Why bother running around in the cold to all those ridiculous holiday markets buying crocheted mittens and handmade soaps when what your friends really want is locally produced small-batch, hand-bottled 92 proof whiskey? (What better way to deal with the family during Christmastime?)
Tuthilltown Spirits, the first New York distillery to produce aged grain spirits since the prohibition, is, in the true spirit of the season, sharing the magic of the creation process.
Their Barrel Program allows you to either sponsor a barrel while it's aging and have it bottled when you feel it's ready (those with less patience should go with the Heart of the Hudson Vodka or New York Corn Whiskey rather than the darker and aged Manhattan Rye and Baby Bourbon.) Or, if you're like, "Just give me my booze dammit," choose a barrel that is ready to go and have it bottled specifically for you. Since each barrel yields 8-11 bottles (per gallon) and are discounted 10%, it's kind of a great way to knock off your entire shopping list at once.
Also, each bottle will include a special insignia and inscription of your choice, so you can say something clever and personal, like "Happy Holidays, Friend. On Donner, now let's get blitzen!" As if it couldn't get any better, you get to take the barrel home. What a great compliment to your wine barrel coffee table that will make.
Want to get your feet wet before diving in? Take a tour and tasting at the distillery for only $15, or, if you don't feel like driving that far check out the Tuthilltown-sponsored happy hour at The Bell House on Friday, December 11 (where there will be foot jugglers and trapeze artists for some inexplicable reason).