Gift-shopping for a whiskey aficionado, an occasional tippler, or the aspiring mixologist in your life? Here’s a holiday gift guide to wrap up something spirited for family, friends, or party hosts and hostesses.
Post Meridiem and Tip Top Proper Cocktails canned cocktails
Good things come in small packages. These babies are stiff, simple and classic. Both of these Atlanta companies emerged on the cocktail scene this year, with bar-quality premixed cocktails that travel well and fit perfectly into a Christmas stocking. Serve them at a holiday gathering, and guests won’t know you didn’t mix up the Post Meridiem Old-Fashioned or Tip Top Manhattan yourself. Simply shake, pour over ice and — voila! — instant cocktail.
18.21 Bitters rosemary sage rich simple syrup
18.21 takes its name from the amendments that enacted and repealed Prohibition. Its Ponce City Market outpost offers bottles of bitters, tinctures, shrubs and syrups to up your cocktail game. This extra-concentrated syrup takes an Old-Fashioned to savory, aromatic and herbaceous territory, like you’ve wrapped the liquids in plaid. You also can zhuzh up the gin in a French 75 with a splash.
Urban Tree Cidery holiday gift pack
Is there a cider lover on your gift list? Atlanta’s first cidery sells holiday gift packs with your choice of two ciders (made with Georgia-grown apples) and two accompanying branded pilsner glasses. Choose from dry, crisp Original; sweet, American-style Classic; and Barrel-Aged, which is fermented slowly with Champagne yeast, then aged in Nicaraguan rum barrels.
George Dickel Bottled in Bond
Founded in 1878, George Dickel is one of the oldest distilleries in Tennessee. Nicole Austin is now general manager and distiller of the 130-year-old brand. Her first release is 13-year-old Bottled in Bond whiskey, created after nosing her way through aged whiskey stocks warehoused at the Cascade Hollow distillery. With a smooth mouthfeel and notes of tropical fruit, baking spices and a little Tennessee leather, it recently was recognized as the top whiskey of 2019 by Whiskey Advocate, and took home gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Spicewalla Everything Bagel Seasoning
Savory and garlicky, this spice blend is perfect for blood mary lovers. The Indian spice company from restaurateur Meherwan Irani was selected for Oprah Winfrey’s annual Favorite Things list. You can pick up the 3.7-ounce tins at Chai Pani or Botiwalla restaurant locations, or purchase online. If you head to Amazon, add on a glass rimmer set to make things easy.
Hotel Clermont silver drinking flask
Since the Hotel Clermont opened in 1924, the spaces in and below it have become institutions. The menu at the hotel’s Tiny Lou’s says the restaurant is “above where the ladies dance,” referring to the famous basement strip club. Give a gift of history to your favorite tailgating friend, and perhaps include a favorite sipper to go into the vessel.
Cask and Leaf bourbon-infused tea
For the person who might not want a nightcap, but instead a cup of whiskey-infused tea, this is your gift. This Virginia-made organic black tea is warm and earthy in flavor, with touches of cocoa and vanilla. A tea ball is included.
“Wine Food” by Dana Frank and Andreas Slonecker
When sommeliers, chefs, and home cooks are all talking about a cookbook, you know it’s great. Wine inspires all 75 recipes in “Wine Food” (Ten Speed Press, 2018). From pimento cheese souffle to campfire cassoulet, you’ll be inspired to gather the crew, and confidently serve just the right wine. Pairing cheat sheets are included.
Ticonderoga Club hat
“Revelry, revelation, revolution,” this is how Atlanta’s Ticonderoga Club describes itself. It’s billed as a club that “any of striving soul and honest heart are welcome to join.” The warm welcome at the homey drinking and eating den is one of the reasons TC was a 2019 James Beard Award finalist. Gift some club spirit with a low-profile classic cap. Those who know will nod accordingly.
The Dinger Poitin 2-liter personal aging barrel
Before there was Irish whiskey, there was poitin (think of it as Irish moonshine). The distilled drink first was made by Irish monks in the 6th century. Using a 100-pot still, the Dinger Poitin is introducing Atlanta to the formidable distilled spirit. It will be released in March 2020, but there’s a way you can enjoy it now: a 2-liter personal aging barrel filled with prerelease Dinger Poitin. Age it, pour it now, or use the vessel when it’s empty to age other spirits.
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