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Holiday Spirits

Holiday Gift Guide: Cheers to the Gift of Holiday Spirits

Tis the season of holiday entertaining and gift-giving. Why not give the gift of decadent holiday spirits. Whether you are gifting the host of a party, your favorite drinking buddy or your boss, none of these wonderful holiday spirits will ever be exchanged. What better way to celebrate the festive spirit of the holiday season, than with a gift of holiday spirits.

Holiday Spirits

Know someone who loves tequila, gin, whiskey, cognac or bubbly? Then these offerings from Chandon, Crown Royal, Empress 1908 Gin, Espolon Tequila, Freeland Spirits, Hendricks Gin, Palmes D’or, Remy Martin, and Tequila Partida will make the perfect gift.

Chandon, Standard Bottle $19. 00, Magnum $43.00 – The first of our giftable holiday spirits is perfect to celebrate the season. Chandon launched a limited-edition bottle (available in both standard and magnum sizes) of their signature Brut varietal. The Chandon Limited-Edition “Harvested Under The Stars” Collection celebrates the cool California night that protects the quality of Chandon’s grapes. This bubbly is a great way to give the gift of some California magic.

Crown Royal, $289.99 – Talk about special. Sadly, the Crown Royal XR is going away, so the holiday season is the time to snap up this exclusive gem before it disappears forever. This is the rarest in Crown Royal’s extra rare whiskey series. It’s handcrafted with a unique blend that includes one of the final batches of whiskeys from the renowned LaSalle distillery. Once it is gone, it’s gone for good.

Empress 1908 Gin, $38.99, – The fashionable drinker on your list will love this as a gift. Classic Blue is Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year; what better holiday gift than the small-batch, copper-pot distilled blue gin, which boasts exotic butterfly pea blossom as it’s 8th ingredient.

Espolon Tequila, $99.00 – Not only is this Añejo X is secretly laid to rest for six long years, it’s housed in one sexy bottle that any tequila connoisseur will proudly display on their home bar. The extra aging creates a tequila of rich, complex flavors and uncommon character. Beautifully rich and subtly smoky. Its taste is prominent with vanilla, notes of nutmeg and white peppercorn and hints of cocoa nibs, bitter chocolate, rich roasted fruits. Its rich mouthfeel lingers traces of dark chocolate, cherry, tobacco, and honey.

Freeland Spirits, $40.00 – $50.00 – You’ll love these three delicious holiday spirits come housed in beautiful tear-shaped bottles that look impressive with a simple bow or ribbon. Freeland Spirits small batch Gin, Bourbon, and Geneva are handcrafted by master distiller Molly Troupe, each with the flavor of the Northwest. Also, we really love the fact that they are a woman-owned and run distillery.

Hendricks Gin, $34.99 – For your more curious and adventurous guests, consider Hendrick’s Gin, which boasts a distinctive blend of botanicals: a signature infusion of cucumber and rose petals, producing a divinely smooth gin that has character and balance of subtle flavors.

Palmes D’or, $136.00 – Let them celebrate the holiday in style! Available in Brut and Rosé, the 2006 vintage of Palmes D’or offers the finest crus in champagne and is aged for at least six years to further enhance its delicate flavor. The bottle has hundreds of distinct dimples, mirroring a disco ball – a perfect choice to pour (or gift!) this season.

Remy Martin, $200.00 – Give the gift of the Rémy Martin XO limited-edition bottle designed by celebrated French Atelier, Steaven Richard, a globally celebrated French metalsmith and artist. A perfect gift for the more artistic person on your list.  To achieve this beautiful bottle, Steaven Richard immersed himself in the story behind Rémy Martin; he found inspiration from the vineyards in Cognac to create this refined design.

Tequila Partida, $40.00, $45.00, and $50.00 – last but certainly not least; we end our holiday spirits highlight with Tequila Partida; this authentic, ultra-premium Tequila made from 100% blue agave in the heart of Mexico’s historic Tequila Valley. The Partida Blanco ($40.00) boasts an unaged, pure agave flavor; the Partida Reposado, ($45.00) is aged 6 months and dubbed “the Bentley of Reposados”; and the Partida Anejo ($50.00) is aged 18 months and ideal for that single malt lover.

This concludes our holiday spirits gift guide. Because there are so many wonderful spirits to enjoy, there’ll be much more to come. We’d love to know which of these spirits are favorites of yours.

Cognac Connoisseur: Lunch with Cyril Camus and Camus Cognac

We’re not sure if you’ve heard but there’s a strong resurgence of going back to enjoying sophisticated spirits, and it’s not the older generation. More and more of the younger set are seeing the worldliness and cool factor of sipping heritage spirits, we included. More and more people are moving away from the gimmicky flavors for the purity of well-aged, classic spirits. This is why, when we were invited to enjoy a wonderful lunch with Cyril Camus, head of the House of Camus Cognac, to indulge in a little Camus VSOP and Camus Borderies, we leaped at the opportunity.

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What better location than Brasserie Cognac, known for their authentic french cuisine, to enjoy these brilliant, distinctive cognacs. At the intimate luncheon, we were served three Camus Cognac cocktails (all pictured above), which perfectly celebrated the hot and humid day – the VSOP Cognac Cocktail, Camus Cognac Cosmo, and the French 95. To enjoy the brilliance of each cocktail with our meal, we kept our dish choices light. The VSOP Cocktail (which boasted ginger, Camus VSOP, cucumber, and mint), was exquisitely enjoyed it with Brasserie’s Tuna Tart (a thin tart flambé crust with tuna, horseradish cream and pickled ginger). The bubbly Camus French 95 cocktail, we paired with the Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon, a perfect pairing for the refreshing cocktail.

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We learned so much about cognac from Cyril Camus (without giving away his family secrets), the history of the five generation Cognac brand, and interesting tidbits such as “in order to make a great cognac, you must first create a bad wine.” You see, cognac is produced by doubly distilling white wines made from specified grapes. It is distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels. Who knew! The time flew by as we learned all we could rom this traditional cognac maker. Lunch ended with an introduction the the smoothiest cognac we’ve ever tasted (it was incredibly smooth from beginning to end, with no harsh bite of any kind), Camus Cognac Borderies.

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This sought-after cognac features an elegant, floral and mineral character with aromatic notes of creamy milk chocolate, orange zest, and a touch of spice. These notes made us think it would be incredible over a refreshing citrus desert, so we saved a bit to pour over Brasserie Cognac’s Passionfruit Sorbet to tantalizing results.

If you haven’t yet, you should definitely let your palate get acquainted with the Camus Cognac family of cognacs. Your taste buds will thank you, especially as the fall season, the time of sipping and savoring, is upon us.