Regardless of what you celebrate and what today means to you, it should be a time to breathe a sigh of relief.
It’s time to sit back and relax because the hustle, bustle, planning, to-do lists and holiday craziness has peaked.
The last thing to do this year is toast 2022 and hope that the best is yet to come.
For those looking to ring in the new year with something more than bubbly, here are a dozen bottles to consider that will add spirit and spirits to your celebration.
These bottles are available in most liquor stores and the Ohio Liquor website (OHLQ.com) has a handy dandy product tool to search which ones are in stock near you.
Here’s a look at a dozen bottles that may have what you need to ring in the New Year with a little extra pizazz.
21 Seeds Infused Tequila, $34.99
This tequila created by women, offers several infusions that will tempt and inspire with interesting flavors to kick off the New Year. Each bottle that’s made in Jalisco, Mexico is infused with the juice of real fruit creating bright, beautiful flavorful notes that are low in calories and don’t sacrifice the flavor. 21 Seeds Tequila (www.21seeds.com) comes in three different bottle options — grapefruit hibiscus, cucumber jalapeno and Valencia orange. This is a great option for a tasty margarita or Paloma that offers something different. The tequila infusions taste authentic and bring light to the darkness of winter.
20th Anniversary Plantation Rum, $52.99
Plantation XO 20th Anniversary is a rich blend of quintessential extra-old rums from Barbados. Made more than a decade ago to honor Alexandre Gabriel’s 20th anniversary as Master Blender, this rum continues to rake in awards. First aged in bourbon casks in Barbados for many years, this rum is then sailed across the ocean in barrels to the southwest of France to be further matured in small Ferrand French oak casks. This centuries-old “double ageing” process makes for a very smooth drink. A dance of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, ripe banana, roasted coconut and a hint of fresh mango notes, Plantation XO 20th Anniversary bills itself as an “extra old” rum to savor. I agree and perfect for ringing in the new year.
Bombay Bramble Gin, $20.99
This blackberry and raspberry flavored gin is perfect to mix into a cocktail, but also stands on its own with just tonic or soda water. It’s a flavorful, delicious base for lighter drinks with lower sugar content depending on the mixer used. The flavor is refreshing, fruit forward and a lovely pairing with the floral botanicals in the gin. This is truly a perfect summer sipper, but it’s also a great summer flavor full of hope for the spring that will rise from the cold winter we will turn our calendars over to.
Buckeye Vodka, $15.99
This local bottle is priced right and mixes up with anything you are looking to enjoy. Celebrate the spirit of our community with a spirit that is smooth, crisp and ready for whatever flavors you are looking to celebrate with.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, $9.99 for 375 ml. bottle or $19.99 for 750 ml. bottle
If you are feeling bereft at the end of the holiday season this is a great option. It makes savory, wintry cocktails in the evening and is a great partner to your cup of morning coffee.
Cleveland Christmas Spiced Ginger Whiskey, $31.99
Serious bourbon aficionados will turn their nose up at this, but they already have bottles that they will want to break out for the countdown to midnight. Sweeter than a traditional bourbon, this is a limited edition bottle for the holidays that brings the flavor and pairs well with the bourbon cream in a White Russian cocktail.
Detrick Straight Rye Whiskey, $69.95
Detrick Straight Rye Whiskey is a true “small batch” whiskey, made from just four barrels, each a 53-gallon, hand-toasted #4 char white oak barrel coming from the Ohio River Valley. This bottle from Belle of Dayton Distillery is the first straight rye whiskey to be distilled in Dayton, Ohio, since Prohibition. It feels special to toast the new year with a bottle that is the product of the town you live in. Established 1884, the Detrick Distillery was located in Tippecanoe City, now Tipp City.
Highland Park 12-year old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, $59.99
Award-winning whiskies have been made at the Highland Park Distillery in Kirkwall, Orkney in Scotland since 1798. Matured in sherry seasoned oak casks, this 12-year old single malt whisky is spicy and rich spiced with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a sea of the smoky peat you would expect from a scotch whiskey from Scotland.
OYO Stonefruit Vodka, $36.99
This 70-proof vodka from Middle West Spirits in Columbus is a delicious warm sipper that’s made with Montmorency cherries, sweet yellow peaches, fragrant apricots, almonds, hibiscus, and a touch of Ohio’s first wildflower honey. It’s absolutely delicious and is a treat on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail. It’s a bottle I always like to have on hand — not too strong and flavorful enough on it’s own that you don’t have to do anything to make a great drink.
Pajarote Ponche de Tamarindo, $29.99
This drink from Mexico features one of the country’s signature flavors — tamarind. It’s sweet and sour flavors are ubiquitous in candies, desserts and agua frescas. The sweetness is similar to raisins and dried figs with a bittersweet twist that drinks well on ice or can be mixed to create a terrific tamarind margarita using 2 oz. blanco tequila, 1 1/2oz. triple sec or dry curacao, 1 oz. fresh lime juices, 3.4 oz. Pajarote Ponche de Tamarindo. They also have a fruity guava option and chocolate option that makes a fantastic white Russian cocktail.
St. Elmo Steak House Old Fashioned, $34.99
I make a very good old fashioned, but sometimes you just want to pour and go. If you are having a New Years party with a group of inexperienced mixologists this is a good bottle to have on hand that’s a ready to pour old fashioned with a blend of bourbon, bitters, orange and cherry that’s ready to go out of the gate. The bottle is the product of one of my favorite restaurants in Indianapolis, St. Elmo Steakhouse, which has other food items available for purchase (https://stelmofoods.com). The original recipe was created by Candace Anastasio, one of the restaurant’s tenured bartenders, and introduced to St. Elmo’s signature tiger-oak bar in 2010. Pop’s Old Fashioned quickly gained popularity and has kept its spot on the signature cocktail list at all Huse Culinary restaurants. Pour over ice and enjoy — it’s that easy. You can dress it up, but if you aren’t in the mood you don’t have to do anything making it easy to appreciate.
Watershed Distillery Guild Gin, $34.99
This gin from Watershed Distillery in Columbus has been steeped with camomile flowers giving it a smooth delicate floral bouquet. Like so many of these bottles, I like this because you can pour over ice and call it a day and have a delicious nuanced cocktail that plays on deep nutmeg, light rose and the unexpected and welcome flavor of chamomile.
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at email@example.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.