There’s nothing more fulfilling than using the holidays as an excuse to share the blessings we’ve had during the year. This, I think, is the reason why people choose to give presents to loved ones… It’s all about the spirit of giving.
That said, what can be better than sharing the gift of drink to a friend?
In a similar spirit (pun intended), I’d like to share one of my favourite stores to go to and for good booze: The aptly named Booze Shop along Jupiter Street in Bel-Air, Makati. What I love about the store is the massive range of spirits catering to every kind of alcohol enthusiast.
With that in mind (and because I’m feeling a bit festive today), I decided to come up with 12 recommendations (with potential recipients based on personality and preference) using the classic song 12 Days of Christmas. 😉
12 Drummers Drumming…
Yeastie Boys Pot Kettle Black – For the rocker beer drinker
I like the wordplay the people behind Yeastie Boys used to conjure up ideas of that famous American band. This craft beer from New Zealand also comes in several variants, but their flagship porter is the most famous.
11 Pipers Piping…
Smokehead 18 – For the person who likes smoky scotch
I may have written about this in a previous entry (having met one of the people behind this label was mind blowing), but this is one of my go-to brands for a peaty drink.
10 Lords a Leaping…
Camus Elegance XO – For the person who exudes elegance
I have mentioned before that one of my idols is Audrey Hepburn (I can only dream of becoming as elegant as her), and I have written about her habit of having a glass of Cognac after meals.
9 Ladies Dancing…
Cîroc Vodka – For the party animal
The name Sean Combs (what does he go by these days, P. Diddy? Puffy? Diddy?) is synonymous to parties… Which lead to a lot of dancing, preferably with this smooth as silk, premium vodka (in ultra-sleek bottles).
8 Maids a Milking…
Chimay Blue – For the Pinoy beer drinker with an amazing sense of humor
There has been a long-standing joke in our country about how “chimay” in our language means “housekeeper”. However, this is one of the most famous Belgian beer labels, with its rich yet crisp styles. The Blue variant is a darker ale, with caramel tones that don’t overwhelm the taste buds (unlike richer stouts).
7 Swans a Swimming…
Nipa Brew Wheat Ale – For the local craft beer aficionado
Proudly made in a country that has the best beaches in the world, and with a name that refers to our native stilt houses, this craft beer has slowly created a name for itself. Their Wheat Ale is comparable to those made popular in other countries.
6 Geese a Laying…
Sapporo Premium Beer – For the “sophisticated” beer drinker
This crisp, rich, and refreshing Japanese beer is not only pretty to look at (with its lovely, solid can), but is beautiful to drink alone, or with food… I’ve had this with Hong Kong style duck and it was just glorious.
5 Golden Rings…
Aberlour 18 – For the classy scotch drinker
We always have a bottle of this at home for very special occasions. My husband very rarely drinks, but he prefers really smooth, refined scotch, which is what the 18 year old is all about.
4 Calling Birds…
Nikka Whisky from the Barrel – For the artistic whisky drinker
Not only does this Japanese whisky taste lovely, it also comes in aesthetically clean, rectangular bottles (hence I placed it under “four” for the corners).
3 French Hens…
Angostura Bitters – For the, uhm… Lovelorn (and perennial third wheel) aspiring bartender
There are many cocktails that can be made out of this bar staple: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Rob Roy… He can spend the holidays experimenting with many different recipes and who knows, maybe he’ll find love under the mistletoe.
2 Turtle Doves…
Ungava Canadian Gin – For the couple who loves to drink.
True story: This is one of our godparents’ (who are more like my biological parents, truth be told) favorite gins because of the smooth texture. I gave them one and it barely lasted a week (I must get my love of drink from someone). They’ve been married for over 50 years and are my ultimate inspiration.
…and a Partidge in a Pear Tree
Kavalan Concertmaster – For the trendy whisky enthusiast
Kavalan is all the rage these days in the whisky world. It has notes of unripe fruits (like pears and apples), which then taper off to a bit off sweetness (some evaluators call this whisky “feisty” because of that) blended with spices for an added dimension.
Of course, after all the Christmas shopping, it is imperative to reward oneself with a bottle (or two).
Personally, I recommend any of the Suntory whiskies… From the entry level Kakubin (which I love to use for Highball cocktails), to the Yamazaki 18 (the legendary whisky famous for its gentle, fruit forward, easy drinking, profile).
Whatever it is I’m looking for, I’m always happy to shop in Booze Shop because of the helpful and knowledgeable staff that consistently helps customers navigate their diverse inventory.
On that note, I have to check off my Christmas list. Here’s to drinking with the spirit(s) of Christmas in mind. Cheers!
Special thanks to Mr. Chester Cabrera of Grand Crü Wines and Spirits, Inc.