into a fascinating exploration of the burgeoning craft spirit movement and the people behind it.

The Winemaker's Hand: Conversations on Talent, Technique, and Terroir by Natalie Berkowitz (Columbia University Press, $27.95) is a compendium of captivating interviews with more than 40 winemakers around the world. Offering insight into the complex process of turning grapes into wine, Berkowitz spoke with vintners from a wide variety of regions and nations, including Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States. Passion comes across on each and every page regardless of whether Berkowitz' subject toils for a small family winery or one owned by a large corporation. Truly telling the story behind the wine, The Winemaker's Hand is a must-have on the bookshelf of the oenophile in your life.

The Thinking Drinker's Guide to Alcohol: A Cocktail of Amusing Anecdotes and Opinion on the Art of Imbibing by Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham (Sterling Epicure, $24.95) is a fun-filled ride through the history of alcohol, from ancient Egypt onwards. Profiles of every spirit imaginable are presented in humorous, easy-reading fashion, including illustrated timelines, maps, and roundups of top producers. The Distinguished Drinker pages are among the most fun in the book, bringing to life important figures to the history of alcoholic beverages such as William of Orange, Hunter S. Thompson, and Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess who morphed into agave, the plant that gives us tequila. This is such an amusing and engaging read that you really ought to buy two copies, because you are going to want to keep one for yourself.

Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World's Best-Kept Secret with Cocktails and Recipes by Talia Baiocchi (Ten Speed Press, $24.99) is surely the finest book ever written about a wine that hardly anyone outside Spain drinks. Many otherwise sophisticated wine drinkers are unaware of the range of styles in which Sherry can be produced and the myriad ways it can be enjoyed, from aperitif to dessert and everywhere in between, including cutting edge cocktails. Baiocchi, editor-in-chief of online drinks magazine PUNCH takes the mystery out by presenting the history, geography and production methods of Sherry (made only in a tiny corner of Andalucia, Spain) as well as highlighting some of the best producers in the region. She includes plenty of cocktail recipes, and for the purists, recipes for Spanish dishes to be enjoyed alongside a glass of Fino or Amontillado. A delightful read from start to finish, Sherry deserves a place of honor in every wine lover's bookcase.


Apotheke: Modern Medicinal Cocktails (Hardcover)

Discover the techniques behind crafting your favorite concoctions from this first and only compilation of the renowned Formula List creations from Apotheke, the original New York City cocktail apothecary that applies mixology to the world of plant science wellness.

With its 1800s-Parisian-absinthe-den vibe combined with an air of opium-den secrecy, Apotheke is a unique


12 Perfect Beer and Cider Gift Ideas to Lift Holiday Spirits This Season

S till have a lot of shopping to do for all the beer and cider drinkers in your life? Us too. While you could just schlep on down to your local liquor store, pick up a couple of singles, toss ’em in gift bags, and call it a day, we think your loved ones deserve something just a little more thoughtful this year. Here are 12 perfect beer and cider gift ideas to lift holiday spirits and put a smile on your favorite drinkers’ faces.

Images via Indeed Brewing Company

Indeed Brewing Company – Fan Packs

Indeed Brewing Company is an OG brewery and taproom in Northeast Minneapolis, and you can see some of that neighborhood’s vibrant, artistic culture reflected in the breweries’ can designs and merchandise. This year, Indeed has an absolute sleighful of awesome merch packs for you to chose from them. Fans of their Flavorwave IPA or Mexican Honey lager can find whole gift packs themed around those beers with fun throw-ins like orange blossom honey and chapstick. Looking to fill-out your giftee’s T-shirt drawer or kickstart their glassware collections? Good news, Indeed’s got packs for that too!

Photo via Town Hall Brewery

Town Hall Brewery – Signature Flavors gift box

After years cranking out awesome food and beer in Minneapolis’ West Bank neighborhood, Town Hall Brewery has rightfully earned a cult following among local beer fans. This box is the ultimate gift for your favorite Town Hall cultist, as it comes with four Crowlers, plus Town Hall’s pancake mix, bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup, cocktail mixers, glassware, and specialty brats from Northeast Minneapolis Ukrainian food market Kramarczuk’s.

Photo by Allison Longley via Wild State Cider

Wild State Cider – Cider Essentials Gift Box

Give your favorite ciderhead a taste of the North Shore with this Essentials box from Duluth’s Wild State Cider. Each handsomely designed package features 16 12oz cans of Wild State’s stellar cider offerings, from their crisp and dependable Classic Dry to their unique fruited infusions like their Raspberry Hibiscus. Also included in the pack are a Wild State koozie and sticker.

Photo by Katelyn Regenscheid via Inbound BrewCo

Inbound BrewCo – Specialty Sipping pack

Inbound BrewCo is offering a special pair of Belgian-inspired bombers this holiday season with their Rouge Sauvage and Halucidation ales, and to sweeten the deal, they’re throwing in a pair of limited-edition stemless glasses sporting their rouge-ified logo when you buy both. Classy bombers + classy glasses = A classy Christmas. It’s simple math, really.

Photo via Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company – Holiday Gift Packs

Prefer a slightly more à la carte approach to your holiday gift pack shopping, check out Loring Park’s Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, which is offering a range of gift pack components including glassware, hats, or membership to their Brewer’s Reserve small-batch release club. Buy four branded tulips or pint glasses and get a free L&L shirt, or get that same shirt when you buy two knitted hats or beanies. Just interested in the beer? Sign-up for their Brewer’s Reserve club and net yourself bonus crowlers and discounts.

Available for taproom pick-up and local delivery until December 31 (Brewer’s Reserve deal available until December 24). Various prices.

Photo by Casey Vanek via Milk & Honey Ciders

Milk & Honey Cider – Cider Sampler pack

St. Joseph, Minnesota’s Milk & Honey Ciders is a small but mighty cidery with a reputation for impeccable quality, which means their cider sampler is a must-have for any serious cider aficionado this holiday season. The pack features four of their ciders, from the traditional Heirloom to the aromatic and warming Chagga Chai, plus a 750ml bottle of their brand new Pommeau. What’s a Pommeau, you ask? It’s a heavily fortified cider that’s been mixed with apple brandy, and Milk & Honey got an assist on making theirs from Minneapolis’ Tattersall Distilling.

Photo via Bad Weather Brewing Company

Bad Weather Brewing Company – Holiday Bundle

Our St. Paul neighbors at Bad Weather are rolling out an ultra-cozy merch pack for the holidays this year, featuring a powder blue beanie, a Nordic-style Bad Weather scarf, a koozie, and a locally-made, hand-spun ceramic mug. While you’re picking up your holiday pack, we highly recommend snagging a bomber of their Cherry Creek Belgian Dubbel or their 2020 Calamity Bourbon and Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout.

FINNEGANS Brew Co. – Moveable Feast Party Pack

Whenever and however you chose to hold your holiday feast this year, FINNEGANS will bring the beer with the Movable Feast Party Pack! Stock up with a growler fill of your choice, plus two branded tulip glasses, a set of coasters, and a festive tote bag (never mind that green is FINNEGANS’ favorite color all year round). Plus, as always, FINNEGANS donates their profits to local charities, so you can give the gift of beer and help folks in need this holiday season. Beats the heck out of ringing a bell outside in the cold if you ask us!

Photo via Tillion Brewing Co.

Tilion Brewing Co. – Growler Gift Box

Ready to make that special someone on your gift list feel like a Tilion Bucks? Hook them up with a Growler Gift Box from Tilion Brewing in Cannon Falls, Minnesota! Tilion’s pack features a branded growler and a pair of branded nonic pints, plus a punch card that’s good for a growler fill of any beer on tap and two pints at the brewery while you wait for the fill (pending local restrictions). You also add on merch and other fun goodies via their web store to help round out the gift!

Photo via Minneapolis Cider Company

Minneapolis Cider Company – Mulled Cider Gift Box

There’s nothing like mulled cider around a roaring fire to get you into the holiday spirit. Minneapolis Cider Co. is offering everything you need to make a batch of the good stuff with their holiday gift box, which features four cans of their classic Orchard Blend cider, cinnamon sticks, honey, a tin mug and stemmed glass, plus a 750ml bottle of their Appleseed Pomologie spirit to kick things up a notch.

Photo via Maple Island Brewing

Maple Island Brewing – Maple Island Lover Pack

Stillwater’s Maple Island Brewing is keeping it simple with its holiday gift pack offering. The Maple Island Lover pack features two branded pint glasses, two cozy-looking Christmas-colored t-shirts, and an empty Maple Island Growler for you to fill up when you pick up your pack. Don’t need the shirts? They’re offering a “just the beer” version for the low, low price of $15!

Beer Dabbler – Holiday Crowler Crate

Hey look, we have a holiday gift pack too! Beer Dabbler’s Holiday Crowler Crate features 12 limited edition Crowlers from breweries all over Minnesota, including several recipes that were brewed specifically for our Crate. Feeling ambitious and curious? Tackle the whole box yourself this holiday season! Need a bunch of last-minute gifts for your coworkers or drinking buddies? Crowler Crate is a great way to take care of all of your stocking stuffers in one shot!


Give The Gift of Quality and Passion

Independent craft spirit entrepreneurs are a passionate crowd. Against the odds they set off on a journey to discover, create, hone, and share a product to be truly proud of. They hunt for the ideal ingredients, develop recipes and refine techniques through painstaking iteration, and continue to evolve as artisans while never forgetting their roots.

This hol iday, we want to help you give the gift of quality and passion to your colleagues, friends, and family members. The gift of craft is distinctive and personal. It also helps support small independent businesses and the friends, families, and communities they're comprised of. By buying local —even if local isn’t in your own backyard— you’re helping sustain and secure the dreams and passions of entrepreneurs who give it their all to create something worth sharing.

Be assured: the one thing these selections have in common is that they are definitely worth sharing.

Happy Holidays!

Spirits Ideal For.

For the curious gin drinker and anyone who wants their bar cart to leave an impression

Cathouse Pink Peppercorn Gin by All Points West Distillery - available here

  • The unique flavor and color will delight gin aficionados always on the search for a great new bottle.
  • Pink gin is in. Plus it looks swanky on a bar cart.
  • The tasting profile is all warmth and nostalgia: cinnamon, rosemary and a nearly minty finish.

Distilled by a team of 3 in Newark, New Jersey.

For the restless traveler, that friend who owns a pair of handmade sandals bought at a roadside shop on a dusty street somewhere in Latin America

Corte Vetusto Espadin by Corte Vetusto - available here

  • About as authentic as you can get - artesanal mezcal crafted using methods that date back 500 years.
  • Truly one of a kind. Wild yeast fermentation means each batch of mezcal has distinctive flavors owing to the particular yeasts, while retaining a hallmark profile across batches.
  • Despite having won all the big awards (multiple times!), still a best-kept secret .

Distilled by one Maestro Mezcalero in Mitla, Oaxaca.

For people who read historical biographies or the cousin who orders boilermakers at the bar

Malt and Grain Whiskey by All Points West Distillery - available here

  • A true craft spirit distilled in small 150 gallon stills.
  • Brings back a historical style of distilling that had fallen out of favor for more than a century.
  • 2019 double gold award winner from USA Spirits Ratings.
  • Receives rave reviews from Curiada insiders.

Distilled by a team of 4 in Newark, New Jersey.

For experimental at-home mixologists who have perfected their cocktail mixer shake

Roots Mastic Liqueur by Finest Roots Spirits - available here

  • A unique, never-heard-of-it-before spirit.
  • Produced in Greece's oldest distillery using a 160-year-old traditional recipe.
  • Versatile flavor profile and a bottle with class.

Crafted by a team of 9 in Greece.

For anyone who likes to to stick around and relax at the table after a great dinner

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia - available here

  • An amaro from Italy's most famous grappa-distilling family - seven generations of them.
  • Made from a precisely chosen cornucopia of spices and grape distillate form a flavorful, exotic, cozy, sweet and bitter digestif.
  • The perfect accompaniment to winter dinner parties with family and friends.

Crafted in the Fiuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy

For the bourbon drinker who's gone deep into whiskey and is now starting to wonder what good rum is all about

Ron Izalco 15 Year Cask Strength by Phenomenal Spirits - available here


For Your In-Law Who's Always Like “Omg TEA!”

Here we are, writing about tea again! But the thing about humanity’s progress is, tea is getting more ethically farmed and sustainably sourced in this age of transparency. How’s that for buzzword bingo.

Anyway, we’re currently drinking Alaya’s loose-leaf teas, which are organically farmed by workers in India who are treated kindly. But what does that really mean? Smita Satiani, Alaya’s co-owner, explains that they work with tea farms that are Fair Trade International Certified. That means the workers receive housing, pension funds, healthcare, cooking fuel, footwear, and support for their dependents, including free milk through infant nutrition programs, free primary education, and scholarships for further educational training.

Their packaging is also compostable, for Healthyish bonus points.

Our favorite pouch is the Darjeeling First Flush Black Tea. It’s lightly floral, with a sturdy black tea backbone. Brewed hot, it’s especially dainty (appealing for those who find tea too tannic or bitter). For stronger flavor, cold brew it for an hour or so, with slightly more leaves in the pot. Sleepytime fan? Try the Tulsi tea, or straight-up chamomile flowers. Chai fan? Get into the Assam and Ginger blend.

And if you’re like, loose-leaf, nooooo! Too much trouble! Either invest in some compostable, undyed bags or pick up a teapot with a strainer built into the lid.