Be honest — the best gifts often come in a glass bottle.
That said, sometimes the holiday season requires a bit of budgeting. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a quality bottle of liquor.
Business Insider turned to Robert Haynes Peterson, a writer and liquor expert; Pam Wiznitzer, bartender at NYC cocktail standout The Dead Rabbit; Danny Neff; bartender at The Bar Room; and Jessie Dure of American Whiskey, to compile a list of 12 bottles under $US27 that are actually really great.
Whether you’re looking for yourself or shopping around for friends, be sure to give these a shot.
The Elijah Craig small batch is a 12-year-old Bourbon made from 100 barrels or less. It's named for Rev. Elijah Craig, who reportedly discovered a bourbon-making method by storing the liquor in fire-charred barrels.
Rye whiskey is an underappreciated liquor fundamental to a good Sazarac or an old-school Manhattan. Old Overhold is the oldest straight rye whiskey on the market. It's a product of Kentucky. You can't go wrong.
Back in 1986, Absolut Vodka teamed up with pop artist Andy Warhol to create bottle-inspired art -- which has led to almost four decades of booze-and-artist collaborations. And to celebrate, Absolut has released this special Limited Edition bottle inspired by Warhol's art, images, and character.
And it's the same price as a regular bottle of Absolut Vodka.
This 'wheated' bourbon is sweeter than a rye bourbon and makes for an easy tasting experience. It's a great starter-bourbon for somebody easing their way into whiskeys and has a particularly creamy taste.
PAMA is a pomegranate-flavored liqueur made with pomegranate juice, vodka, and tequila. It's 34 proof and a gorgeous ruby colour. And it makes a great cosmo, mojito, or champagne cocktail.
This rum comes from Guyana and won a gold medal and 'best in class' at the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition. Brewed in whiskey and bourbon barrels, it balances sweet, smoky, and savory flavours.
Red Hook-based Jack From Brooklyn makes this artisinal liqueur. It combines Nigerian ginger, Moroccan hibiscus, and Brazilian clove, Indonesian nutmeg with organic grain alcohol to make a delicious holiday drink. Drink it hot or cold, straight or mixed.
There always comes a point in the holiday party when somebody pulls out the schnapps. Wondermint is based on a Death's Door vodka, distilled from wheat and barley. It's then redistilled with mint and almond oil and sweetened with sugar.
Tequila Avión is produced by fifth-generation agave growers in the Jalisco, Mexico, highlands and comes in four varieties: Reposado, Silver, Añejo, and the Espresso Liqueur. (There's also the Reserva, but that's in a different price range.)
We recommend the añejo -- it has a woody and peachy aroma and tastes of vanilla, caramel, coconut, and maple.