It’ll be here before you know it. So if you’re in need of a few ideas on what to give (or in some cases, what to put on your own list) this year, this is the place to be for the next couple weeks. Our annual 12 days of Dappered covers highly giftable ideas with a few examples piggy-backed onto each. All will be reasonably affordable. See the growing archive here.
If you’re a bit of a drinker, or even if you’re not (more on that in a bit), chances are you’ve been given a bottle of booze for the holidays at some point. And as long as you don’t have a twig up your tuckus so far that you’ve got leaves coming out your ears, chances are you were greatly appreciative.
BUT… if you’re on the giving side, and you want to gift something that’s not quite in the wheelhouse of the imbiber you’re shopping for, consider these slightly off the beaten path alternatives:
For the Bourbon Guy: A bottle of Canadian
Canadian Whisky embodies the holidays with it’s slightly sweet, spicier flavors. Y’know how many of us who usually suck down IPAs during the Spring & Fall switch to winter warmer’s around this time of year? Right. Same kinda deal. Look for Pendleton’s smoother, 12 year old “1910”. Hell of a good looking bottle too. Or, give a bottle of Collingwood… which looks weirdly like an enormous bottle of cologne (but tastes nothing like cologne… not that I’d… right). Whatever you do, if you’re buying for a bourbon guy, avoid the flavored Canadian Whiskies that are out there right now. Apple? Really? Whether Maple or Fruit flavored, they almost always taste… flavored.
For the Scotch Guy: Scotch from a non-Scotch barrel
There are a lot of options here. Try the Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask, which has done time in Rum barrels. Or, Glenmorangie’s 12 year old Nectar D’Òr, which first took a turn in Bourbon Casks, then moved on to a sweeter French wine barrel. A lot of these are more accessible to the non Scotch drinker, but there’s even cleaner, less sweet options like Auchentoshan’s “American Oak” option. Yes, you guessed it. Scotch that’s been aged in bourbon barrels. Best of both worlds for some.
For the Gin Guy: “Old Tom” Gin
From a recipe/style that was in fashion during the 1700s in England. Has some noticeable sweetness compared to a London Dry, and originally the spirit used in the Tom Collins and Martinez. History in a glass. Ransom makes a great one.
For the “has a sweet tooth” guy: Sipping Rum
Sweet, but still with enough of an alcohol slice across the palate that no one (hopefully) will guzzle. Sip and savor this stuff. If he’s been good: Zaya. If he’s been very good: Flor de Cana 18. If he pulled you out of a burning building: El Dorado 21 year.
For the bartending enthusiast: Better Vermouth
Especially the sweet but not sickly Carpano Antica Formula. From our official bartender: “Rich, full bodied, spicy, and lightly bitter with a lovely vanilla note in the finish, it’s excellent for drinking on its own or mixed into cocktails.” Makes a terrific duplex if you’re pacing yourself. More on vermouth here.
For the non-drinker: Really good Booze-Free Bubbly Beverages
If you’ve made it this far and you’re shopping specifically for someone who doesn’t drink… then how the hell did you make it this far? Glad you did though. Plenty don’t drink alcohol. Doesn’t mean beverages are out, especially at get togethers around this time of year. Gift Ginger Beer, Kombucha (which technically does have trace amounts of alcohol in it), or really good tonic water (like Q, no, not that Q). Just because someone doesn’t like the ritual of poisoning their bodies with ethanol, doesn’t mean they can’t raise a glass of something that tastes good. Cheers to you and yours this holiday season.
Follow along with 2014′s edition of the 12 Days of Dappered here.