The holiday season has arrived again and it’s time to get into the holiday spirit (literally). Spirits and wine are the traditional, versatile, and perfect stand-by gift.
Whether you want to grab a gift for someone you might not know that well, or you’re headed to a Christmas or New Year’s party and can’t show up empty handed, the best bet is to grab a nice bottle of spirits or a popular, regional wine.
If you are in need of a celebratory gift this season, here are some fantastic selections that are sure to get everyone into the holiday mood. We’ve chosen some of our own favorites, some national brands and Connecticut liquors and wines to include for holiday gift giving.
Whether you buy a bottle online and have it shipped or pick something up at your local liquor store, spirits and wines make a great gift anytime.
Connecticut Spirits and Wines
Located in West Hartford, Bellis bourbon is a creation that came from the 14-year friendship of Mike Bellis and Colin Santacroce and the need to meet consumer demand for a smooth, young bourbon. Different from other young bourbons, which can taste harsh, this bourbon goes through a second distillation, removing impurities and giving it a smooth finish.
Packaged in adorable, re-purposed, mini bourbon barrels, this rustic bourbon barrel can be brought into any home. The packaging came about when Colin, a bartender at the time, noticed that bourbon consumers were reaching for the brands that had attractive bottles and packaging, particularly when being purchased as a gift.
As if you couldn’t tell by the name, Hartford Flavors is another local treasure. The Hartford Flavor Company makes and bottles Wild Moon Liqueurs which is an all-natural, botanically infused line of tasty liqueurs. They have 7 gluten, GMO, and chemical-free flavors consisting of Cranberry, Chai Spice, Rose, Lavender, Cucumber, Lime, and Birch.
Hartford Flavors came about as the owner of the company sought to improve in-expensive Proseccos and sparkling wines with some type of flavored spirit. Perfect for enhancing the flavors of everything from Proseccos and gin to heavier spirits such as tequila, bourbon, and whiskey. (Their website boasts over 4 dozen different recipes.)
Straight out of Mystic, Connecticut, The Real McCoy rums are a taste of history. Bill McCoy was one of the first rum runners of the Prohibition era and was known for selling the best quality and the purest rum of the time. With holiday friendly notes of buttery caramel, cinnamon, toasted almond, orange zest, and spice, you can choose from award-winning 3, 5, and 12-year aged rums. A magnificent rum for the holidays.
Haight-Brown Vineyard, a Litchfield, Connecticut winery, offers the perfect dessert wine, or perhaps the perfect wine for dessert. The Honey Nut Apple is a decadent award-winning wine that is packed with the primary taste of vibrant honey-crisp apple and a touch of cinnamon for that apple pie taste. It works exceptionally well with turkey or dessert making it the perfect guest for the host or hostess.
Dispel the thought that you have to bring a bottle of red to a dinner party and you would be surprised how well a Riesling wine will be received. With intense aromas that rise from the glass, this aromatic wine has orange blossom, peach, and honey aromas. Jonathan Edwards Winery out of Stonington, Connecticut, goes impeccably with light meals or appetizers.
All the best bars use fresh juice in their cocktails. With the growing popularity of the farm to table movement, more patrons are requesting local and fresh products. Made right here New Haven, Connecticut with nothing less than the best, Ripe Bar Juice does not contain any GMO fruits or vegetables nor added sugar, additives, or preservatives. Just pure all-natural cold squeezed juice. Perfect for the health-nut who still wants to indulge in cocktails. A truly delightful gift for the mixologist (or want-to-be mixologist) in your life.
Grey Goose has brought back their flavored Vodka to the United States for the first time in 15 years, just in time for the holidays. Available for a limited time only, Grey Goose La Vanille reiteration is a blend of natural vanilla sourced from the beans of Madagascar with Grey Goose Vodka. Crisp and creamy, this vodka is sure to put a twist into the typical holiday drink.
The ever-trending Rosé from Charles Smith Wines from Napa, California, is a great gift that is playfully packaged in a musically themed bottle. This crisp effervescent juice with notes of floral and berries will pair wonderfully with… well, just about everything. What better gift to give to your music loving friend.
This Venezuelan rum has hints of nuts, vanilla, chocolate and a hint of tobacco and spice. Founded in 1796, Santa Teresa Rum has been using the Solera system, which is usually used in the production of Sherry, to age their rum and give it a complex profile. Whether it’s your boss, a picky relative, or just an acquaintance, rum gifts are never refused.
Vermouth producer, Marini & Rossi, recently launched their own Riserva Speciale Bitter Liqueur. Inspired by a recipe from 1872, the Martini and Rossi Bitter recipe, they use 100% natural ingredients to bring a distinguished complexity and fullness to its taste with varying elements of bitterness. Perfect for any drink you would make with Campari such as a Bitter Tequila Sour or Bitter Gin Fizz.
For the true Tequila lover, Patron Reposado will raise the bar (no pun intended). This light-golden-hued Reposado has hints of vanilla and ginger. A mature tequila that has been aged in oak barrels for two months to produce a smoothness your giftee will love. This delectable tequila is perfect for the agave fanatic in your life.