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Holiday Gift Guide 2022: The best gifts for the friend who enjoys a drink

Cocktail kits, beers, and handy gadgets made our list.

The Empress Royale cocktail kit from The Urban Grape. Photo courtesy of The Urban Grape

As the holidays roll around, you may be looking for the perfect gift for someone who appreciates a well-crafted drink. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what to bring them, but we’re here to offer a few suggestions. From beautifully bottled spirits to tools that you can use at your own at-home bar, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the right present this winter. Scroll down to see some of our ideas, all from Massachusetts-based purveyors. Cheers to celebrating this season!

The empress royale cocktail kit

The Urban Grape brings you this elegant and classy kit, with which you mix an empress royale, a sparkling twist on the Kir royale, in the comfort of your home. In a champagne flute, you’ll be combining Kila Cava, made with organic grapes, the indigo colored Empress gin, and chambord black raspberry liqueur. By purchasing this gift, you’ll be supporting a Black-owned, woman-owned small business based in the South End. $75

Bully Boy’s cocktails

If you’re looking for a bottled cocktail, Bully Boy Distillers make a great negroni, stylishly packaged in a bottle. The classic Italian drink is both balanced and complex, combining bitter, boozy, and sweet flavors. It is crafted using two varieties of sweet vermouth, two different bitter liqueurs, and Estate Gin. Buy a negroni for someone who enjoys a social drink, poured over ice and garnished with an orange peel. $33.99

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The old fashioned whiskey cocktail’s list of ingredients are simple enough, but getting that perfect balance each time can be a challenge. Bully Boy has taken their legendary attention to detail with exceptional ingredients to create a drink that’s a perfect pour every time. $33.99

Coravin Timeless Three+ wine by the glass system

This handy tool from Coravin was named on Oprah’s 2022 “Favorite Things” list, and it’s bound to become one of your favorite things, as well. The system, featuring sleek all-black architecture, allows you to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork from the bottle, keeping your wine smooth, silky, and as fresh as when it was bottled. It can help you preserve your wine for “weeks, months, or even years,” coming with argon capsules, screw caps, and an aerator that creates “small jets of wine as you pour.” $160.30

Daily Serving: Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry & Cranberry by Trillium Brewing

There’s no better way to enjoy the winter season than with a gorgeous red beer that brings “saturated fruit character in beer form,” according to Trillium Brewing’s website. This beverage comes in a four-pack and uses a base recipe akin to the German Berliner Weisse style, while adding an aromatic blend of raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries. Your friend will crack open one of these cans, medium-bodied, slightly sweet, and tart, for an entertaining evening. $22.20

12 beers of Christmas by Clown Shoes

In anticipation of the Christmas holiday, celebrate with Clown Shoes’ mix pack, with which you can count down the days with a festive beer. The diverse collection of drinks includes the “Baked Goods,” an American pale ale with tropical citrus flavor, the “Cosmic Waffle,” a modern take on the company’s original Belgian IPA recipe, and the “Burnt Caramel,” brewed with dark candi syrup. The beer-lover in your life will enjoy this fun way of getting into the holiday spirit. $26.99

Monthly wine subscription to Upper Glass

Upper Glass taps sommeliers behind some of Boston’s top restaurants to curate a monthly wine subscription, featuring four new bottles delivered straight to your door each month. So what’s in the box? The company, run by Jyoti Mehta and Chelsie Lincoln, leans toward small, family-run vineyards, with an emphasis on organic or biodynamic farming. $85

“Drink Progressively: The Book” by The Urban Grape

Using their original Progressive Scale, The Urban Grape has revolutionized the way people shop for wine by enabling customers to pick the perfect wine for their palate versus by varietal or region. With a focus on creating space in the wine industry, this South End wine and spirits shop is a destination to discover emerging brands and industry favorites, in addition to other gifts such as their “Drink Progressively” book. $27

Kilpatrick strainer

Ted Kilpatrick, owner of Chickadee restaurant, has created an extremely useful bar tool combining the ease of use of the classic Hawthorne strainer with the refined presentation of a tea strainer. $26-30

New England Reserve Rum from Privateer

Local distillers from Ipswich continue to wow with a wide array of offerings. Their flagship New England Reserve Rum is versatile and complex — great for sipping or making your favorite rum cocktail. $39

Corina’s Switchy apple cider vinegar

Dry isn’t just for January anymore. This Vermont-based beverage is a modern take on an ancient farm drink known as switchel which used a bit of vinegar as an early preservative to add to water. The drink was well known, from the West Indies to New England farms, for its ability to fortify. Corina’s is a delightfully carbonated single serving can of a full flavored and healthy choice when abstaining. It’s also a great mixer with rum, vodka, or tequila. 

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$13-72