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These Bottles Of Booze Will Make Your Holiday Shopping Very Bearable


Uproxx

Cyber Monday is upon us. Let us all give thanks for discount electronics and beer Bottle brushes. Really, Amazon, 52 percent off bottle cleaning supplies? Well, Merry Freaking Christmas. But, though we have survived Black Friday and Small Business Saturday (and will assuredly make it through today), we are just at the beginning of the gift buying process. There are weeks of this commerce yet to come.

We here at Uproxx Life think a little liquor can take the edge off the experience. We don’t want to encourage you to be the holiday weekend host who gets plastered, hides in the bathroom, and tearfully tells his mother to send all of their guests away because they have gotten too drunk (like I might have done one Christmas). Nor should you buy all your gifts in a blackout, because receiving surprise box after surprise box when you have to pay for them isn’t much fun. We, instead, want you to imbibe responsibly.

Consume enough to take the edge off of December shopping, and stick to spirits that enhance green and red iced cookies and homemade candies. That said, someone has to be the designated holiday drunk, so… do what feels right. Like a Saint Bernard with a barrel of liquor around it’s neck, we are here to save you this winter with our list of ten spirits that will improve any gift purchasing endeavor. Check out our ideas, and leave some of your own recommendations in the comment section.

Tequila: Olmeca Altos

Tequila is a summer standard, and that means a lot of people miss out by ignoring its value in the colder months of the year. Even when there is a chill in the air and leaves on the ground, you can get your tequila on. And, though you can opt to do the salt, lime, body-shot crap, we aren’t talking about that any more than we are talking blended margs loaded with sugar.

Instead, we recommend using Altos plata, reposado, or anejo in ways that let you appreciate how freaking tasty they are. Don’t hide them. Don’t chug them. The Altos plata is sweet and citric, with a fruity aroma. It functions as a classic that is great in a well-made margarita. The reposada is aged in former whiskey barrels giving it woody and vanilla notes and making it fantastic in a modified old fashioned (and what’s more fall than that?). And, the anejo is a great competitor for bourbon because it is aged in oak for 18 months, leaving it with notes of wood and vanilla, as well as chocolate flavors; it’s perfect in a Manhattan. Pairing tequila with savory winter stews and casseroles is something worth exploring if you are a fan.

Vodka: Stolichnaya Elit

Let’s get freaking fancy. This list is making an effort to highlight great bottles at multiple price points and this one sits proudly on the top shelf, but Stoli Elit still manages to be affordable in comparison to some of the other luxe vodkas on the market. This is a single estate vodka that begins by using spring wheat, winter wheat, and rye from the Stolichnaya farm in Tambov, Russia. Sounds swaggy. Then, it’s triple distilled and blended with Latvian water and filtered through birch charcoal and quartz before being bottled.

When you smell Elit, you get citrus and floral notes, which feel summery, but on the palate, it’s less lemongrass and more baking spices with a black pepper finish. As a subtle, supple offering, it pairs well with both the sweet and savory aspects of December meals. To really amp up the fall feeling, try making a Jubilee with Stoli Elit, red wine, spiced pear liqueur, lemon juice, seltzer, and maple syrup. Trust us, it’s dope.

Irish Whiskey: Jameson Original

This was a toughie. I wanted to go with Powers at first, but Jameson ultimately won out.

Ultimately, the takeaway should be that Irish whiskey is great choice for the season. A few fingers full with some large ice cubes opens up the palate to some great Thanksgiving flavors. Stick with the classic original flavor (literally the world’s most popular Irish whiskey) and enjoy the balance of the vanilla notes with the nutty, spicy flavors. It’s really smooth and has smidgens of sweet sherry taste, which make it an elegant foil for the savory spices used in a hearty winter meal.

For people who find Scotch whisky and American Whiskey a little harsh, Irish whiskey can be a great option because it is triple distilled (compared to the twice distilled alternatives) removing more of the impurities and leaving it light and clean on the palate. It is silky and subtle enough for lightweights, especially if you use it to make cocktails.

Bourbon: Old Forester Signature 100

Bourbon is straight up sexy. Growl. And, it might be tempting to go with one of the more trendy brands, but Old Forester is something special. It’s a bit of a cool kid, bartender’s secret, but it’s also the longest running bourbon owned by the same family. That dichotomy is fun, but it’s the rich, complex flavor that makes it a great addition to a meal. Unsurprisingly, toasted oak is a strong note in this bourbon, but its baking spice and sweet fruit flavors are a pleasant revelation. Also, it pairs beautifully with both sweet and savory seasonal pies.

Old Forester Signature 100 finishes sweet and light with a lingering oak and apple flavor that make an absolutely bomb boozy pumpkin pie milkshake. Look, it’s a holiday about excess; get on my level. If you want to Drink it the way they do in Louisville, buy some Old Limestone mixing water, which activates the flavor profile and minimizes the alcohol burn that liquors above 80 proof often have.

Amaro: Fernet-Branca

Confession time, I wasn’t familiar with what the hell an amaro is until recently, so don’t be embarrassed if Fernet-Branca isn’t a ride or die in your liquor cabinet. You may have spotted amari a time or two on the after-dinner section of the wine list and ignored them as you went straight to dessert, but now is a great time to incorporate one into your spirit quaffing regimen. And, bonus points here, you will look so knowledgeable and cultured to the people around you.

Amari are dark and oily with a bitter flavor, which admittedly sounds not great (but super is). And, Fernet is the number one amaro brand in the U.S. and around the globe. It is an aromatic blend of 27 herbs, spices, and roots (take that KFC, with your mere 11) from four continents that are slowly matured in oak casks. Among the many ingredients are chamomile, aloe, peppermint oil, cardamom, rhubarb and saffron. Fratelli Branca, the producer of Fernet, consumes 75 percent of the world’s saffron output. Bring a bottle with you, whip it out after the meal and have the guests do shots of it chased by a ginger ale chaser.

If you have some left the day after a night of a thousand shots and don’t feel so well, follow the example of Italians, who commonly pop a shot in an espresso as a hangover cure.

Gin: Aviation

We love a dry London gin, but Aviation has earned a special place in our hearts. Without it, the term “New Western Dry Gin” likely wouldn’t exist. This style pumps up the volume on the botanicals (lavender, coriander, cardamom, Indian sarsaparilla, and orange peel in this case) and dials down the juniper, and Aviation made it so well that the world embraced them with open arms. As a result, American gin became a respected spirit, rather than some drinky come lately.

Now, Aviation was designed to be a summer gin, but gin is also an aperitif and works wonders with a giant, heavy meal or a hearty sandwich with a moist maker. With it’s various dimensions and botanicals, gin is light on the stomach (preparing it for food, glorious food) and the palate. If you wanna double up on all that aperitif goodness, go for a pre-meal (or snack) martini, because vermouth is also great at stimulating the appetite. Stay classic with Dolin dry vermouth, and Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters.

Rum: Brugal Extra Dry Supremo

You probably associate rum with heavy, sweet drinks, and we are the first people to stan for a Tiki beverage, for reals. But, it’s important not to pigeonhole this booze as the exclusive drink of beach vacations. Not all rum is sweet. It really depends on the form of sugarcane, the barrel used, and the age. What we are trying to tell you is that white rums aren’t customarily shitty, and Brugal Extra Dry specifically is a great gateway to rum for gin drinkers. You didn’t see that coming, did you? You can literally use it to make a killer Collins.

Brugal filters this white rum three times to enhance smoothness and make the drink crystal clear. And, though your nose will pick up citrus and coconut, your palate will be treated to rich notes of cocoa, coffee, butter, and vanilla.

Brandy: Clear Creek Pear Eau de Vie

There has been a little bit of an American brandy movement over the last year or two. I mean, who doesn’t want to drink out of a snifter? But, even fancy glassware and some vocal fans haven’t made the fruit-based wine distillate a common after-dinner drink. Probably because it can be described as a fruit-based wine distillate. At least cognac gets a cool nickname. Sippin’ yak, dude.

Anyway, ignore the French stuff and grab some Clear Creek Pear Eau de Vie straight out of the Pacific Northwest. It perfectly captures the sweet, floral nectar that you get from eating a fresh pear — because it’s made with locally grown Bartlett pears (20 pounds per 750 ml bottle) and distilled in German-crafted pot stills. And, if you want to impress holiday guests and hosts alike, look no further than the bottle that has the pear right inside.

Scotch Whisky: Macallan Double Cask

The Wall Street Journal says this Scotch is an attempt by the label to attract millennials. But, Macallan is the second-leading single malt brand in the US, so it’s not like the brand isn’t killing it. Nonetheless, they are looking to compete with the more popular bourbon by aging their Scotch in both European and American oak. That achieves a lighter flavor, which plays with wood spices (nutmeg and ginger), caramel, citrus, and raisins on the palate.

As a brand, Macallan is a sippable, sumptuous whiskey, and the Double Cask takes that standard and lightens it up, adding more forward vanilla notes. This is ideal for a gathering of family and friends because it’s more accessible for people who aren’t Scotch drinkers on the regular.

Liqueur: Verpoorten Advocaat

You may not immediately be wooed by the title World’s Best Selling Egg Liqueur, but the drink known as Eierlikör in Germany and Advocaat in the Netherlands is legit lovely. And, really as eggnog season is here, who among us can question popularity of this boozy treat? Made by blending a ton of egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and other spices, and brandy, the beverage dates back to a recipe penned by company founder Eugen Verpoorten in 1876, and has remained in the family for five generations.

It is a bit rich to toss back with a sumptuous feast, but is great for drinking piping hot over conversation post-meal and post-shoping frenzy. Hell, bring it in a thermos while you stand in line for deals. Liqueurs often feel like supporting characters to more popular spirits in cocktails or like things little old ladies drink, but Advocaat bucks that trend by being phenomenal as a stand alone and being straight up quirky. It’s poised to become hella trendy this side of the Atlantic.

Bonus for Giving Week: (Belvedere)RED

Yes, we said ten bottles and we already listed a vodka in this post, but we would be remiss if we didn’t include what is a quality tasting spirit and a great cause. This special edition Belvedere is only available during the holiday season and it is produced in partnership with (RED) to support the work of The Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, to which they donate 50 percent of the profits on every bottle. This is the sixth year the company has released the tasty vodka and past sales have been significant enough to treat nearly 40,000 women living with HIV to help stop the transmission of the disease to their infants. Seriously, getting buzzed and fighting HIV/AIDS rivals the powers bestowed on many, many superheros.

It’s a smooth, velvety drink. So much so you could put it in a flask and take discrete nips to fight the stress of travel, family, and shopping. But, it also mixes well, so you can go for broke and channel your inner cold, posh one percenter and drink crisp, cold martinis with a filling, home-cooked meal. You’ll be living the good life while helping those in need!



This post first appeared on Meet The Cast Of The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Porn Pa, please read the originial post: here

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