Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Liquor For A Night In

Food & Drink

Valentine’s Day can sometimes seem like it’s all about the big gestures – big dinner out, big night on the town, big hearts and even bigger roses. But what if you don’t feel up to a big celebration? Sometimes, you just want a shot of tequila in bed, or some whisky in a snifter to sip by the hearth. Sometimes, the best nights out are the best nights in, and here’s a roundup of spirits to celebrate a Valentine’s night in.

Inspiro Tequila Luna Blanco, $52.99

Inspiro founder and CEO Mara Smith started drinking tequila when she sought out a gluten-free, clean spirit that fit into her active lifestyle, but she struggled to find an additive-free tequila that had a taste profile that appealed to her. When this Chicago-based attorney couldn’t find her perfect tequila, she decided to create it. With Ana María Romero Mena, a legendary master distiller, she created Tequila Luna Blanco, gluten-free and additive-free tequila. “There’s enough sugar in your Valentine’s Day treats – you don’t need it in your drink,” Smith says. “For the perfect Valentine’s evening at home, Inspiro Tequila is an indulgence without the guilt.”

Crown Royal Aged 18 Years Canadian Whisky, $139.99

Rich and smooth, this delicious Canadian whisky boasts an intense and rich flavor with an incredible smoothness. If you’re looking to reward yourself on Valentine’s Day – or share a romantic night with a special someone – then this is the perfect whisky. It’s fantastic by itself, but it tastes especially festive in a Cranberry Crown Buck, combined with lemon juice, cranberry juice and ginger beer. 

Veso Strawberry Solstice Aperitivo, $35

Veso founder Chris Beyer fell in love with European aperitivo culture, but he wanted to tweak it for the modern drinker. Instead of using chemicals or non-vegan coloring agents, Beyer sources whole fruits and spices from California, then infuses them into white wine. Strawberry Solstice is made with strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit and Valencia oranges with just a touch of cane sugar. It’s delicious over ice by itself, with seltzer or shaken into a cocktail. Equally good is Vanilla Nightfall, Strawberry Solstice’s twin sibling.

Recuerdo Mezcal 5”KO Limited Edition Reposado Mezcal, $60

Made from choice agave espadín plants at a sustainably and biodiverse estate, Recuerdo Mezcal 5’’KO Limed Edition Reposado is aged for five months in new American oak barrels before finished with 5 gusanos (agave worms), which add a silky texture. Smooth with notes of herbs, citrus, vanilla and chocolate, there’s a delicate smokiness and a spicy, crisp finish. Perfect for sipping and staying in this Valentine’s Day. 

Lo Siento Tequila Blanco, $34.99

Sometimes, the perfect Valentine’s Day is a margarita in bed. Or just straight tequila. Lo Siento’s got you covered. This family owned and operated distillery in the Jalisco Highlands makes a tequila that’s completely free of any additives…so you have less of a chance of getting a hangover. It’s smooth profile appeals to both tequila lovers and novices. Equally good is its reposed. 

VIDO Vodka, $34.99

If you spend your days saving the world and you’re looking to have a quiet evening and drink vodka martinis at home like James Bond, then consider VIDO vodka. This wine grape-based vodka from estate Washington vineyards yields a smooth vodka with vibrant aromatics. Distilled in small batches, it is named in honor of the Monson family patriarch, Arvid, who was known to his family and friends as Vido.  

Wolf Moon Straight Bourbon whiskey, $24.99

Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line created Wolf Moon bourbon to celebrate the good life moments…and a Valentine’s night in sounds about right. It’s good right out of the bottle, but it also tastes quite memorable in a Cupid Cherry Cocktail, too. 

Zacapa 23 Rum and Moments cocktail kit, $99

Want to create a special moment with someone? Or just need a moment to yourself? Either way, the Zacapa limited edition Moments cocktail kit is all you need to create one. The kit includes a bottle of Zacapa 23, cocktail smoker with oak chips, mole bitters, honey, a cloche lid, two old fashioned glasses and a candle. The kit also includes a detailed list to make a perfect cheese and charcuterie pairing, as well as a curated playlist to set the mood.

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, $45

Made with 22 botanicals that are hand-foraged from Islay, this gin will transport you to Scotland – without leaving your living room. Delicious on its own or mixed in gin cocktails, The Botanist is a great gin for celebrating at home. 

Cointreau orange liqueur, $45

In the mood for a margarita? A cosmo? A sidecar? If you are, then you need a smooth and delicious orange liqueur for the mixing, and Cointreau more than fits the bill. Smooth and intensely orange, this liqueur was created by Édouard Cointreau during the Industrial Revolution, and he wanted his orange liqueur to be balanced, three times as concentrated and less sweet than the other liqueurs of era. His liqueur has stood the test of time…and it will stand up in your cosmo, too.

Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel, $39.99

Mount Gay Black Barrel rum is first matured in ex-American whiskey casks, and then it’s finished in ex-bourbon barrels, and it gets its name from the charred, bourbon barrels. This process gives it a smooth yet bold rum. It’s perfect in a daiquiri, but it’s also great, poured over just a bit of ice for a solo celebration.

Frankly Organic Vodka Strawberry Vodka, $19.99

Husband and wife duo Kristen and Philip like their vodka strong – and completely free of GMO’s, pesticides and the like. They’re so concerned that they became the world’s first spirit brand to list all of their ingredients and nutritional content on their labels. Though their vodka comes in five flavors – original, strawberry, pomegranate, grapefruit and apple – strawberry speaks of Valentine’s Day.

Scapegrace Distillery Black Gin, $39.99

Sometimes, you need a spirit that’s black as your heart…and Scapegrace Black is a most unusual, black gin. This New Zealand-made gin boasts beautiful backbone of botanicals, but the showstopper is that its lustrous black color transforms into a lovely shade of lavender when mixed with tonic. So, if your heart feels black, or maybe just a bit purple, this gin’s for you.

Holmes Cay Barbados 2012 Limited Edition Rum, $94.50

This limited edition rum aged for eight years, then underwent an extra year of secondary maturation in port casks. No sugars or coloring was added to this lovely rum. If you’re looking to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day, this might be the trick.

Virginia Distillery Courage & Conviction American Single Malt Whisky, $74.99

Made with 100 percent malted barley and fresh spring water, Courage & Conviction is aged at least three years in bourbon, sherry and cuvée casks, Extremely smooth and creamy, this whisky boasts some butterscotch, red fruit and cocoa notes. Courage & Conviction is the perfect whisky for celebrating a cozy Valentine’s night in.

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