August 13, 2004

The Gift of Alcohol

BY Andrew ("Drink to life!")

Hey readers,

Hope everyone is well. Hope everyone recovered from Market Days. Thank god the weather was good that weekend. This column is on giving alcohol as a gift which I something I often do. As with any gift, you try to personalize it. Just giving a bottle of gin is one thing but want to show you put some effort into it. Here are three ideas for great gifts.

1. Give them a bottle of a drink you've mixed. For example, I love buttery nipple shots (Bailey’s and Butterscotch Schnapps, yummy!!). So I will hit Cost Plus and purchase an empty alcohol bottle. (Or drink until you empty a bottle. You got an excuse-you need the bottle). At the checkout counter of any liquor store is plastic pourers to make the actual mixing easy. Then, on your computer, make a label for it. Make the label serve as both the card and a label of what you mixed. Drop me an e-mail if you need some recipes.

2. Make a gift basket. At Christmas time, there is always prepackaged alcohol and shot glasses. Why only at Christmas? I just saw some kickass shotglasses and matching rocks glasses at Pier One the other day. If not a basket, how about a small silver tray to display the alcohol with matching accessories. It's not martini sets that can be made into a display.

3. Infuse your own vodka. I'm a big fan of flavored vodkas and am very impressed when I see bars infusing their own flavors. Pick up your favorite vodka, drink some of it to make room in the bottle (another great excuse to drink), and pick your flavor. My two favorites are adding slices of Granny Smith apple and adding vanilla beans.

Speaking of Vodka, a shout out to Ikon Vodka for sending me a sample. I'm gonna have to hit the stores this week and update the new brands out there.