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December 2023

The Best Under-the-Radar Liquor Picks

By Lindsay Leff

Stock his bar for Father’s Day by giving our top under-the-radar spirits picks as Father’s Day gifts. From the best vodka distilled in Poland to the number one Belgian beer brewed in Michigan, there’s a bottle for every mixologist to make the best hard liquor drinks around.

Best Vodka:
For the discerning drinker who likes the taste of vodka. Has won dozens of gold medals and awards.
Buy U’Luvka Vodka Signature, $55, at DrinkUpNY.com

Best Gin: For the traditionalist, a classic gin. Best mixer—a splash of your favorite liqueur.
Buy Distillery No. 209 Gin, $37, at Deandeluca.com

Best Rum: Gold medal winner, Beverage Testing Institute. Add your favorite crushed fresh fruit.
Buy Rhum Clément VSOP 80, $40, at VintageGrape.net

Best Tequila: For those who like to drink it straight. Triple distillation for a cleaner taste. Buy Inocente Tequila Plata, $50, at ColumbusWines.com

Best Bourbon: For the never-impressed-by-anything. Rated number 1 bourbon in the world by the World’s Spirits Championships. Buy Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year, $130, at WineDelight.com

Best Scotch: Great over ice with a dash of lemon. Single-malt whiskey. Buy Auchentoshan Scotch Single Malt 18 Year, $110, at GrandWineCellar.com

Best Beer: For the adventurous ale drinker. 2004 and 2005 Great American Beer Festival winner. Buy Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza Ale, $14.16, at InternetWines.com

Read Up Before You Drink Up:

Buy The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto,
$11.53, at Amazon.com

This witty manifesto lays open how and why we drink.

Buy The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, $23.10, at Amazon.com

As visually tasty as the cocktails themselves.

Buy How’s Your Drink?: Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well, $11.20, at Amazon.com

Wall Street Journal columnist Eric Felton’s engaging exploration of cocktail culture and history.

The best websites for liquor purchasing and tips:

  1. ArtofDrink.com • From chemist to mixologist, born-again bartender Darcy O’Neil posts unique cocktail recipes.
  2. MasterofMalt.com • Bonkers about whiskey as well as other under-the-radar spirits. They’ll send free samples, so you can try before you buy.
  3. ForScotchLovers.com • An online community for all things scotch, including reviews, the Whiskey Explorers Club, and a store.
  4. Vinquire.com • The ultimate wine-and-spirits search engine for everything from common red table wine to hard-to-find bourbon.

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