Festive Spirits

Here are my top spirit picks for this holiday season into the New Year:

USA Menage a Trois Berry Vodka 750 ml $29.95
This delicious, delicately raspberry-flavored vodka is a fine cocktail base or sipper with a splash of sparkling water.

Korbel 12 California Fine Aged Brandy 750ml $39.99
Aged for up to 17 years in charred Appalachian oak barrels, this ultra-premium brandy is smooth, elegant, rich, and nutty with a note of allspice.

John B Stetson Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 750ml $27
Drink this warm, vanilla/caramel Bourbon neat or on the rocks. It is named after the man most well-known for his hat collection.

Caribbean Dos Maderos Rum 5 + 3 750ml $32.99
Aged five years in oak casks in Guyana and Barbados in the Caribbean, this pecan pie and pineapple-like connoisseurs rum is sailed to Spain for another three years of aging in old Sherry casks, making it the world’s only double cask-aged rum.

England The London N.1 Gin 750ml $46
Distilled in London, a rare breed these days, this quadruple pot-distilled, high strength, fragrant, and spicy gin is blue in color from its maceration with gardenia flowers.

Ireland The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750 ml $69.99
One of a handful of triple-distilled single malts on the market, this small-batch whiskey is ripe, fruity and peppery with notes of vanilla, caramel and cocoa from extended aging in first fill flame charred Bourbon barrels.

France Frapin Chateau de Fontpinot XO Cognac Grande Champagne 750ml $129.99
This elegant Cognac with notes of toasted almonds and dried apricots is made with organically farmed Ugni Blanc which is then double-distilled in Charentes copper stills and aged 18-20 years in Limousin oak casks, well beyond the 61/2 year minimum required by law for XO status.

Italy Alexander Grappolo Grappa 750 ml $105
Produced by Distilleria Bottega in the Veneto’s Conegliano region, this fine Prosecco grape grappa is double-distilled in copper steam alembic stills and packaged in hand- blown glass bottles created at the distillery’s glass making facility in the same method used since the 1400s.

Spain Gonzalez Byass Nectar Sherry Pedro Ximenez Dulce 750 ml $29.99
While not a spirit, this dessert Sherry is ideal for any holiday table with its crowd pleasing notes of dark bitter and sweet milk chocolate, hazelnut chocolate spread, and vanilla.

Grand Duque d’Alba Brandy de Jerez Solera Grand Reserva Especial 750ml $44.99
After 18 years in Sherry-infused American oak this velvety brandy has a Spanish feistiness as compared to the more understated Cognac. It is also very well-priced.

The Master’s Selection London Dry Gin 750ml $32
Triple-pot distilled and flavored with macerations of sweet Valencia and bitter Seville oranges, this crisp, tangy Spanish gin is unique and flavorful.

Germany  The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Travelers Kit $20
While cedar bitters are trending in the US, this set of 5 x 20ml classic Bavarian bitters, including Celery, Old Time Aromatic, Creole, Orange, and Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters is a nice way to experiment with your favorite cocktails, create something new, and the cool retro packaging is actually able to be carried on board a flight!

What are your favorite holiday spirits or cocktails?

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