The bottle of booze you get your boss really depends on how you feel about them. We’re here to help. Check below for more information on each of the spirits featured.
Jeppson’s Malört ($18)
They say to never burn bridges, so you have to give something. Let the boss know exactly how you feel with this incredibly bitter liqueur. Popular in Chicago, where bartenders show they’re hardcore by shooting it, it’s based on a Swedish recipe that’s heavy on the wormwood, brought over in the early 1900s by an immigrant named Carl Jeppson. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart; an old advertising slogan said only one in 49 drinkers could stomach the stuff.
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon ($30)
You want to look like you care but not spend a lot of money; go with a mid-range bourbon. Four Roses’ Small Batch bottling is a blend of four different bourbon recipes that yields a mellow, smooth and balanced whiskey. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it’s reliably tasty. If you’re feeling a bit more generous, you can seek out the 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch, a more heavily aged blend that goes for $90.
Fever-Tree Ginger Beer ($8/4-pack)
Tread lightly here. Giving liquor to a teetotaler boss is a bad idea, but on the other hand, just because someone doesn’t drink at work doesn’t mean they don’t tipple at home. This artisanal soda is the perfect solution: It’s strong and spicy, quite delicious solo over ice, but it’ll also make a fantastic Dark & Stormy or Moscow Mule.
Chareau ($29 for 375 mL)
For a boss without strong booze preferences, go with this unique new nip from California. It’s a brandy-based liqueur flavored with aloe, cucumber, melon, lemon and mint. It sounds complicated and weird, but it’s quite well-balanced and versatile, working nicely with vodka, gin, sparkling wine or on its own with soda.
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($120)
Normally, Scotch is aged in used barrels, whether they formerly held bourbon, wine, port, sherry or some other liquor. This means there’s less of the oaky flavor available during aging. This bottling spends time in new charred-oak barrels instead, giving it nice vanilla-butterscotch notes, along with a background of musty grain, spice and oranges.
Louis XIII Black Pearl Anniversary Edition Cognac ($16,000)
If you’ve got sixteen grand to spend on booze for your boss, this is the best way to spend it this year. Created in honor of Remy Martin Cognac’s 140th anniversary, it’s a blend of almost 1,200 eaux-de-vie aged between 40 and 100 years old. And it comes in a crystal decanter coated with layers of titanium, carbon and gold for a unique metallic look. Only 775 bottles were made, so you know your boss is getting something very special.
Chateau de Laubade XO Armagnac ($60)
Cognac is famed as the drink of cigar-smoking aristocrats and entourage-toting rappers, but its cousin armagnac (it’s made in a separate but nearby region) is practically unknown in the States. Because of that, it’s an incredible value in French brandy. It’s a bit rougher and earthier than cognac, but this long-aged bottling (15 to 25 years old) gives toasty, nutty, spicy and fruity flavors.
Herradura Colección de la Casa Reserva 2014 Reposado Tequila ($90)
Each year, Herradura releases a limited-edition Colección de la Casa tequila, and this year’s version aged for 11 months in traditional oak casks, followed by another three months in used Scotch barrels. The result combines a rich aged-tequila flavor with a hint of the smokiness you’d find in a peaty whisky. It’s a beautiful pair (that you should tell your boss to sip, not shoot).
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky ($70)
Like single malt Scotch, most Japanese whisky is made from 100 percent malted barley. But this one is different, distilled from a mash of mostly corn in an old-fashioned column still named for its inventor, Aneas Coffey. (There’s no coffee involved with this whisky.) It has the sweetness of a bourbon with some nice grassy spice, and it’s absolutely wonderful in a whiskey & soda.