It’s objectively true that boozy gifts make the best gifts. You’ll never buy someone gin in awkwardly the wrong size, if you get someone bourbon they already have they’ll still love it, and a bottle almost always feels more personal than a gift card. So forget buying them PJs again this year, alcohol is the answer.
Now that you’re convinced, let’s make sure you get them the right stuff. Over the years, I’ve developed a highly sophisticated methodology (i.e., making shamelessly sweeping judgements) that I use to pair the right bottle to the right person. I hope it’s useful.
The Gift Guide
For Your Woke Post-Hipster Brother With The T-Shirt Printing Kickstarter Campaign: Monkey 47
Twenty-and-thirty something guys have been asserting their superiority over one another for years now on the basis of whose whiskey and IPA knowledge is more impressive (previous good gifts for them would have been Laphroig, Whistle Pig, and a book on how to start their own microbrewery). This year, they’re switching their focus to gins, and there’s no bottle better than Monkey 47. It’s deliciously complex (it’s made with 47 botanicals so it had better be), lovingly handcrafted, beautifully packaged, and next time his bros come over he’ll get to brag, “Oh, you’re still drinking whiskey? I’m really into gin these days. Monkey 47, you can sip it neat.”
For Your Adorably Clueless Dad: Pol Roger
Your dad is a dad, thus, he likes certain things: books about WWII, singing “Duke of Earl” in a painfully low voice, a well-maintained lawn, and Winston Churchill.
Churchill was a famous drinker (and thus our gateway to boozy gifting), and in addition to his sherry, cognac, and scotch, Winston drank on average two pints of Pol Roger a day (I’m not saying it’s how he defeated Hitler, but I’m not NOT saying that either). Supplying your dad with a bottle of Churchill’s fav along with a quote or two, and he’ll be happily bellowing carols in no time.
For Your Perpetually Single ~Rosé All~ Day BFF: Clase Azul Reposado
This friend has wine puns for dayz, an Instagram grid full of thirst-traps, will SoulCycle you to pieces, and is never too hungover for brunch. They also feel like drinking tequila is cool. Get them this high-quality sipping tequila and the two of you will polish it off together in no time.
For Your Lightweight Sib: Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro
Sometimes you question whether you two are even related, because while you’re on your third sazerac they’re slurring through their first G & T. Not everyone is destined for greatness. Your sib’s inadequacy doesn’t mean you don’t want to drink with them though, so buy them a bottle well-suited for making low-ABV cocktails. Adding a bit of this floral bright Lo-Fi apertivo in some soda or lemonade is delicious, and it will let them join in the fun without following it up with their own private afterparty on the bathroom floor.
For Your Brilliant Chef Friend Who Probably Never Eats Frozen Dinners Or Postmates Every Singe Goddamn Meal: Scrappy’s Bitters
When you’re expecting guests, you feel like you deserve a gold star when you’re able to put together a cheese plate, while this friend “just whips up” an exquisite Pinterest-worthy meyer lemon ricotta tart. What a jerk.
Bitters act a little like seasoning for cocktails, so a set like this one by Scrappy’s will do magical things in the hands of your culinarily-gifted friend. They can use them in more than cocktails too; they can be added to coffee, baked goods, or simply in sparkling water to give it a little extra interest.
For Your Plaid Wearing Ron-Swanson Uncle: Balcones Single Malt
It’s a gnarly whisky from Texas that will make him proud to be an American all over again.
For Your Possibly Polyamorous Wacky Aunt: Plantation Pineapple Rum
Introduce her to the tiki resurgence with this universally loved rum that she can enjoy while ensconced in her hot tub and planning her next cruise.
For Your Perfect Martha Stewart Mother: St. Germain
St. Germain is pretty foolproof. She can easily add it to her favorite classic cocktails like a G & T, margarita, mojito, or daquiri for an impressively fun and floral twist. Score! It’s finally your chance to give her something nice to say about you when she’s entertaining her girlfriends!
For Your Just Turned 21 Cousin: Fernet
It’ll pair well with their Bukowski.
For Your S.O. That’s Meeting Your Fam For The First Time: Pedialyte
They’ll probably be drinking hand sanitizer by the end of the trip to cope with your crazy relatives, and a hangover isn’t going to help your fam seem any more appealing. Force feed your S.O. this effective electrolyte savior if you want them to survive.
For original cocktail recipes and the best spots to drink in CA, check out @spiritedla on Instagram.