As a follow up to my post on choosing and buying glassware for your Basement Bar, I thought I’d do a reminder on one of the best ways to build a collection of vessels for drinking: Let your friendly neighborhood international liquor conglomerate buy it for you!
Yes, it is the holidays again, and they want you to buy their product and give it to your friends. As an added incentive, many of them are including a glass or two, or perhaps some other accessory with a regularly-priced bottle of the good stuff. I make it a policy to cruise the liquor stores this time of year with a special eye to a likely addition or two to my collection. This year is no exception, and I took some notes to share with you in case you are wondering if it’s worth the trip.
My favorite this year, for a variety of reasons is Bombay Sapphire’s Collector’s Edition set. First, I love the Gin, so I’d be buying the product anyway. This makes the glass pretty truly free. Second, I love the glass. I’m not sure how practical it will be, as the bowl is a little shallow. Bt it will look great on the shelf, and I’ll enjoy it with smaller drinks, especially when I’m experimenting. An added bonus is that Bombay doesn’t seem to feel it’s necessary to plaster a huge logo all over their glasses. How they manage to summon the intelligence to shove their marketing weenies in a closet long enough to get these un-logoed glasses out the door each year, I’ll never know. But I appreciate it, I remember it, and you should too. The only real gripe I have with Bombay’s gift to me this year is the packaging. It is pretty, but fails in a product you want people to give as a gift. It is oblong, making it hard to wrap, and it is flexible, making it harder to wrap. It is still the huge winner this year. Besides, Bombay Sapphire is what you need to make genuine Pegus!
The next two top recommendations I have are for Ciroc Vodka and Johnny Walker Black. Ciroc comes with a pair of attractive round Old Fashioned glasses with the Ciroc purple color infused in the bottom. The Johnny Walker Black (and Red, I think) come with two very nice, square-bottomed rocks glasses. While these glasses do have the name embossed on them, it is very discrete. I would have bought the Ciroc set, but I just don’t like the Vodka itself. Sorry. If you like Ciroc, this is a great time to lay in some reserves. And it’s always a great time to lay in some more from the Striding Man.
There are lots more out there. Bacardi has a rocks glass perched atop its basic 750 ml bottles. Jagr has two frosted shot glasses with its small bottle, and a pump with its monster size. Beefeater comes with two extremely utilitarian (I mean that complimentarily) cocktail glasses. Glenmorangie and Dewars also have two rocks glasses apiece, but not as nice as Johnny Walker’s.
Several other liquors opt to offer other useful items. Ketel One has a pretty decent looking Cobbler Shaker. Disarrano comes with a spiffy glass ice bucket. Cazadores Tequila has a pretty good citrus juicer.
Jack Daniels is the king of swag. You can buy gift sets with jiggers, Old Fashioned glasses, hip flasks, or even a rocking cradle to help your bottle sleep tight at night. The guys from Tennessee are unique among the promoters I saw in that they want you to buy the big bottle to get your gift. I guess that means they feel confident you already know the product and are comfortable buying it.
There are lots of others I haven’t mentioned, or haven’t seen. If you know of a particularly cool gift set out there, I’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, drop by your liquor store and browse the boxes!
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Here’s a list of the other articles in this series that have been posted so far:
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