Lift Your SPIRITS This Holiday Season-Our Top Picks
From Caribbean Rums and Mexican Mezcal to Italian Liqeuer and much more, we have ideas for gifting, partying, or just mixing up your own cocktail and relaxing at the end of a busy day.
These award-winning spirits are readily accessible and are the favorites of top bartenders in and around NYC. Check them out and visit their web sites to get special recipes, more information and to learn where to purchase.
Ten To One - The new range of ultra-premium Caribbean rum blends developed by Marc Farrell, a proud Trinidadian, Starbucks veteran, entrepreneur, and graduate of Harvard Business School, Cambridge University and MIT, and a life-long rum enthusiast. Having created an extra proof white rum and a dark aged rum, in partnership with co-founder Zac Waksal, Ten To One is on a mission to bring a contemporary take on rum to the U.S. market and unlock a dynamic view of today's Caribbean culture and its celebratory approach to life. It salutes the "beauty in the blend," not just in terms of blended rums, but the blend of cultures, communities and perspectives that Ten To One brings to life. Visit: https://www.tentoonerum.com/.
Chambord - The premium black raspberry liqueur is widely used in a variety of cocktails such as the classic "Chambord Royale" that features Chambord, sparkling wine, and topped with a raspberry. The liqueur is expertly crafted using the finest ingredients and the freshest raspberries and blackberries from the Loire Valley in France. Visit: https://www.chambordchannel.com/.
BERTOUX Brandy - This new, fine brandy from California is expertly blended and balanced to elevate the craft of cocktails. It is a Solera-style blend of pot-distilled California fine brandies aged 3 to 7 years in French and American oak. The blend, designed for mixology, was created by a first-of-its-kind collaboration between renowned bartender Jeff Bell (PDT and Legacy Records) and acclaimed sommelier and winemaker Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad). It seeks to restore brandy's marquee role as a cocktail base, which it enjoyed in the mid-19th century's Golden Age of the Cocktail. BERTOUX Brandy is part of a group of premium brandy producers in California that is making a concerted effort to establish new and elevated standards for the category. BERTOUX Brandy is led by Jeff Menashe, a wine and spirits entrepreneur, in partnership with Jeff O'Neill, a respected California wine and spirits producer, and is distributed by Winebow in California, New York and Illinois. Visit: https://bertouxbrandy.com/.
Simple Vodka - The brand's mission is a simple one, to fight hunger in America. For every bottle of Simple Vodka produced, 20 meals are donated to US hunger relief organizations like Feeding America and local food shelters (1 drink = 1 meal). By early 2020, Simple Vodka plans to hit the 1 million meals donated milestone since launching in 2017. Visit: https://simplevodka.co/.
Iichiko Saiten - It is Japan's leading producer of barley shochu, Japan's revered spirit. A global icon, it is the 23rd largest spirits brand in the world. Headquartered in Oita Prefecture on Japan's Kyushu Island, iichiko sets the gold standard for shochu. Using proprietary Koji, yeast, pristine spring water, two-row pearled barley, as well as low pressure and atmospheric distillation techniques, the company has produced a range of blended shochus, including iichiko Saiten, the first mixology-friendly shochu. Produced by Sanwa Shurui Co., Ltd., iichiko is sold throughout Japan and in 30 countries worldwide. In the U.S., iichiko is imported by Davos Brands, whose premium portfolio includes Aviation Gin, Sombra Mezcal, Astral Tequila and TYKU Sake. It is distributed nationally by Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. Visit: https://www.iichiko.com/.
FERNET BRANCA - Fernet-Branca's blend of 27 herbs and spices may be a closely guarded Branca family secret passed down from father to son, guaranteeing the protection of the quality that still makes it the digestive bitter liqueur par excellence, however it is no secret that the liqueur aids digestion. In fact, Fernet-Branca was specially formulated to assist with digestion, utilizing such calming herbs as chamomile, peppermint, and saffron, as it was invented as a remedy for issues associated with 19th-century disease epidemics in Milan. Visit: https://us.fernetbranca.com/.
Amaro Montenegro - Celebrated as the world's best liqueur* it was perfected in 1885 and features the essence of 40 botanicals from around the globe, collected during the travels of explorer and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi. The signature complex taste is characterized by a pleasing blend of sweet and bitter notes. Traditionally served as a digestif, Amaro Montenegro has since become a favorite of bartenders and mixologists for its tremendous versatility in crafting inventive cocktails and adding a flavorful twist to classic drinks. What distinguishes Amaro Montenegro from other herbaceous liqueurs is its balanced bitter-sweet flavor, smooth texture and milder proof - making it the difference in the drink. A product of Bologna Italy, Amaro Montenegro's secret recipe remains unchanged as does the boiling, maceration and distillation process that was practiced more than 130 years ago. Visit: https://www.amaromontenegro.com/.
SELECT Aperitivo - The classic Venetian aperitif was created in 1920 in the Castello district at Pilla Distilleries, a place renowned for the art of liquor making. During the postwar period, the young Pilla Brothers contributed to the rebirth of the city and when the popularity of the aperitif began to spread, the Spritz soon became a favorite, establishing SELECT Aperitivo as the star of the Venetian cocktail scene. A precise selection of 30 botanicals undergoes a complex process to achieve the distinctive, well-balanced bittersweet taste of SELECT Aperitivo. With its sophisticated aromatic profile, SELECT Aperitivo is the essential ingredient for making the Original Venetian Spritz which is always garnished with a green olive. Visit: https://www.selectaperitivo.it/.
Ghost Hill Bourbon - For those looking for grain to glass bourbon, look no further. Ghost Hill Bourbon is named after its idyllic 28-acre ranch home in Dripping Springs, TX, and is made with heirloom grains milled a few miles away at Barton Springs Mill. Aged for two years and comprised of 57% Yellow Dent A corn, 32% Texas wheat and 11% malted barley, this bourbon is mashed, fermented, distilled, barreled, aged two years and bottled on-site. Gift this to your craft spirit enthusiast friend, or keep for yourself. Visit: https://www.treatyoakdistilling.com/.
Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca - The diverse collection of mezcals by Mezcales de Leyenda showcase the unique terroir of the Mexican regions where they are produced. The artisanal mezcals are special in quality and preserve the time-honored manner of production from the harvest to the distillation. Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca is beautifully handrafted in the central valley of Oaxaca in a small town on the gentle slopes of Sierra Madre. It delivers diverse aromas and flavors of citrus peels, minerals, clay, bright lemon, green leaves, dried herbs and roots. Visit: https://www.mezcalesdeleyenda.com/.
Blood x Sweat x Tears Vodka - The vodka is hand-crafted from grain to glass using soft white winter wheat from Hamilton Ranch in Washington State and purified water from Oregon's Cascade Mountains. A medallist at the San Diego Spirits Festival, the clean, sleek, and balanced spirit with spice, pepper, and an edgy finish, also earned 90-points from "The Tasting Panel." The brand partners with "Best Friends" which is creating no-kill animal shelters at an unprecedented rate. Visit: https://www.bstvodka.com/.
COÇA PURA Tequila - Made from 100% Blue Weber Agave, COÇA PURA, meaning 'the purest thing' in English, is a 90-proof sipping tequila hailing from Jalisco, Mexico. The twice distilled, gluten-free spirit is made by combining black agave seedlings, obsidian rich earth, and a carefully curated process that insures a pure product. A delicious blend of lowland and highland agave results in a delicate balance between sweet and floral and vegetal and herbal notes. Visit: https://cocapura.com/.
Raise a glass, toast the holidays, and enjoy!!
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Freeimages.com