A Spirited Holiday Gift List

Greg Horton, ReserveBar Contributor


People who love wine and spirits can be some of the easiest to buy for around the holidays. Who’s not happy with a favorite bottle or a new discovery to go on the back bar or wine rack? And for the serious drinker or home bartender, hardware and glassware can expand their collections in beautiful and useful ways. Rather than deal with the traffic and crowds while you shop this season, try ordering from the cozy comfort of your own home using this list of some of our favorite libations, and we’ll deliver them right to your door. 


Image of MUMM

Whether it’s a holiday dinner or a toast to the new year, G.H.Mumm Grand Cordon can add the sparkle you need to make the event special. The Grand Cordon has all the quality and taste you expect from Mumm: toasty notes with orchard and stone fruit, pastry, and yeast. In addition to premium Champagne, you get the stunning bottle, designed in collaboration with the brilliant Ross Lovegrove.

For the Mumm bottle, Lovegrove, who is avant-garde by any definition, reined in his tendency toward the futuristic to reinterpret the classic Mumm Cordon Rouge sash.

The red sash is an homage to the red sash of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award. The sash is laser etched onto the bottle, and to make the package even sleeker, they’ve opted to screen the Mumm signature directly on the glass.

Image of a bottle of Caymus

California’s Napa Valley is home to some of the most iconic names in American wine, and included in that list of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon is Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. For the oenophile on your list, Napa Cab is an easy yes.

Big, fruity, bold, with integrated tannins and an array of flavor notes from cassis to leather, it’s the pinnacle of domestic winemaking. The 2019 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is the product of a very ripe vintage, which means it leads with fruit — cassis and blackberry, especially — followed by cocoa, earth, leather, and a slight spice note.

It’s big enough to handle a holiday dinner table but soft enough to enjoy by the fire without accompaniment. 


Moving on to spirits, Belvedere Lake Bartezek is the distiller’s attempt to demonstrate that “terroir” is important to spirits production, not just wine. Part of Belvedere’s single estate series, the Lake Bartezek, takes its name from the Polish lake in the Masurian Lake District. Made with rye from a single source, the vodka is clean, crisp, and a touch spicy with rye notes. You’ll pick up notes of menthol and spearmint, too, making this vodka sippable but clean enough to star in your favorite cocktails as well.

An image of the Crystal Head range

Want something striking for a friend’s or loved one’s back bar? Crystal Head Vodka features the stunning artwork of founding partner and artist John Alexander. His partner in the endeavor, Saturday Night Live alum, actor, and musician Dan Aykroyd, wanted to feature the clear waters of Newfoundland in a Canadian-born vodka.

Given their artistic bent, a simple bottle was never going to be enough, so Alexander designed the beautiful skull bottle that is now the signature of the brand. Distilled with Peaches and Cream Sweet Corn, Crystal Head is filtered seven times, including three passes through semi-precious stones.

There are no additives in the bottle, so you get a pure, clean expression of the neutral spirit, which means it’s the ideal palette around which to create cocktails. 

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin takes the old formula for gin – lead with juniper and add a few botanicals – and tosses it in the trash.The name comes from the 47 botanicals that are part of the distillation process that creates one of the world’s very best gins. Why settle for four or eleven botanicals when you can create a product full of adventure and discovery? Truly, half the fun is keeping the list of botanicals close to hand to see what your palate can pick out. 

Sourced from the Black Forest and India, the botanical blend includes lingonberries, citrus, herbs, bittering agents, flowers, and spices. Rather than a muddled flavor profile, you get layers of complexity and surprises at every sip. Add a cube and taste the transformation. Monkey 47 isn’t really designed for cocktails; it’s made for gin drinkers who love craftsmanship and the discovery of new flavors. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a martini with it.


Basil Hayden

Do you have someone on your list looking to improve their home bar experience? Hardware and glassware are excellent, thoughtful gifts, and a great rocks glass can better showcase a cocktail or neat spirit and make a favorable impression on special guests. The gorgeous set of Marquis By Waterford "Markham" 11oz Double Old Fashions - Set of 4 is the ideal gift for the whiskey lover or avid entertainer in your life. Beautiful, functional, durable, and iconic, the glasses carry the iconic Waterford name. We’ve also created a list of holiday gifts for the whiskey lover in your life.

Finally, for the budding or even experienced mixologist in your life, we have something to add smoky fun to the bartending experience. The ReserveBar Smoking Kit includes a bottle of one of Kentucky’s finest Bourbons, Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The kit can elevate any cocktail or holiday party by allowing the home bartender to smoke cocktails in a matter of seconds, and the custom wood blocks make cleanup easy and fast. Each kit comes with a culinary-grade torch, three wood blocks (cedar, cherry, and maple), and a QR code that gives you access to concierge services like recipes and paired music.