It's that time of year when Spooky Season meets Silly Season and you'll be thinking about ending the year with some magical drinking, and if not imbibing yourself, helping someone else by way of a gift. From spirits to stemware to snacks, here's our picks for best boozy gifts, delicious drinks, cocktails and libation accessories.
It's hard to beat vodka as your base spirit for your favorite holiday-themed cocktails. But in a plentiful vodka market, which one offers something eye-catching and different? NEFT Vodka, an all-natural, ultra-premium spirit has a pure and smooth taste with the barest hints of lemon and black pepper, and a whisper of vanilla in the finish. That makes it perfect for taking neat, with caviar and smoked salmon, in some oyster shooters, or in any cocktail you can think of.
Distilled in Austria, NEFT is made from 100 percent ancient rye grains and pure Austrian Alps spring water with no additives of any kind—and then its packaged in a cool can-shaped barrel rather than a bottle. So if you're carrying lots of gifts and you get clumsy, there won't be a breakage! But seriously, it's a conversation starter and is priced at below $40 a barrel which puts it ahead of quite a few top shelf brands.
Make it at home: Flying Purple People Eater
1.75 oz NEFT vodka
.75 oz white peach juice
.25 oz lychee liqueur
2 dashes blue butterfly pea powder
Directions: Drizzle thin layer of orange oleo saccharum (or, orange cake frosting) around the inside of a martini glass. Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with a pellet of dry ice.
While we're on the subject of cocktails, gift your host with the most useful and affordable bottle of luxury: POM Wonderful. Pomegranates are currently in peak season (October through January) so it's a thoughtful and sustainable gesture to share nature's harvest in harvest time. Plus POM puts the Holidays into every glass with its vibrant ruby richness, its juicy flavor and health-boosting antioxidants. There are literally dozens of cocktail recipes that work with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice but for the fall season we enjoyed the Dapper Devil.
Make it at home: Dapper Devil
¼ cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 slices of jalapeño
1 ½ oz. gin OR vodka
Twist of lime
Mix ingredients and serve on the rocks for a thirst-quenching and festive treat!
This line of world-sourced homewares allows you to entertain at home while bringing the feel of travel into your abode. It's easy to imagine that you are strolling through a Souk in Morocco, or sitting in a plaza in Mexico as you eat or drink out of Verve Culture's earthenware or hand-blown glassware. Verve Culture is tasteful, vibrant, artisanal and authentic and offers the kind of objects you might pick up on your travels — without you having to even go there.
And with any Verve purchase you are supporting local artisans, as well as bringing warmth and fascination to your kitchen or dining room. Verve Culture also makes a great gift for the fussy friend or relative — or when you need something a little more unique than what the local mall has on offer.
With all these top shelf tipples you need a snack...but not just any old nibble! Eatable has a range of wine and liquor-flavored popcorn that makes the perfect snack for guests or for yourself while you uncork your favorite wine and settle onto the couch for your latest streaming binge. Packaged in attractive resealable pouches, EATABLE’s wine & Liquor infused popcorn make great gifts
Crafted from locally sourced, non-GMO corn kernels and twice baked, this is not just any old popcorn — it's a luxurious taste sensation made with natural flavors: Whisky on the Pops, Pop the Champagne, Pop the Salt & Tequila, Pop Goes Sangria, Poppy Caesar, Poppin' Rosé all Day. It's a thoughtful gift for non-drinker friends who would still like to enjoy their alcohol-free happy hour with you.