Happy Holidays everyone! Here in the OFP house, we’re well into the festivities with our share of cozy evening fires, hot chocolate and good cheer. B is just about old enough to really get excited about the impending visit from Old Saint Nick, and I am equally stoked for this year’s run of limited release winter warmers from all my favorite breweries. That’s right Alaskan and Southern Tier, I’m looking at you – oh and Elysian’s Bifrost, of course, though I haven’t thought of that the same way since Thor came out.
I know the Internet is awash with holiday gift guides already, but in the interest of complete excess I want to throw my hat in the ring and make a few recommendations. Check out these gifts that will make any cocktail lover smile:)
- Tippleman’s Falernum Syrup – This shit is the bomb. Falernum is a hard-to-find ingredient that comes up in a few important cocktails (like the Apple Frost and the Zombie), and its importance cannot be overstated. Tippleman’s is the best I have ever tasted, is made from premium ingredients, and looks sexy as hell next to your bottle of small batch agricole rhum. Try it out instead of simple syrup in your next daiquiri or make a Papa Doble that would make Ernest proud.
- Cardamom Cocktail Spice – Do yourself a favor and get a bottle now. I got a one as a gift and my Old Fashioned’s have never been the same since. It’s a unique, spicy treat that you can also use as an easy way to introduce your kids to an exotic, fascinating new spice. Add a few drops to their lemonade or iced tea, and watch the magic.
- VSSL Flask – This machined aluminum adventure flask is for complete badasses only. With a glass-lined, 300 ml chamber for storing single-malts (so done to prevent the aluminum from imparting any metallic taste), an LED floodlight, 2 shot glasses, a bottle opener and compass, this outdoor man-stick is an unholy union between boy-scout canteen and Swiss army knife. Welcome to awesome town, population you.
- Anchor Steam Christmas Ale – For 41 years the Anchor Steam Brewery has been cranking out one Christmas hit after another. While I’m sure you have your favorite Christmas beer, I encourage you to seek this one out and enjoy the subtle nuances of a vintage American craft beer. Plus, the tree-themed logos are works of art unto themselves, and who doesn't like a Navy shout out?
- Bruce Coast Ginger Ale – This guy made the list simply because it is the holidays, and if there is ever a time to spend $40 on a case of soda now would be it. Make it special for the little ones this year and try this stuff out. Reed's is my go-to for the Dark & Stormy, but I tried this during a layover in Minneapolis and can assure you that it is worth the price if you can find it. Oh wait, it is available on Amazon, and I heard they ship everywhere.
So ya’ll, keep it real merry this season and remember that one of the greatest gifts you can give is your time. Make a model with your kid, have a good meal, throw snowballs at the mailman, whatever - just let your kids know that being their dad is more than just a stocking full of toys. Cheers my friends.