2013 Holiday Gifts: Haunt Scrooges with Christmas Spirits


Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a skull full of booze, thanks to Crystal Head Vodka.

I'd like to introduce a holiday season phrase for widespread use: "When in doubt, go with booze."

I'll admit it won't stand up there with, "And God bless us, everyone…" or "Fragile!" Still, when it comes to last minute holiday gift ideas, you can't go wrong with a little alcohol. It's comparatively affordable, easy to wrap and appealing to most civilized people. It also can last awhile and live on as a reminder of your friendship and generosity — unless [Lindsey Lohan/Dean Martin/Famous Heavy Drinker of Your Choice] is nearby.

The obvious counter to my theory is that not everyone drinks, and, therefore, some would frown on such an offering. If you encounter such a problem, it's your fault. Why are you associating with such uptight, puritanical shites? Get on with your life and spring for some top shelf hooch for the good people you care about most (…who are over 21, obviously).

1) Crystal Head Vodka: It helps to pick a spirits gift when the bottle itself is a cool addition to the right space. Don't buy into the idea that Crystal Head (above) is gimmicky with its skull shaped decanter, history with founder Dan Aykroyd and aggressive marketing connections to The Rolling Stones and such. This is a crisp, pure vodka made to exacting standards.


2) Wild Turkey Forgiven: Wild Turkey is well known for producing affordable, yet serious bourbon with a lot of body behind it. This blended whiskey (Bourbon and Rye) is a new product from the Turkey pen and works best as a stand alone drink. Mix the other Wild Turkey creations if you must, but try a couple fingers of Forgiven with a one or two ice cubes to open it up for a beautiful sipping session.


3) Concannon Irish Whiskey: I was led to believe it'd be considered a capital crime in Dublin and elsewhere to mix proper Irish Whiskey with any lesser fluid. But, the folks who make Concannon offer dedicated cocktail ideas on their homepage. So, who am I to argue? I would recommend tapping a bottle of this strong, yet level-headed whiskey and enjoying it as you would wine — observing its color, bouquet and after notes.


4) Four Roses Bourbon: There are several varieties of Four Roses to choose from — depending on your palette, but Four Roses has been a popular brand for decades. It's come to us through different parent companies over the years, but its smooth Kentucky character remains intact and appealing to the true Bournon drinker — straight or mixed…The bourbon, not the drinker.


5) Smoky Mountain Moonshine: No, it's not illegal anymore. No, it's not made in some shack high in the Tennessee hills. But the folks at Smoky Mountain are using the same recipes as their ancestral bootleggers. You can enjoy everything from potent White Lightening to proof'd down flavors like Apple Pie or Peach (if the ladies are around).