Wet Bar Wednesday – Gifting

We were blessed to have friends from out of town visiting the past few days.  Way out of town.  They currently live & work in Hanoi, Vietnam.  As many guests do, they brought gifts.  Since J.P. is a colleague and classmate of mine from Seminary (as well as a follower of this blog), he knows my affinity for tequila and brought a very nice bottle – Siete Leguas Anejo.   We enjoyed several nights of sipping on this bottle, and I only feel slightly guilty that I’ll continue to enjoy it for some time while he & his wife have to head up the coast without it.

Giving a bottle of liquor as a gift is a great idea, if you know that the recipients appreciate that sort of thing.  If you know that your hosts – whether for a visit or a dinner – appreciate a bottle of wine or liquor (or even beer I suppose) – how do you make a selection?

Find out what they like –  This is the obvious place to start.  If you know they prefer a particular type of liquor your selection process will be greatly narrowed – in a good way.  Try and find something you know they’ll like.  Try to avoid asking them point blank as this is kind of a give away as to what you’re planning.  

Gauge their expertise –  Gifting someone is wonderful, but it can be challenging if they’re serious and educated.  In that case you’re going to have to do some more research and probably spend a bit more money to get something you can be sure they’ll enjoy.  Otherwise, you can opt for something different.  Rum rather than wine, for instance.  However, if you’re gifting hard alcohol, it’s nice to either know that you can sip it straight, or also bring along the mixers to enjoy it properly.

Research – Frankly, research is a good idea regardless.  Do some Googling.  Ask someone at the liquor store (this is a lot dicier).  Find out what others think good options might be and then choose from these.  There are amazing resources out there that can help you figure out what people consider to be a good choice.

Go to a liquor store – Unless you desire to buy a very safe & basic option, go to an actual liquor store rather than the grocery store or drug store.  Multi-purpose stores carry only the most popular brands.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’re looking for a creative selection, you aren’t likely to find it.  Go to a good liquor store and you should have many more options.  

Be creative – I prefer to gift something a bit out of the ordinary if I can.  Maybe something locally produced, or an off-brand, or something that you can’t generally find.  Something that is visually appealing can also be an interesting approach to making a selection.  Have some fun with it if the situation allows for it.

Don’t buy the cheapest option – Unless of course you’ve done your homework and have stumbled upon a really good option that also happens to be very cheap!  The occasion also dictates what you spend.  Going to dinner with folks you dine with regularly doesn’t require you to break the bank.  Know who it is that you’re dealing with and the nature of the occasion.  If you’re doing something out of the ordinary in the gifting, then be prepared to spend a little more.  

Don’t buy the most expensive option – Unless you really need to make an impression, don’t go overboard, either.  Some basic research online should give you an idea of a range for a particular liquor, and help ensure that you don’t get ripped off or pay too much for something.

Share! – Part of the fun in gifting is sharing with the recipients.  But keep this in mind in purchasing as well.  Generally, gifting something you don’t personally like is not something I recommend, but the occasion or other factors may dictate it.  My buddy appeared just as excited as I was to sample the tequila they brought, and it was definitely more enjoyable together.






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