In case you haven’t noticed, we at The Manual never get tired of talking about booze. Whether it’s small batch bourbon, the latest in tequila trends, or the sampling the finest in alcoholic ciders, we’ve got to write about it (and test it!).
Chances are, you have someone in your life who is a beer expert or a cocktail connoisseur just like many of us are. And, since we are officially entering the holiday shopping season, you are going to need some alcohol inspired gifts to give out. To help you beat the holiday rush and get ahead of the game, we have put together a list of some of our favorite drink-related gifts. Any of the items below will be perfect for that friend or significant other of yours who doesn’t just like to tip a few back, but knows how to truly enjoy what he’s drinking as well.
1. Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon
This whiskey is no joke. Booker’s Bourbon is one of the only uncut, unfiltered, straight-from-the-barrel bourbons on the market. If you know someone who does best in down-to-earth, dimly lit bars, this is definitely the spirit of choice. Booker’s is bottled at a natural proof between 121 and 127 and aged between six and eight years, which makes it an excellent sipping bourbon. Whoever is on the receiving end of this bottle will be thanking you throughout 2014.
2. Drinking, Smoking and Screwing: Great Writers on Good Times
For better or worse, a night of drinking can make for some great stories. Throughout history, countless writers have understood the value of a good drink and a night out. Edited by Sara Nickles and published by Chronicle Books, Drinking, Smoking & Screwing collects poems, short stories and essays all about the joys of having perhaps too much fun. This anthology runs the gamut, featuring writing from the “barfly” Charles Bukowski, popular humorist Tom Robbins, classic prose stylist Vladimir Nabokov, and noted smoker Fran Lebowitz among others.
3. Kaufmann Mercantile Square Crystal Decanter
Sure, it’s always nice to have your favorite liquors prominently displayed at your home bar, but nothing says class like having your spirits stored neatly in their very own decanters. This English-made glassware is hand-blown by a team of up to twelve artisans out of raw crystal. Each decanter has a base measurement of 3.5 square inches and a height of 7.5 inches, which holds 22 fluid ounces of your favorite scotch or whiskey. The airtight seal maintains the complex flavors in your liquor of choice and the sleek design and appearance will be sure to impress even the most refined of drinking buddies.
4. Oxley Gin
£51.95 or $83.70
No one does gin like the British, and Oxley is one of the finest gins on the market. Oxley is the first ever spirit created using Cold Distillation, which means that pressure is lowered to bring the boiling point down to -5℃. Removing heat from the distillation creates fresh, bright and smooth flavors, which is what Oxley prides itself on. This is a gin that you drink straight over ice, so that with each sip you can taste the mix of fresh citrus that goes into every batch. If you want to show someone in your life that you think they have nothing but class, this spirit makes the perfect gift.
5. Bittercube Variety Pack
Any sophisticated cocktail drinker knows the value of a good bottle of bitters. Bittercube Bitters, created at Yahara Bay Distillers out of Madison, WI, was founded by Nicolas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz in 2009. The duo has miles of experience consulting and working at a variety of bars and restaurants throughout the Midwest and takes their bitters very seriously. They have meticulously crafted six different types of bitters: Cherry Bark Vanilla (for Manhattans), Jamaican Bitters #2 (good for Mojitos), Orange Bitters (nice in an Old Fashioned), Bolivar Bitters (for those champagnes cocktails), Jamaican Bitters #1 (for all rum drinks), and Blackstrap Bitters (perfect in hot, winter cocktails). This variety pack will please that friend or loved one who always wants to play bartender at a party or simply for their own enjoyment (we never oppose making a stiff one for yourself as long as it doesn’t get messy.)
6. Broquet Hangover First Aid Kit
The title of this item says it all. Chances are, the person you are buying any of these gifts for will overdo a night out every once and awhile (who doesn’t?); and this Hangover First Aid Kit is an excellent addition to any medicine cabinet. Filled with packs of vitamin boosters, glutathione replenishers (we’ll take their word for it), an instant cold pack, as well as an emergency Bloody Mary Mix, the guys at Broquet have covered all of your bases. In fact, you may just want to pick one of these up for yourself (we won’t tell).