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Last minute parent gift question - liquor edition
May 8, 2014 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Last minute help needed for a birthday and mother's day gift for my mom and dad - fancy alcohol advice needed.

I'm having lunch with my parents tomorrow while they're in town on the way to a more distant destination. I won't be seeing my mom on Mother's Day, and I haven't seen my dad since it's been his 65th (!) birthday a couple weeks ago - so this is kind of the only opportunity I will have to see them around these Big Events for a while. I flubbed my Dad's birthday and sent a card but didn't get him a gift yet, and would like to get him something. I am also clueless about what I could get my mom for Mother's Day that I could get tonight and give to her tomorrow.

I have a few fancy liquor stores within my immediate travelling distance, and they like alcohol, particularly wine and mixed drinks. Even though I have very often defaulted to the drinkable gifts for them before, I would like to get them something super nice but am stressing out about it since I have basically zero time and zero knowledge (maybe more like negative as facts actually tend to leave my brain as I enter a liquor store). it doesn't have to be separate things necessarily. I was thinking along the lines of "LOL A WINE AS OLD AS YOU ARE!" and then a cheaper cheesy label one for Mom. But they buy a lot of wine themselves and can pretty much get what they want. Maybe some kind of nice port they could share? how do you pick a port? would the liquor stores have this rightimmediatelynow? are there other fancy things than port that the nice liquor stores might have? Halp? I'm thinking to spend like $200 at the absolute max.
thanks for helping to redeem a bad daughter!
posted by ghostbikes to Shopping (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How about that fancy pear brandy where they tie the bottle to the tree branch so the pear grows inside the bottle.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:07 PM on May 8


This is one of those situations where your best bet is to go to a good liquor store and let the staff help you find something from what they carry, rather than trying to get general advice for things that they might not have in stock.

Liquor stores aren't going to have 65 year old wine in stock. 65 year old scotch maybe, but that's not likely to be in your price range.

It sounds like you have a few choices near you -- maybe follow-up with info on where you are and people can tell you which stores are the best near you?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:16 PM on May 8


Champagne would be a nice choice. You can go with the standard fancy Veuve Clicquot or else you can ask the people at the store to recommend something. I find brut tends to be more of a crowd pleaser than extra dry. People who like to drink often appreciate champagne but rarely drink it. It's festive, they can (probably) hold onto it if they like, or you can chill it and enjoy it together when you're celebrating.
posted by juliplease at 4:19 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


Are your parents scotch drinkers at all? $200 will get you a really great scotch. You could even get one aged in Port barrels like the Balvenie Portwood 21 year.

Great bottles your local liquor store probably has are Oban 18 year, Laphroaig 18 year, or a Glenlivet 21 year. You can always ask them at the store for suggestions if it's a fancy-ish place.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:19 PM on May 8


For parents with mysterious liquor tastes, I would get them a nice sweet-ish digestif! Maybe Chartreuse or Strega?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:42 PM on May 8


You could make a flight, focusing on a region: A nice gavi de gavi, a super tuscan, and a grappa (italy) or a champagne, a cabernet, and a sauturne (france), at up to 50 bucks a bottle. Your local bottle shoppe can help you.
posted by vrakatar at 4:43 PM on May 8


Include some St. Germain with that champagne. I think it runs about $35-$40 a bottle, depending on where you get it. But it's unique, and can be included in many cocktails.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:41 PM on May 8 [3 favorites]


Pimm's?
posted by mmmbacon at 7:40 PM on May 8


If they're cocktail nerds (and like groan-inducing puns), how about a bouquet of flowers and a bouquet of bitters, a nice bourbon, some good (not neon red) maraschino cherries, and an orange?

An old fashioned gift [*] for mom and pop with a cherry on top -- orange you a good daughter.

[*] an old fashioned is a classic mixed drink consisting of sugar, angostura bitters (which ought to be in the set of bitters), bourbon, water, maraschino cherry, and orange slice.

I've heard that Bulleit is agreeable to most bourbon drinkers. It's mid-range but satisfactory? Please correct if I'm off here.
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:45 PM on May 8 [1 favorite]


My guess is that wine is not a good idea; they probably have very specific tastes that might not match up with your wine shop's staff's recommendations. That said, a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose is a sure-fire bottle to impress wine nerds.

I think an even better gift would be to find a cocktail recipe--maybe something you know they've both had in a restaurant and enjoyed, or perhaps something that's obscure but wonderful that they might not have tried--and buy them the ingredients to make it.

I'll give you one example: the Aviation--an elegant, four-ingredient cocktail. One of the ingredients (creme de violette) was unavailable in the US for decades, but recently, Rothman & Winter started producing a very fine version. So it's a lovely gin drink that they might not have had before, not to mention one with a backstory. You can just buy them a bottle of good gin (maybe a lesser-known but wonderful gin like Comb 9), a bottle of the creme de violette, a bottle of maraschino liqueur, along with a nice card that has the recipe for the cocktail on it. It'll cost you $100 at the outside.

It's the sort of gift I'd swoon over.
posted by yellowcandy at 9:08 PM on May 8 [2 favorites]


If you want to buy them a nice tasty port you get them something from Taylor Fladgate.
It's probably not the fanciest thing you could get but its not cheap and damn its tasty.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:22 PM on May 8


Find out what their favourite wine is, and buy three different vintages so they can taste how that wine develops with age. Or, if you know they love a particular varietal (shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris etc) buy a bottle from three different countries (make sure you ask the wine store to select wines that are classic examples of the country's terroir country) and let them appreciate how different the grapes are from country to country. A couple of Riedel glasses to accompany the wines would also be thoughtful.
posted by travellingincognito at 5:59 AM on May 9


I ultimately put my plight in the hands of the capable wine store man and came back with a couple nice bottles, although I feel sort of 'meh' about it since my input wasn't much more than "uh my dad likes Cabernet?"

I *wish* they were scotch or champagne people - that would make fancy gifts much easier!

These are some great ideas though, I love the flights and bitters/cocktail basket ideas, and in retrospect they would also have loved to get a bottle of St. Germain. I will definitely be keeping this bookmarked for upcoming birthdays/holidays! THANK YOU!
posted by ghostbikes at 7:51 AM on May 9


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