DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

What to Leave Out Instead of Cookies: Some Spirits to Raise the Yuletide Cheer

The new Southern Comfort commercial featuring thirty something's going wild over the gift of SoCo gets me all riled up. It's not that SoCo is so terrible, and if I got it as a gift I'm sure I'd start squeezing the limes, but there are far better choices for the season and far better reasons to start a frenzy at a holiday party. Below are just a few gift ideas arranged according to how much you care (read: cabbage).

Expensive ($100+)
Berta Bric Del Gaian Grappa Brandy ’94
Nothing like the cheap Windex-y solution most people call Grappa, Berta ages their Grappa in oak for eleven years reminding you that Grappa is Brandy. Super floral nose, smooth as silk, this shit's my jam.

Not Cheap ($50+)
Bookers Bourbon
Bookers is uncut, spicy and kicks like a mule. Yet it is surprisingly accessible with just a little spring water (perfect with 50% spring water). This is what the very first "Bourbon" whiskey tasters must have sampled when they poured whiskey straight from the barrel. The pinnacle of Bourbon for Bourbon drinkers.

Cheap($20 or less)
Vya Sweet Vermouth
No vermouth, huh? Try no gin or vodka. Vya is chock full of spice and body. This small batch vermouth is highly mixable, but makes a great aperitif all by itself. Ice, twist, done.

Dirt cheap ($10 or less)
Infused Vodka
I still remember the old Hechinger's t-shirt with Harry Homeowner and the words "Do-it-Yourself" emblazoned on the front. If you want it cheap, here's what you have to do. Buy some Nikoff, or a similarly low end Vodka, pour it in to a sealable glass container and drop some fruit or spice in it and let it macerate for 48 hours in a dark room. Go easy on the spices. Pour it back in to the bottle. Don't forget to remove the label. Give cheap gift.

Peanuts ($5 or less)
Regan's Orange Bitters
Yes, there are more varieties of bitters than the medicinal looking bottle with a crusty top sitting behind your local bar. Regan's will add tons of flavor to an otherwise 'blah' drink, but go easy because a drop will do. Perfect in a gin martini.


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