Booze

Ten Colorado-Made Gifts for Booze Lovers

The Family Jones is making and selling bottles of the Jones House Gin.
The Family Jones is making and selling bottles of the Jones House Gin. Linnea Covington
Although it may seem easy to shop for that cocktail- and beer-loving co-worker or father-in-law, why not go beyond the usual bottle of bottom-shelf bourbon this year and try something better, something made right here in the Centennial State? Whether the recipient lives in town or somewhere else, nothing says "Taste the Rockies" like spirits made with mountain water or drinks that highlight a local ingredient. These ten items have ties to the area through flavor, ingredients or craftsmanship.

click to enlarge Boulder Bourbon from Vapor Distillery. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Boulder Bourbon from Vapor Distillery.
Linnea Covington
Vapor Distillery Boulder Bourbon
Utilizing a copper still shipped from Scotland, this Boulder distillery has been churning out good spirits for a few years now. Boulder Bourbon is the company's signature bottle, and it's trademarked so you'll know that there's only one bourbon that bears the Boulder name. And it's not just a gimmick: The stuff tastes great, so when you give it as a gift, you're sharing a well-crafted bourbon straight from the foot of the Flatirons. Boulder Bourbon has a touch of fruitiness that makes it a little bit sweet, a hint of rye that makes it a little bit spicy, and an overall flavor that makes it totally delicious.

click to enlarge Longtucky Spirits in Longmont is serving up some holiday happy spiced rum. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Longtucky Spirits in Longmont is serving up some holiday happy spiced rum.
Linnea Covington
Longtucky Spirits Lusca Spiced Rum
There aren't too many Colorado rums out there, and this tipple is one of the newest you can find. Given that the distillery opened this past summer, you can bet most people on your "nice" list haven't heard of Lusca spiced rum, a spirit infused with black cardamom, vanilla, orange, mace, allspice and clove. The label is pretty cool, too. And, as with all Longtucky's spirits, it's made with local grains and snowmelt from Longs Peak. This will be a hard bottle to part with, but maybe you can talk your loved one into making you a scrumptious hot buttered rum — you know, just to take off the chill of winter.

click to enlarge Wild Christmas Ale from Upslope Brewing is sure to keep things interesting this winter. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Wild Christmas Ale from Upslope Brewing is sure to keep things interesting this winter.
Linnea Covington
Upslope Brewing Company Wild Christmas Ale
As part of its Lee Hill Series, Boulder-based Upslope Brewing is churning out an extra-special Christmas beer in 19.2-ounce cans (that's an imperial pint, in case you're not familiar with British measurements). Dubbed Wild Christmas Ale, the brew features black raspberries, Belgian candi syrup and an array of warming spices. And if that isn't enough, it's aged for ten months in a Leopold Bros. Maryland-style rye whiskey barrel and soured with the brewery's own house-mixed culture. In the glass, the beverage is deep, dark red, like mulled wine. The flavor proves bright and tart, with just enough funk to impress that beer nerd you bought it for.


click to enlarge Stranahan's just released a sherry cask whiskey — perfect to warn up with on a cold night. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Stranahan's just released a sherry cask whiskey — perfect to warn up with on a cold night.
Linnea Covington
Stranahan's Sherry Cask Single Malt Whiskey
At this point, anyone local knows Stranahan's American whiskey well enough (it's made with Rocky Mountain snowmelt and Colorado grain!), but you probably haven't had the latest bottle in the company's profile, the sherry cask whiskey. This spirit debuted in November and consists of good ol' Stranahan's finished in a barrel that once held Spanish sherry. The result is a dark, rich drink with a juicy fruitiness and smooth finish. Right now you can only get the sherry-cask whiskey at the distillery, which just makes it even more special.

click to enlarge Add some ginger to your cocktail game with this spicy syrup. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Add some ginger to your cocktail game with this spicy syrup.
Linnea Covington
Pickett's American Craft Ginger Beer
Add some spice to your cocktail game this holiday season by picking up a bottle of Jim, Bob and Matt Pickett's spicy ginger syrup. Better yet, get two bottles and give one to that heat-seeking friend or relative of yours who also likes to throw back a few quality beverages. Bottled in Brooklyn (though the company is partially operated from Denver since Matt Pickett lives and works here), the concentrate is all-natural, which means it's good for you (right?) as well as tasty. Mix it into a spicy soda or add a bar spoon of the stuff to a hot toddy for an added kick. Tell the object of your ginger affection to visit the company's website for recipes for both drinks and food.

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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington