Food & Drink

Cocktail Lover’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Local Edition

Spirited gift options for the cocktail lover in your life

By AJ Rathbun December 15, 2016


Last week, we showcased locally-made gifts for the cocktail lover in your life. While I like the idea of stuffing stockings with Washington-made products, there are definitely some choice items made outside our state lines that would also bring a smile to that home (or pro!) bartender who you’re shopping for, starting with the six picks below.

Ardbeg Uigeadail Whisky: Made like all the wondrous whisky on the Scottish Isle of Islay, this Scotch whisky is named after the loch where Ardbeg gets its water, and has won numerous awards including World Whisky of the Year from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. It is a delicious and memorable tipple, with deep strong flavors, smoke, pepper, sherry and a little honey sweetness. If you know a Scotch lover, this is a good present and then some, as are its siblings in what the distillery calls its “Ultimate Range,” the peaty Ardbeg 10, and the forest-fruity Corryvreckan, named after a renowned whirlpool.

Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum: If you have a special someone on your list that you know is daydreaming of island living (not hard to imagine with our current weather), putting a bottle of this in their stocking is sure to make you a favorite. Crafted from pure sugar cane in antique copper pot stills before being aged in oak for up to 12 years, this Venezuelan rum is a sumptuous mingling of caramel, nuts, orange, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice. They’ll want to sip this slowly and let the beach visions arrive (though it’s also superb in cocktails).

Sombra Mezcal: Another one for a recipient who just wants a break from the chill and the cold (even if it’s only a metaphoric break, and not an actual vacation), this mezcal is made in the Rio Hormiga Colorada valley, outside of Oaxaca, Mexico, from Espadin agave hearts that are cooked over mesquite-fired red hot rocks. It carries a lot of its history and geography in each sip, with a strong, smoky, mesquite nature, accented by citrus notes. It’s a serious drink, but also loads of fun and approachable, good with food, and it subs in nicely for cousin tequila in a margarita.

Cynar: As 2016 feels a lot like “the year of the herbal drink,” I’d be remiss for not having a herbally digestif on this list, and if you are shopping for someone who is developing a love for these types of drinks, or just expanding their cocktail repertoire, Cynar is a spot-on choice. Made from artichokes, of all things, in conjunction with 13 other herbs and plants, this Italian favorite is, like many of its brethren, adored due both to its taste (herbs, sweetness, a smidge of bitterness), and because it is thought to have a healing powers. Who knows, maybe it does? 

Follow Us

A Slice Above the Rest

A Slice Above the Rest

With grace and grit, Niles Peacock has worked his way to the top of the pizza world

“This has to be a joke.” That’s the first thing that passed through Niles Peacock’s head as he stood reading the results of the 2022 International Pizza Challenge in Las Vegas... Photo by Steve Parent Photography

Edible Art

Edible Art

Check out these elegant practitioners of pastry just in time for Valentine's Day

Whether you like Valentine’s Day because you enjoy celebrating all the ways love exists in your life, or you want an excuse to eat delicious dessert with your girlfriends for Galentine’s, plenty of Seattle pastry shops and chocolatiers will keep you well fed.

Doing Doughnuts

Doing Doughnuts

Doughnuts are again having a moment. Check out these Seattle favorites.

Let’s start with a Seattle staple. I love Pike Place Market, and also love going with my son as often as possible to get a piroshky and then a doughnut from the Daily Dozen. It’s a small booth inside the market across from DeLaurenti Food and Wine. You’ll have to stand in line, but It

The Sea Cowboy

The Sea Cowboy

Nick Mendoza wants his snacks to provoke thought as well as taste

The sea-loving part of him first pursued a career in marine science. He tagged great white sharks in California, researched ways to improve the sustainability of oyster farms in Scotland, and explored the inner workings of a large shrimp farm in Central America. He soon discovered that his advocacy for the ocean could only go