Let’s be honest: For many, the holiday season is really more like the drinking season. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, alcohol sales in the U.S. in 2020 jumped from roughly $5.8 million in November to over $7.3 million in December. That wasn’t an anomaly, either: Alcohol sales have increased from November to December every year since 1992.
Provided they drink safely and responsibly, the recipients of these alcohol-themed gifts will be happy even before they open and pour.
To help you find the best holiday present for the responsible drinker in your life, we rounded up some gift ideas after looking through our previous coverage as well as some highly rated options, keeping in mind Select reader interest.
Holiday alcohol gifts for 2021
We selected these gifts to cover a range of recipients. They include everything from actual fine alcohol to kits that let you make your own. Also covered are decorative yet practical alcohol storage solutions as well as products that will make drinks more drinkable once you’re ready to take them off the rack. We chose gifts that were recommended by experts, highly rated or appealed to Select reader interest.
Keep in mind that regulations governing the sales of alcohol and alcohol-related products may vary from state to state, and you should check the laws in your area before making a purchase.
This stylish glass decanter from Rabbit features an acacia base. It uses an aerating funnel with gold trim to decant the wine, which runs down the edges of the glass. The funnel also includes a strainer to remove sediment. It was included in our 2020 guide to wine decanters and aerators.
If you want to aerate your wine directly into your glass, this aerator from Vinturi is a great tool. We ranked it one of the best decanting tools of 2020 in our guide to wine decanters and aerators. You just pour your wine into the aerator and, within seconds, the wine pours out the other end, ready to drink, according to the brand. I recall using one of these in college to make my disgusting boxed wine feel slightly more high-class — it absolutely worked, and it made a cool sound, too.
We named the Gabriel-Glas wine glass a good wine glass to add to a home collection, and with good reason. The gold-edition version of this wine glass measures in at about 3 ounces, is mouth-blown and can be used with any style of wine — in other words, any wine can taste great in it, according to our expert. This set of two comes in a luxe black gift box with a microfiber cleaning towel. Plus, the glasses are safe for the dishwasher, according to the brand.
Not surprisingly, sparkling wine is very popular during the winter holidays. (And, yes, even Champagne is a victim of the 2021 global shipping crisis.) This expert-recommended Champagne hails from France and is distributed from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which should especially excite New Yorkers who like supporting local businesses, but its elegant and distinguished flavor make it an option for any holiday. We included it in our list of noteworthy sparkling wines of 2020.
Originally on our list of affordable Father’s Day gift in 2021, these tiny drink jackets with zippers can keep beer cans chilled and looking spiffy, according to Puffin. They also come in a taller, skinner version for seltzer drinkers.
This rum is made in Guatemala, aged in barrels that previously held American whiskey, sherry and Pedro Ximenez wine for six to 23 years at over 7,500 feet above sea level. Each bottle comes with a band of woven palm leaves handmade by a Guatemalan weaver, according to the brand. We previously featured it in our guide to National Rum Day, where it was one of seven expert-recommended rums.
Whether you’re on a long flight or not, this carry-on cocktail kit allows you to make your own Old-Fashioned in just one step: Add bourbon or rye. The kit includes a bar spoon, bitters, Demerara sugar, two coasters and a muddler. The company also sells kits to create a Bloody Mary, gin and tonic, hot toddy, margarita or Moscow Mule. We originally featured it in our guide to affordable Father’s Day gifts.
I was given this whiskey decanter for the holidays last year, and it’s become the centerpiece of my dinner table. It’s a round decanter, complete with a globe etching, with a decorative glass ship inside. It comes with two whiskey glasses with matching etchings. The decanter and glasses both sit on a wooden base. It averages 4.8 stars from over 8,500 reviewers on Amazon.
This beer-making kit comes with everything you need to make your own India pale ale, including ingredients like hops, yeast and grains, along with equipment like a fermentation jug, thermometer and tubing. Once you’re finished brewing your IPA, the equipment is reusable — the company sells refill mixes so you don’t have to buy a brand-new kit every time. It averages a 4.3-star rating out of over 900 reviews on Amazon.
Wine is more than a drink, it’s a decoration, too, and this wine rack and table is a striking way to store those bottles of wine that are just too pretty to ever open. It has space for 11 bottles, and the tabletop has a marble finish and can work as a wine serving station, according to the brand. It averages 4.7 stars out of over 1,900 reviews on Amazon.
According to the company, this collection was “the world’s first curated wine Advent calendar.” This year’s Women in Wine Holiday Edition contains 12 individual portions of wine: four white, two roses and six reds, each featuring women “breaking down barriers in the world of wine.” On the Vinebox website, it’s earned 4.8 stars from reviewers.