Food & Drink

Three Sips to Add to Your Home Bar Cart This Holiday Season

Selections to keep at the ready in case you need a backup for dinner, gift for a party, or simply something to treat yourself after a busy day.

Packed with holidays festivities and weighed down with nostalgia and sentiment, December is a month like no other. There are dinners to host, parties to attend, and resolutions to weigh. It can be a wee bit exhausting to keep track of what you need to have on hand, so we’ve taken the guesswork out of it and assembled three potable selections that you can keep at the ready in case you need backup for dinner, a host gift for a party, or simply something to treat yourself at the end of a busy day.

Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhône “Les Champauvins” 2019
($25, Kysela Pere et Fils)

The Southern Rhône region offers some of the world’s most coveted wines, typically dominated by the Grenache grape. Fans of prestigious bottlings from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Vacqueyras have watched with dejection as prices have risen in lock step with popularity. Wines that were once treats are now splurges. And while $25 isn’t exactly cheap, this Grenache-based beauty offers the spirit of those wines at a third the price. Ripe cherries, ground peppers, and a hint of cedar are hallmarks of a great Rhône wine, and this example clearly delivers.

Fun fact: “Les Champauvins” represents a murky category of French wines governed by the relationship between quality and place. The more site-specific the wine, the higher the quality. A “lieu dit” wine is recognized as special, but doesn’t enjoy recognition under French law. That said, this wine is a great value.

DC Brau Full Transparency Orange Crush Hard Seltzer
($20 12-pack cans, Legends)

All right, we get it. They’re easy to drink, and inoffensive, and if you’d rather not ruin your workout by having a drink, a low-calorie hard seltzer is here for you. We also understand that if you are going to throw a party, there is a good chance that someone is going to be looking for hard seltzer. Skip the big national brands and claw your way to a local alternative. DC Brau’s Orange Crush is refreshing and will surely please anyone looking for one of these spirited beverages.

Brovo London Dry Gin 1 Liter
($20, Winebow)

Trust us, you’re going to need a bigger bottle. Whether you’re slinging Negronis for a party or mixing yourself a soothing G&T during a moment of solitude, this is the month to consider a slightly larger format. Washington State-based Brovo Spirits has crafted a no-nonsense London Dry gin here, with plenty of honest juniper character without a lot of complicated aromatics to lead it astray from the path of classical old-school gin. The packaging isn’t fancy, but neither is the price, and that makes it a perfect addition to your December liquor lineup.