It's about that time! Gift guide mania is upon us. Whether you've already started your shopping or haven't even given it a thought yet, we have a guide for at least one person in your life. Make sure to stop by a few times in the next few weeks as we share gifts for mom, dad, health nuts, coffee addicts, the family chef and more. It has been an absolute thrill to un-box each of these gifts and try them for ourselves so there is no doubt the friends and family in your life will enjoy them just as much.
*Lattes, Life & Luggage received products included in this gift guide complimentary for an honest review. No additional compensation was received.
Today, we start with gifts for the entertainer or probably more suitably named, the mixologist. Most hosts and hostesses are known for having a well-stocked bar. It's a convenient thing to have because everyone has a different favorite cocktail and the last thing you want to tell someone is you're fresh out of gin. Besides the fact that entertainers could always use more supplies for their bar, they're also generally the easiest to buy gifts for. What entertainer would turn their nose up at a bottle or two of wine? None that I know, that's for sure. Take a look at the gifts we have below. Hopefully one or more of these could cross someone off your shopping list.
APPLETON ESTATE SIGNATURE BLEND JAMAICAN RUM
Rum is one of the easiest liquors to mix. With the right ingredients and touch of creativity, it's easy to create a cocktail with rum that will become a party favorite. More than that, it's friendly for drinking straight or on the rocks and it's useful in the kitchen. One of the more versatile hard liquors, it's never a bad idea to have a bottle or two of rum on your hands. Bring a little sunshine into your typically cold and white holiday with Jamaican Rum from Appleton Estate. It's the perfect drink for anyone, even those who aren't big cocktail enthusiasts. Sweet, slightly citrusy and warm, it's a taste of the islands without the cost of airfare.
Price: from $22+
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
You won't normally find me sipping any liquor straight or simply on the rocks. A mixer is generally necessary for me to get it down. However, in my first encounter with Hudson Whiskey, I had the opportunity to try their Baby Bourbon, Single Malt and Manhattan Rye. I'm not the type of person to go home and pour myself a whiskey neat, but I can say in full honesty that I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the flavor of the Baby Bourbon Whiskey. It's smooth, sweeter and well-blended. I have a lot of respect for the company, their process of working in small batches and local community support. Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey is the perfect gift for, yes, the entertainer but also that friend or cousin who is interested in craft whiskey and considers themselves a bourbon enthusiast. Add it to their collection so they can host tasting parties. It would also be great for food pairings and unique cocktail creations in case you know someone who is interested in mixology.
Price: from $38.99+
Natura Chilean Wine
Is wine ever a bad idea for a gift? Natura is an organic wine from Chile "inspired by nature," thus the name. The unoaked Chardonnay is about as full-bodied as a white wine can get. Strong in fruity flavors with a rich, buttery finish and hint of earthiness, it's a solid wine that can stand up to heavy holiday cooking. The Cabernet Sauvignon would be fantastic to serve with meaty dinners like a beef roast or heavy, comforting Lasagna. The perfect varietal for the person who enjoys the combination of strawberries and chocolate, Natura's Cab is sweet and tangy with a hint of spice and nice tannic finish. It's a warm-your-soul kind of wine that pairs perfectly with stick-to-your-ribs meals. In case the Chardonnay and Cab weren't enough or just not your cup of tea, Natura also makes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Carmenere, Malbec, Rose and Syrah.
If you ask anyone who knows me, rum, whiskey and wine are the three things that I personally prefer when enjoying a drink. Wine is my go-to. I always have several bottles on hand because they're a) great gifts and b) a great solution to not having time to whip up a cocktail when company is over. Rum is my liquor of choice when I mix cocktails only second to whiskey. Something about the amber liquids warm you up on a cold winter night and relax you after a long, stressful day. They're also fantastic for cooking and baking, two things you can always find me doing.
Thanks again to all of the brands for providing these products for review. I truly believe that being able to experience a product personally allows us to better curate gift guides and reviews and give honest feedback to all of you who are reading so that we're not recommending products we wouldn't enjoy ourselves. After all, there's nothing worse than a bad or dishonest recommendation.