Fifteen boozy gifts to get you and everyone on your list through the rest of 2020

Fifteen boozy gifts to get you and everyone on your list through the rest of 2020

More Holiday Gift Ideas

This year’s holidays are going to look a little different. Office parties will be replaced with Zoom gatherings, raucous New Year’s Eve bashes will be traded for Netflix marathons. Well, Covid-19, you can take our IRL shindigs, our family, our friends and our will to dress in anything that requires buttoning or zipping—but you can’t take our alcohol. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, or filling the stocking of your favourite imbiber, these (mostly) small-batch boozy bottles can be tied up with a bow and delivered right to your door.


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Willibald’s Gingerbread Gin

Trade in the traditional Christmas cookie for this Ayr distillery’s boozier take on gingerbread. Each bottle is made with white gin that’s been infused with baking spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, ginger) and a few drops of cane sugar for sweetness. The amped-up festive flavours are best sipped over ice or in a hot toddy. Bonus: A pastoral gingerbread house illustration by Toronto artist Caitlyn Murphy earns this bottle a spot on a holiday bar. $22.08.


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Burdock Brewery’s Mosto Stout

Bloor West’s Burdock Brewery teamed up with Toronto bakery Forna Cultura for a limited-edition stout. Black bread loaves from Forno, plus cacao husks from Chocosol, were dropped into the mash to produce the ideal icy-weather brew: creamy and toasty, with lingering cocoa flavour. Pair with a roaring fire. $4.08 each.

Bottled cocktails from Super Bargain

This Cabbagetown bar known for low-fuss cocktails is translating that energy into their new line of pre-mixed bottled cocktails. Each container serves four drinks (pick from negronis, margaritas, or paper planes) and garnishes are included. $25.

Paradise Grapevine’s riesling

When the pandemic shut their bar down, Paradise Grapevine pivoted from just selling wine to making it. Their orange and rosé wines sold out in a snap, but their riesling is still available. Made with late-harvest, botrytis-inflicted Ontario grapes, it tastes of lemon wedges and peach creamsicles, with enough acidity to cut through hearty winter fare. $24.95.


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Juice bags of vermouth from Bar Vendetta

A juice bag of vermouth feels perfectly aligned with this year’s anything-goes drinking rules. Bar Vendetta worked with Tawse Vineyards on the Niagara escarpment to make the bar’s new riesling-based house vermouth. It’s best on the rocks, with tonic, or straight out of the bag (no judgment whatsoever). $14.


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Revel’s vermouth sodas

Speaking of vermouth, Guelph’s Revel Cider spent a good chunk of 2020 perfecting their own recipe, using foraged botanicals (wild lemon ginger, three different types of spruce, white pine shoots) along with pears, apples and blue plums, to make a uniquely Canadian take. It’s spiked with soda, canned and ready to be sipped. Bonus: $500 from the proceeds of this release will go to support RAVEN, a non-profit organization raising funds for First Nations legal fees. $4.75 each.

Reid’s Distillery spiced gin caesar kit

Brunch plans have fallen by the wayside, but caesars still reign. Leslieville’s Reid’s Distillery packs up the drink’s essentials—two mixes, a rimmer from Matt and Steve’s, Extreme Beans—along with their own spiced gin. With notes of cardamom, clove and cassia, it also adds a spicy bite to mulled wine. $76.50.


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Kavi Whisky

Led by millennial whisky maven Jackie DeMarco, Kavi marries small-batch roasted coffee beans with whisky distilled in southern Ontario. But don’t expect the usual saccharine notes of coffee flavoured liqueurs: this cold brew–leaning spirit has a mellow, whisky-forward finish. Slip a shot or two into some hot cocoa. $29.95.


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Eight Kilos’ gift boxes

With their respective fields grinding to a halt, event planner Roxanne Chapman and sommelier Ben Hodson’s quarantine project was to launch Eight Kilos, a subscription-based wine club that offers up two-, three- and six-bottle gift packs, plus subscription options. Expect knock-out bottles from producers seldom found in Ontario, like Stolpman Vineyards, Vietti and bonafide wine god Rajat Parr. Subscribers have access to (virtual) one-on-on time with Hodson to field all their burning wine questions. $95 and up.


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Six-packs of wine from Crushable Club

All year, Toronto wine writer Laura Milnes works with vineyards across the country to curate six-packs of Canadian-made wines. Each month spotlights a different producer, from Nova Scotia’s Lightfoot and Wolfville to Sebastien Laurent in British Columbia. Expect a focus on hard-to-find, out-of-province wines. Various prices.

Cocktail kits from Dolly Trolley Drinks

Supernova Ballroom’s Kelsey Ramage went full force on the cocktail delivery front, and over the holidays, she’s helping house-bound drinkers celebrate a Dolly Trolley Christmas. Her creative cold-weather cocktails include a gin gimlet made with Ontario evergreen pine, cedar and black spruce, or a mai tai made with toasted Canadian-grown walnuts. Kits come with or without alcohol, but be sure to throw in a pair of Ramage-designed old fashioned glasses or hot cider mugs for good measure. Various prices.


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Mezcal from Professor Mezcal

Profesor Mezcal is a real person: Rodolfo Lopez Sosa is a school teacher in the mountains of Oaxaca who moonlights as a mezcalero. And he’s darn good at it: the agave spirit is elegant and complex, fresh, smooth, and vegetal all in one. With the help of a couple Torontonians, his artisanal, sustainable mezcal is now available via Grape Crush as of this fall. Bonus: a proceed of the profits go towards his students’ education. $74.99.

Project Gigglewater’s large-format cocktails

The Dundas West bar is concocting cocktails fit for a crowd—but given we can’t have parties this holiday season, the kits are perfect for very thirsty couples. Recipes are designed to get you through the incoming seasonal depression, like the “End of an Error,” made with single malt Scotch, Amontillado sherry, Butter Ripple Schnapps and pecan bitters.


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Donna’s Wine and Literature Club kits

The cute-as-a-button Bloordale restaurant has paired up with Flying Books to turn out quarantine-ready gift boxes. There are three different pricing tiers, though all kits include”Happy Hour,” the debut novel from Toronto author Marlowe Granados, plus an original painting and three bottles of wine. Current selections include bottles from Italy’s Radikon and chuggable skin-contact wines from Keenen in the Okanagan.


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A trio of prosecco from Bottega Volo

Just north of Venice, Costadilà produces zesty, refreshing prosecco on a closed-loop vineyard where farm animals roam free and wines are made from local varietals. Bottega Volo—Bar and Birreria Volo’s new online shop—packs three different bottles from the farm in their new Cantina crate: perfect for raising a glass of bubbly to 2020…being over.