The SHARP List: Our 2022 Gift Guide for Cocktail Connoisseurs

Holiday season is synonymous with cocktail season — sorry, we don’t make the rules. Your cleanse can certainly be part of your New Years resolution but with the season of work events and holiday dinners upon us, wine is usually the guest of honour. Although, if you’re more interested in a mocktail or your guilty pleasure is caffeine, you can still join the party. If you’re looking to expand your own collection or find a gift for the cocktail connoisseurs in your life, you’ve come to the right place. It doesn’t matter if you’re still taking comfort in Old Fashioneds or if you’ve joined the espresso martini movement, this mixology gear brings a double shot of sophistication to any home bar.

Bowmore 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Bowmore 15 Year
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Matured for a total of fifteen years — first in bourbon barrels, and finished with three years in Oloroso sherry casks — Bowmore’s 15 Year Old provides a unique tasting journey, for the seasoned whisky connoisseur and newly-interested alike. Gentle aromas of raisin and chocolate accompany Bowmore’s signature smokiness when it meets the nose. A first sip reveals cedar wood and enticing toffee treacle, with a finish that showcases sherry, with a touch of spice. ($110)

Cloud House Coffee Liqueur

Cloud house rum
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Cloud House is an all-new entry into the spirits market, using the Ontario market as its test bed. Don’t let the name fool you — this isn’t a sweet and syrupy Kahlua competitor. The liqueur is rum-based, with a rich flavour profile that balances its spirit with premium Columbian coffee grown at 4,793 feet above sea level. We attended its launch and cocktail competition last week, and immediately thought that this is the perfect gift for every coffee or cocktail lover on your list. ($38)

Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro
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There are as many different styles of amaro as they are colours in the rainbow, and when it comes to this delightful after-dinner digestif, you can basically do no wrong. But for a well-rounded, easy-drinking choice, reach for Amaro Montengro, which has a smoother, brighter taste than most. Plus, it’s perfect for the shooter famed among Toronto bartenders — the Blackbird (half Montenegro, half Jameson). ($31)

Jura 18 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Jura 18
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Jura’s 18-year-old expression has been aged for nearly two decades in American White Oak barrels formerly used to house bourbon — itself enough to give the complex whisky and rich flavour with warm notes. But to add to the sophistication, it’s been enriched with Premier Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux red wine barriques from the South of France. ($150)

Martin’s Lane Winery 2019 Pinot Noir Vineyard Collection Gift Set

martin's lane pinot noir
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As one of the Okanagan Valley’s leading Pinot Noir producers, there’s little surprise that Martin’s Lane makes it onto this list. The brand’s Pinot portfolio currently includes five different expressions of the soft and subtle varietal, and yet thanks to unique climate conditions and the thoughtful hands of the brand’s winemakers, each has its own distinct character. Rather than limiting yourself to one bottle, why not try a trio this holiday season. For those outside BC, not to worry; Martin’s Lane will ship across Canada. ($300)

Glenfiddich 12 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Glenfiddich 12
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The Glenfiddich story begins in 1886, when founder William Grant, along with his nine children, embarked on a journey to build the world’s finest distillery. He named it Glenfiddich, Gaelic for “valley of the deer,” and on Christmas day, 1887, the first drop of spirit fell from Grant’s handmade copper stills. Still family-owned after 135 years, this commitment reveals itself in the team of in-house coopers at their highlands distillery who maintain Glenfiddich’s oak barrels, and the in-house team of coppersmiths who build and repair its copper stills — not to mention the dozens of award-winning whiskies they have helped to produce. ($70)

Patrón Reposado Tequila

Patron
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Hacienda Patrón has been producing premium-quality tequila for over 30 years, delighting even the most discerning palates worldwide. As we navigate an era with a rejuvenated thirst for authenticity, Patrón continues to pioneer artisanal sipping. With 100% Jalisco Highland Weber Blue Agave leading the charge in each field-to-glass bottle, Patrón — which translates to “the boss” in English — makes for more than just a stocking stuffer. As gifts are concerned, it can be the main event. ($93)

Lost Peak 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Lost Peak Cab
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The Cascade Mountain Range gives Lost Peak its evocative name, and like that range, this full-bodied cabernet will have you feeling on top of the world. The soft, fruit-forward profile with notes of cherry and tobacco make this an ideal wine to serve over the holiday season. ($20)

Personalized Moët & Chandon Champagne Bottles

moet chandon
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Looking for a simple gift with a personal twist? We’ve got you covered. Moët & Chandon is running holiday pop-up shops called The Art of Gifting at various locations across the country — including at Holt Renfrew on Bloor street in Toronto — where shoppers will be able to have custom calligraphy, laser engraving, and gift wrapping added to their seasonal bubbly purchases. (pricing varies)

Hennessy Paradis x Lorenz Baumer NBA 75th Cognac

Hennessy Paradis x Lorenz Baumer NBA 75th
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2022 marked the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the NBA, an occasion celebrated during this year’s All Star Weekend with a variety of toasts and events. To get in on the fun and honour the legacy of the league, Hennessy has collaborated with renowned designer Lorenz Bäumer on a new and amazingly sophisticated Baccarat crystal decanter — shaped, of course, like a basketball. ($150,000)

Umanoff Wine Rack by Menu

Umanoff Wine Rack by Menu 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Between wine subscription services and new liquor laws that have opened up restaurant cellars for cash and carry, it’s never been easier to source excellent vino. Keep a choice selection of favourite bottles close at hand in this handsome metal and leather storage rack. ($455)

Puck Decanter by Tom Dixon

Puck Decanter by Tom Dixon 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Add a sense of ceremony to future wine tastings by pouring from this elegant showpiece. Wine enthusiasts will be impressed and sports fans will get a kick out of it too as its base resembles that of a Hockey puck. ($185)

Cocktail Picks by Georg Jensen

Cocktail Picks by Georg Jensen 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Embellish your next martini with a side of extra-salty green olives through these dreamy stainless steel cocktail sticks. Designer Aurélien Barbry’s design marries functionality and form in his elevation of simple barware to be so much more. There’s no reason to not stab your olives and onions in style. ($50 USD)

Epoque Amber Champagne Bucket by Lisa International

Epoque Amber Champagne Bucket by Lisa International 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Ever considered an ice bucket a centrepiece? Well, this one by Lisa International is nice enough to be the star of the show. You know what they say… every evening looks better through a warm glow. ($185)

Pleat Pitcher by New Works

Pleat Pitcher by New Works 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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A pinched lip detail transforms a stainless steel tube into an understated carafe making it a true statement piece. Don’t let it end up in a drawer or cupboard, its sculptural detailing needs to be admired — go ahead and put it on display. ($140)

Fully-Auto Coffee Machine by SMEG  

Fully-Auto Coffee Machine by SMEG 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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For the baristas, caffeine-addicts, and admirers of nice, shiny things — this one’s for you. The Italian fridge-maker brings its signature style to a new appliance and luckily it’s as practical as it is sleek. ($1,200)

Bellwood Bar Cart by UMBRA

Bellwood Bar Cart by UMBRA 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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If you’re a real minimalist, you’ll place a single bottle on this and call it a day – but it looks great when it’s full, too. Add your favourite bottles, bar tools, stemware, and more and not only does this become a functional bar cart, but also another piece of welcomed decor in your home. ($180)

Tint Wine Glasses by Hay

Tint Wine Glasses by Hay 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Forget half-full or half-empty — we’re the glass-half-tinted type of people. Whether you give them as a gift this holiday season or buy them for your own collection, you know everyone will be asking where they’re from. ($50, set of two)

Bushmills 10 Year Old

Bushmills 10 Year Old 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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Triple distilled from 100 per cent malted barley and matured for 10-plus years in former sherry and bourbon-seasoned casks, this single malt presents honey, vanilla, and chocolate aromas. ($50)

Maestro Dobel Diamante

Maestro Dobel Diamante 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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This is the original cristalino tequila, aged in European oak barrels and then double-filtered to deliver complex caramel, honey, and maple flavours in a smooth, crystal-clear liquid. ($65)

Penfolds Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon

Penfolds Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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A modern take on a traditional Napa Valley cab, this was matured in French barriques for a silky texture and rich aromas of Black Forest cake, glazed cherries, and dark chocolate. ($95)

The Macallan Harmony Collection — Rich Cacao

The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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For your eco-conscious, whisky-loving friends, here’s the perfect gift. The Macallan’s new Harmony Collection — Rich Cacao is the first limited edition whisky in a new series of single malts that will highlight the brand’s connection to nature by incorporating more sustainable packaging. Encased in a fully recyclable box made with leftover cacao husks from the chocolate-making process, this rich single malt whisky’s deep, dark chocolate profile is the ultimate sweet escape. ($215)

The Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland

The Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland 2021 drinks gift guide in post
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For special occasions and perfect for holiday gifting, The Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland is a limited edition single malt with festive notes of dried orange and spice. The seasonal release is a collaboration with Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn, which will surely impress movie buffs as her artwork has been featured in some of Wes Anderson’s films. There’s no better, richer, or sweeter way to ring in the new year than with a dram (or two) of this limited edition single malt. ($175)