Especially spirited stocking stuffers.
With the holidays upon us it is time to start checking people and items off the shopping list. We’ve never heard of anyone who imbibes turning down a drink, especially this year, so we rounded up some favorite boozy gifts for 2020. Whether you have a serious cocktail aficionado on your list or a casual wine lover, we’ve got you covered.
Cru Box (Gordon’s Wine Club)
This one is a no-brainer for pandemic times. With everybody stuck at home, is there a better gift than wine? Gordon’s launched this new curated subscription service called CruBox this year; each month, subscribers get four wines sourced from around the world, delivered right to your door with an invite to a sommelier-led Zoom tasting that month as well. Boxes are $125 and you can subscribe for just a month, three months, six months, a year or on an ongoing basis. crubox.com
Highclere Castle Gin
Over the past few years, gin has shot up in popularity, due in part to lots of Anglophile shows and movies, like The Crown and Downton Abbey. And in an interesting turn of events, the location of the “real” Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, partnered with an American spirit entrepreneur, Adam von Gootkin, to create its very own gin, made with botanicals right from the estate. Highclere Castle Gin is a fabulous gift not only because of its refreshing taste, but also because of its presence on the bar cart. A bottle is typically $35-$50 depending on the retailer. highclerecastlespirits.com
If you want something a little stiffer than spiked seltzer, vodka remains the bartender’s versatile choice. Tenure is a unique choice from England, from a 250-year-old distillery. The master distiller only uses non-GMO grains in each batch. All distillation takes place in copper pot stills in the traditional manner, giving it a craft flavor profile. Bottles are typically $20-$35. tenurevodka.com
As the days continue to get shorter and darker, you may be in need of a glass of scotch. Or two. GlenDronach pairs well with cheese and charcuterie, so at your next holiday Zoom call, switch things up and go for this classic and maybe gift a bottle or two as well. All vintages are excellent, but like many things in this world, scotch does get better with age, so the price point starts around $65 for the 12-year, going up to $250 for the 21-year. glendronachdistillery.com
Boston-based brand 90+ Cellars offers tasty varietals at everyday price points. The brand was actually created during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, when the founders started the company by going to top wineries and buying their surplus bottles for a discount and passing those savings onto customers. That focus on providing a quality product at an affordable price point still rings true today. If you are at a loss at what to gift your friends and family this year, chances are 90+ Cellars has something perfect for your budget. ninetypluscellars.com
J.Q. Louise is a food and travel writer based in Boston. Join her 100,000+ followers on Instagram @jqlouise and on her blog at https://jqlouise.com.