However you celebrate the holidays, there are spirits inspired by this magical time of year. Some take their cues from falling snow and cozy winter nights, others channel the flavors of holiday treats. All are ideal to help fortify through the season or to gift to a spirits lover. Most are limited editions, so don’t wait too long to snatch them up.
A Midwinter Night’s Dram ($80). Utah distiller High West rolls out this blend of rye whiskeys finished in Port casks and French oak barrels each year. While it varies from year to year, it tends to be warm and spiced, and offers an enticing fruity note that suggests a mulled whiskey punch or a Christmas plum pudding.
Edinburgh’s Christmas Gin ($40): Christmas-inspired gins are popular in England, and this one uses frankincense and myrrh as botanicals, and adds warming cinnamon and nutmeg spice. It may be hard to find in the U.S., so if you have a friend that plans to visit the U.K., ask them to bring a bottle home for you.
El Jolgorio Pechuga Navideña ($160): Pechuga is a traditional mezcal distilled with fruits, grains, and famously, sometimes meat. This expression is meant to evoke Christmas flavors, made with mandarinas (a small citrus fruit that’s less sweet and more acidic than mandarins found in the U.S.) and tejocote, the fruit of the hawthorn tree. Only 432 bottles were produced; available in U.S. stores through January.
Stranahan’s Snowflake Whiskey ($100). So named because “as in nature, no two snowflakes are ever alike,” the annual release from this Colorado distillery varies from year to year. The whiskey is transferred into a variety of used casks (wine, Sherry, Cognac, rum, Tequila), and it’s later blended together. It’s sold only at the distillery, and just one day each year, usually in early December. Obsessed fans make a sport of waiting on line to get it.