Say “I Love You” With a Well-Chosen Bottle
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, we tend to reach for something predictable or stumble along without a compass trying to figure out what to give. For the ladies, it’s usually chocolate, flowers, or jewelry. For the men, well, it’s not really a “guy’s” holiday, is it? This year, throw out all the preconceived notions and get into the spirit, literally. Think about what’s on your significant other’s drinks list and then indulge them.
For the Amaro Explorer:
Fernet Branca, Cynar, Ramazzotti. Start with the familiar, licorice-laden Fernet Branca, add in the artichoke-based Cynar, and finish the trinity with Ramazzotti, which offers notes of vanilla and root beer. From bitter to herbal to almost sweet, these three bottles will take the drinker on a flavor odyssey.
For the Champagne Lover:
Ruinart “Georgia Russell” Blanc de Blancs Champagne. Just because bubbly is “on the nose” for Cupid’s day out, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a jaw dropper. This bottling of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs comes in a pristine white box, which slides open to reveal a lace-like laser-cut sheath designed by Georgia Russell. This exquisite expression from the Maison de Ruinart is a treat for all the senses. ($125.99)
For the Gin-thusiast:
A Tanqueray Line Up. Tanqueray has long been at the forefront of the gin game. From its classic London dry style to the lime-forward Rangpur and uniquely spicy re-release of Malacca, Tanqueray has a gin for almost every palate. Now, with their newest evocation of Old Tom gin, based on a recipe from 1830, the Tanqueray line is hard to beat. (approx. $125 for all four bottles)
For the Rum Nut:
El Dorado 21 Year Special Reserve. Rum enthusiasts are notoriously finicky about their sugar cane spirit, but this beauty will likely win over anyone. Rich in brown sugar and tropical fruits, this blend of rums has been aged in oak at least 21 years. ($100)
For the Rye-Conoclast:
Whistlepig “Boss Hog” Spirit of Mortimer Rye Whiskey 2014. If neither Scotch nor Irish nor Bourbon are one’s chosen tipple, then it’s likely to be rye. Snag a bottle of Whistlepig’s 100% rye, single barrel “Boss Hog” selection, replete with a hand-made pewter ornament of the company’s mascot ‘Mortimer.’ ($190)
For the Tequila Purist:
Tequila 123. Not just one, but all three of them. Uno (Blanco) , Dos (Reposado), and Tres (Anejo). Having received 96 Points from Tasting Panel, this 100% blue agave tequila is organic, naturally fermented and distilled in small batches. An ideal selection for the most discriminating agave enthusiast. ($35, Uno; $55, Dos; $65, Tres)
For the Whiskey Sipper:
Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Produced back in the 1950s, Yellow Spot has finally returned to the U.S. Bottled at 46% ABV, compared to the 40% ABV of its younger cousin Green Spot, Yellow Spot is aged in a combination of American Bourbon oakcasks, Spanish sherry butts, and Spanish Malaga casks. The result is a sweeter, fruitier flavor than Green Spot, as well as a richer body, and a velvety texture. ($100)
For the Vodka Lover:
Beluga Noble Russian Vodka Gold Line. This limited edition bottling blends artesian water and malt spirit that are filtered five times. Rice extract and rhobiola rose extract are surprise ingredients that add to the vodka’s personal profile. After distillation, the vodka is then rested for 90 days. Each bottle is has a serial number and is capped with a cork dipped in wax. To facilitate easy removal of the cap, the bottle comes with its own hammer/brush combo to crack the wax and clean off the bottle. An affectation? Perhaps, but it sure is fun. ($99)
For the Liqueur-ious:
Art in the Age Spirits. At 80 proof, these remarkable distillations from Philadelphia aren’t liqueurs by any true definition, but they play so nicely with other spirits that they will be a welcome addition to the liqueur lover’s cabinet. Taking inspiration from historic spirits like Root Tea and Garden Gin, as well as memory-inducing flavors like Rhubard and Gingersnaps, these bottlings are rich in flavor, surprising in diversity, and delightfully whimsical in selection.
For the Love of Your Life/Spirits Addict:
Over-the-Top Shelf Artisan Spirits Selection. Save this one for a very, very special “friend” — or yourself, if you really want to indulge. Independent spirits take center stage here from Barr Hill Gin to Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka to Tempus Fugit’s Liqueur de Violette. Over-the-Top Shelf Selection includes 22 independent, artisan spirits, liqueurs, and vermouths, but they do come at a price. ($1,000; Mouth.com)