No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, one thing is always for certain: great booze makes for good cheer. But this year, we’re not stocking our bars with just any old whiskey. In recent years, American small-batch distilleries have been popping up from coast to coast, offering unique craft liquors with complex flavors you won’t find in just any old liquor store. Read on to see four of our favorites changing the name of the cocktail game.
Maker’s Mark Master Distiller veteran Dave Pickerell knows excellent whiskey, so it’s no surprise his WhistlePig 100% Straight Rye Whiskey was awarded Wine Enthusiast‘s “highest ever” rating for the category. Aged for at least 10 years in American oak barrels, this Vermont-born spirit is available in a limited quantity. Can you think of a better gift for the serious connoisseur?
hum Botanical Spirit
Looking for something unique to add an exotic twist to your holiday bar? Made by infusing pot still rhum with fair trade hibiscus, ginger root, green cardamom and kaffir lime, hum is a well-balanced botanical spirit created by mixologists Adam Seger and Joe McCanta. Proudly made in Chicago, hum can be enjoyed straight up, with another base spirit or mixed with wine, champagne or beer.
Talk about variety. Currently at the Leopold Bros. Denver distillery, Scott and Todd Leopold are producing 14 different small batch liquors, and they’re doing it sustainably. Pick your poison between vodka and gin, five different types of whiskies, six liquors and a traditional Absinthe Verte, carefully crafted with the hand-selected European herbs Anise, Grande Wormwood and Sweet Fennel.
Who knew New York state’s newest distillery would branch from an apple farm founded more than 50 years ago? When Derek Grout learned about making vodka from apples, he was inspired to take his family’s Golden Harvest Farms’ main export to the next level. Harvest Spirit’s award-winning Core Vodka is distilled three times from hard cider and minimally filtered to keep it’s true apple character in check. And with other killer spirits like Peach Applejack and Hudson Valley Grappa, Harvest is bound to become a new favorite in your rocks glass.