via Marquerite Preston at The Wirecutter – Like a lot of people, I’ve given the gift of alcohol many times. Sometimes it’s the gift of last resort: the bottle of wine I buy on the way to a party, the bottle of whiskey for that one person who really has me stumped this year. Alcohol is an easy present to give anyone who drinks because it’s guaranteed to be used, guaranteed to be enjoyed. But for the right person—the wine connoisseur, the beer geek, the cocktail enthusiast—the gift of booze (or something booze-related) can also be exciting and special.
Here are the boozy gifts we’d be excited to give—and get—all offering a little something more than the basic bottle of wine, or, for that matter, any of the practical gear we spend all year testing. We’ve included the best spirits your loved ones may never have tried, the best books to expand their drinking horizons, and the gear to make every cocktail hour feel like a special occasion.
This list comes backed by the pros. I asked for advice from five experts in the world of drinks and drinking: Talia Baiocchi, Joshua M. Bernstein, Martin Cate, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, and Ann Tuennerman. Baiocchi is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Punch and the author, with Leslie Pariseau, of the cocktail book Spritz; Bernstein is a beer and spirits writer, and the author most recently of the book Complete IPA; Cate is the owner of San Francisco’s renowned tiki bar, Smuggler’s Cove, and the author of a book by the same name; Morgenthaler is a cocktail writer, author of The Bar Book, and bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon; Tuennerman is the founder of Tales of the Cocktail, a world-renowned series of cocktail festivals. Everything here is something one (or more) of them recommended, and sure to please even the most discerning of drinkers.