Get into the holiday spirit (literally) with our guide to all things drinkable!
Godiva Infused Vodka
You’ve seen pepper, cilantro, bacon, coconut, mint, lychee, plum and pretty much anything else you can cram into the world’s most popular clear spirit. And now, add chocolate to the list. And not just any old chocolate, Godiva, the rich, luxurious confection that will make this holiday season’s spirits that much sweeter.
If you didn’t know, rums aren’t what they used to be. Forget mixing them with syrupy colas because the new Zacapa XO—one of the finest rums in the world—ranks up there with the finest scotch and bourbon. Don’t mix this with anything. Pour yourself a few fingers, toss in an ice cube or two and learn what good rum really is.
If you know Laphroaig, you know that this is the king of the peaty scotches. Renowned for its rich and dense smokiness, the new 18-year-old expression is actually a fair bit smoother, while not sacrificing that classic smoky finish. Every home bar should have a bottle of this on hand at all times.
El Jimador Gift Set
It’s hard to drink tequila without glasses (sure, you can chug straight from the bottle, but you should probably keep it classy during the holidays). Luckily el Jimador is offering two five ounce Percheron glasses to pour it’s 100% blue agave reposado tequila into. It’s like two gifts in one!
This is the first of the major Cognac houses to release a cognac with an age expression (they’re also releasing a 21-year-old). This blend is primarily selected from the Borderies, which at 12 years of age develop blossom with floral and spicy notes. I suggest you put some in a snifter, lie naked on a bear skin rug and make this a holiday to remember.
The hands down winner of the coolest bottle, this new tequila’s label celebrates Mexico’s 200th anniversary of Spanish independence with Day of the Dead-style skeletons kicking the crap out of Spanish skeletons. Oh, and the 100% blue agave tequila which comes in reposado and blanco expressions are both smoother and crisp.
Have you ever been to New Zealand? I haven’t either, but according to pictures that island is nothing but greenery and hobbit movies. And Steinlager Pure, a new NZ beer is trying to capture the pure, natural essence of their homeland with a preservative and additive-free lager. Crisply refreshing, this beer is also made with reduced CO2 emissions so you can feel like you’re saving the world one six pack at a time.
Wild Turkey 101
If you’re going to drink some bourbon, then drink the real thing the cowboys drank. Clocking in at a powerful 101 proof (or 50.5% alcohol) this true Kentucky bourbon grabs your tongue and doesn’t let go, but not in a bad way. If you give it a chance (and it’s acceptable to add a little water to it) you won’t drink bourbon any other way.
Full-bodied with big blueberry and black cherry flavors, this Syrah is bold enough to stand up to anything the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas goose throw your way. This 2007 red is barrel aged to add a touch of vanilla spice to go with it’s fruity flavors. Pair it with anything big.
Graham’s Six Grapes
One of Graham’s original Port blends, this youngster for the everyday Port drinker boasts a dark red color with hints of ripe plums and cherries (the titular Six Grapes denote this as one of their darkest and most full-bodied wines). A nice long, lingering finish ensures that you won’t mistake this for anything put out by Welch’s.
Blue Ice American Organic Vodka
Idaho’s natural resources—particularly its pristine water and locally harvested winter wheat—are the sources for this spirit’s harmonious blend and smooth finish. And since it’s a USDA-approved organic product, that means it’s good for you, right? No word on if the bottles are free-range or not.
There’s never been a single barrel Canadian whiskey….until now. What does that mean? Canadian whiskey (which is usually made with spicier rye) can have a slightly harsher aftertaste than the sweeter bourbons Americans are used to. By letting this spirit sit in just one barrel, it adds a subtle custardy richness that cuts harshness of the rye. And the bottle looks awesome.
As we’ve already stated here, rye can be a very finicky grain to work with. But Templeton has managed to create a rich, clean rye with a remarkably smooth aftertaste. I could try to explain the complex process they go through to turn a bushel of rye into a perfect glass of American whiskey (have you ever heard of “backset stillage”?), but I don’t have enough time or space. Just pour yourself a few glasses and call it a day.
Dalmore King Alexander III
If you feel like splurging on a top-of-the-line scotch this season, you should probably shell out for the King Alexander III from Dalmore. Matured in a mixture of French wine casks, Madeira drums, Sherry butts (teehee!) Marsala barrels, port pipes and Kentucky bourbon barrels, this whiskey is unrivaled in richness, smoothness and overall experience. This is one of the greatest whiskies in the world.
Casa Noble Anejo
If a tequila takes 14 years to make, there’s a pretty good chance it’s awesome. And that’s how long it takes to make the ultra-smooth Casa Noble Anejo. Casa Noble slow cooks the heart (or pina, if you will) of the agave plant and ages it in French White Oak barrels. Then delivers it to your tastebuds in a striking purple ceramic bottle.
Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Brut Sparkling
Popping a bottle of the bubbly this holiday season shouldn’t break the bank (Christmas gifts, travel and your overeating-induced Diabetes diagnosis will do plenty of that). So save a few much-needed dollars and pour everyone a glass of Robert Mondavi’s Woodbridge Brut. Pair it with almost anything (most sparkling wines go with any dish) and you’ll have plenty of insulin money left over.