The holidays should be a relaxing and enjoyable time of year. But the reality is—between navigating cocktail-hour small talk with friends, colleagues, and family (which could be particularly arduous this year), congested roadways and runways and jam-packed stores—the season is often anything but peaceful. So it’s no surprise that we fortify ourselves with heaping plates of decadent holiday sweets and large glasses of eggnog this time of year. But to make your holiday life easier and, I hope, a bit more spirited, I’ve sourced the perfect bottle for everyone in your life. Cheers!
Father-In Law: Chivas Regal Ultis Blended Scotch ($200)
This is something your father-in-law will actually enjoy, unlike that golf umbrella you gave him last year. This fall, Chivas Regal introduced Ultis, which is made from a blend of five single malts. It’s some of the rarest whisky ever released by the brand.
Holiday Party Host: Champagne Brut Nature 2009 ($89)
Throwing a party is hard work. Reward your friends and relatives by splurging on this delicious bottle of bubbly from famed Champagne house Louis Roederer and star designer Philippe Starck. It’s the first time the sparkling wine has been available in the United States.
Boss: Caol Ila 15-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch ($140)
The Caol Ila 15-Year-Old won’t fail to make a good impression on your superior. The Scotch distillery is known for its super peaty whisky, but it makes an unpeated version just once a year. This is one limited edition that won’t last long.
Best Friend: The Macallan Edition No. 2 Single Malt Scotch ($90)
Edition No. 2 is the newest addition to the Macallan lineup. The single malt was created with the help of the Roca brothers, who run the acclaimed El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, which was named best restaurant in the world twice. Your best friend will enjoy savoring a glass of the rich and complex spirit.
Last-Minute Giftee: Moët Nectar Imperial City Bottle Champagne ($70)
An unexpected guest at your holiday party? Give them this new special-edition Moët Nectar Imperial City Bottle. The Champagnes are adorned with labels celebrating 10 cities and states.
Cocktail Snob: Bruto Americano ($30)
St. George helped to start the current craft distilling movement when it opened back in 1982, in the Bay Area. It now boasts a portfolio of interesting spirits, including this new bitter aperitivo liqueur. It can be used in traditional Italian cocktails, including, of course, the Negroni and all its relatives.
Whiskey Elitist: Laphroaig 25-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch ($500)
Know a whisky lover who has been really good this year? Get him or her a bottle of this 25-year-old Laphroaig. Older whiskies are getting increasingly expensive and rare. (For instance, the Laphroaig 18-Year-Old has been discontinued for more than a year.) This 25-year-old bottling will surely only get more expensive in the future.
Work Colleague: Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye ($30)
Rock & Rye is a cocktail in a bottle. The historic category, which the New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is helping to bring back, is essentially an Old-Fashioned minus the bitters. At the base of Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye is straight rye whiskey flavored with real orange peels, cinnamon bark and Bing cherries and sweetened with rock candy.
Parents: Taylor Fladgate 1967 Single Harvest Tawny Port ($300)
The holidays are the perfect time to gift a bottle of port. Your parents deserve something truly spectacular like this Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port, which contains grapes exclusively from the 1967 harvest. The best part? It pairs perfectly with Christmas and Chanukah fruitcake, chocolates, and sugar cookies.
A gift pick courtesy of our partner Lot 40: Lot 40 Rye Whisky ($40)
Straight Rye Whisky fans have much to celebrate this season. The spirit is arguably more widely available than it has been in decades. A good choice for the rye lover in your life is Lot 40, which is made from 100-percent of the spicy grain and produced in a traditional pot still.