Sponsored by Jameson
With Turkey Day 2021 in the rearview mirror and the holiday shopping season now in full swing, there’s a tad more than three weeks left to get something memorable for your special someones.
Pitchers of whiskey eggnog are sure to abound at your winter gatherings, but hosts and guests alike will likely entertain other drinks that incorporate this classic spirit as the colder months approach as well.
So here are five gifts that your friends will appreciate, make the experience enjoyable, and earn you a top spot on Santa’s Nice List, too!
Barware Starter Kit
Unless you’re still a young and struggling college student, you should have passed the days of measuring drinks with the eyeball test and hoping for the best. Tony Robbins notes, “Consistency is the mark of a champion,” and to consistently execute with quality is what separates great restaurants from bad ones, great programming from the last season of GOT, and so on. Mixology’s 10-Piece Bartender Set ($59.97, Amazon) comes with all the instruments needed to ensure your whiskey cocktails, highballs, and other refreshments hit the mark every time. Complete with a muddler, shaker, jig, and other tools, the set also comes with your choice of a bamboo or mahogany stand to complete your professional look at home.
Glencairn Glasses: The finer things in life are not meant to be rushed. Instead, there are details and nuances that can only be appreciated with the proper equipment, and whiskey lovers know that you can’t properly cherish your drink from a red Solo cup. Glencairn glasses are similar to snifters except they’re stemless, are specifically made for whiskey, and have a more tulip-shaped base to allow the notes to breathe more and for you to admire the notes. Crate & Barrel’s Glencairn Whiskey Glass ($7.95, online or in-store) are a simple but thoughtful way to share the pleasure of whiskey with friends – and with some class
Some whiskey aficionados swear that the drink should only be had neat and at room temperature, while others say you should have it chilled and add some water to “open up the flavors.” If you belong to the second set, you might think a few ice cubes are the way to go. But while the ice might cool down your glass, you also run the risk of overdiluting it. So how can we achieve the first goal without coming at the expense of the other? Whiskey Chillers from Balls of Steel ($20.99 per pair, online) will cool your drink to the right temp without watering down the taste. The company uses a proprietary gel it claims is “5x stronger than ice,” which is what allows it to retain its freezing temp longer than soapstone alternatives. Balls of Steel also donates 15% of proceeds to the MD Anderson Cancer Center to fund research and treatment of prostate and testicular cancers, too, so your present will spread holiday cheer in more ways than one.
Unless you’re Sam Malone, there’s little reason to have bottles upon bottles of booze around the kitchen. Most people will have their liquor in the original packaging, and that’s not a crime, but some of our CASSIUSLife readers lean towards a different class of imbiber – and we’re ready to serve you with a solution that delivers on that as well. Godinger’s Dublin Whiskey Decanter 750 ($45.50, online) is a clean, elegant step up for how to display your spirits at home, and it will stand out from the many globe decanters that mistake kitsch for character.
Now, if the recipient of your gifts is a dedicated non-smoker, then you can skip this particular addition to the list (which is why we saved it for the end). But drinkers who smoke will strongly affirm that few things round out a glass of whiskey like an excellent stogie. Romeo y Julieta, Cohiba, and Rocky Patel, are some popular brands that can fit the bill. However, the right pairing is everything, so we have a recommendation that takes both the maker and diversity into account. The Oliva 12-Cigar Serie Sampler ($49.95, JRCigars) employs the Nicaraguan tobacco leaf (as opposed to the frequently namechecked Cuban or Dominican variations), and the volcanic soil imparts a bolder array of tastes that aren’t as easily found among cigars from the two aforementioned island regions. You’ll be able to try seven different rolls from the line, and our suggestion would be to start with the sweet, medium-bodied Oliva Serie G Torpedo 6½” * 52 so you can gauge your own personal tolerance from there.