When you just can't with yet another happy hour, dinner party, or #SundayFunday centered around wine, reach for one of these new vodka, tequila, bourbon, whiskey, or brandy options instead. They're all exceptionally crafted and ready to drink solo — or in your signature cocktail of choice. We'll cheers to that.
Smirnoff Local Bottles ($15): Smirnoff released a collection of limited-edition, locally inspired bottles of vodka to rep your roots — wherever you happen to be. New York, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Seattle, Chicago, and California are already on shelves (with more locales rolling out soon). Each bottle features its own skyline image and an "ode" to what makes these places so unique.
Passoã Passion Fruit Liqueur ($18): Over basic mixers like club soda, tonic, and/or squeeze of lime? Say hello to the new 17 percent ABV passion fruit liqueur shaking up the shelves — Passoã. Although you might expect passion fruit to turn your drink sugary AF, it's actually surprisingly refreshing. All you need is a few splashes in a cocktail, margarita, or sangria, and you're good to go.
Jim Beam Repeal Batch ($21): Even non-bourbon lovers can get down with Jim Beam's new 86-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Highly drinkable (and highly enjoyable), this amber-hued spirit has aromas of char, oak, and and brown spice and even has a label that harkens back to the post-Prohibition bottling from the 1930s. Enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a whiskey punch.
Grey Goose La Vanille ($30): We're so excited Grey Goose just relaunched its famous Madagascar vanilla-flavored vodka for the first time in 15 years. It's a very necessary addition to your vodka lineup indeed, especially since this 40 percent ABV liquor has no sugar added and yet tastes of caramel and toffee.
Bertoux Brandy ($35): This new 40 percent ABV premium brandy from California was designed with mixology in mind by craft cocktail whiz Jeff Bell (of PDT and Legacy Records) and acclaimed sommelier Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad). Pot-distilled and aged three to seven years in French and American oak, Bertoux tastes like candied apricot, orange blossom, and honeysuckle on the palate, but the best way to experience it? In a classic tipple like the sidecar, of course.
Sagamore Spirit 'Sagamore Reserve' Double Oak Straight Rye Whiskey ($60): At 96-proof, this Maryland-style whiskey is slightly sweeter than its counterparts (thanks to a four-year aging process in oak barrels) and has caramel and dark vanilla flavors with toasted marshmallow on the nose. Sip on its own or in your go-to libation.
Gran Patrón Smoky ($199): With all things smoky trending in the world of spirits and cocktails lately, it was only a matter of time before Patrón came out with its own at 101-proof. Gran Patrón Smoky starts with the agave piñas roasted over mesquite for seven days in underground pits in Jalisco, Mexico. They're then crushed, fermented, and distilled. It's actually one of the first tequilas to incorporate this kind of smoking technique in its production process. In other words, we'll take one of these sleek bottles stat.
Mount Gay Rum Releases XO: The Peat Smoke Expression ($250): This blend of selected column and pot still rums (at 57 percent ABV) has been aged for eight to 15 years in American Oak Barrels and then matured for an additional six months in Islay peated whisky casks. Only 1,200 bottles of this are available in the States, so you'll want to put this Master Blender Collection rum in your bar cart (or safe) pronto.
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