Monkey Shoulder a malt whisky worth having - pic supplied

There are two ways to approach buying a festive spirits gift pack. You could buy a tipple you know will be well received, which is a safe bet if you’ve seen them enjoy it before. 

Or you could use your gift to  expand someone’s palate – within reason. 

If you know your mom likes to sip a gin, why not get a craft gin? Still, this is  the time of year to be merry, and nothing achieves that better than a special (often limited edition) gift pack.


  

Value Buys

Vodka is a neutral spirit so it’s always a bit of a gamble buying it as a gift, but if you must, then consider Reyka Vodka. There’s a light spiciness to this vodka which has its origins in  Iceland and is said to go through a lava rock filtration. There’s also a slight sweetness in this spirit. Recommended selling price: R249 

The Tullamore D.E.W 14 year old Irish Whiskey is a real crowd pleaser. It's fruity with hints of apple, peach and citrus, so if you don’t like the bitterness of whisky then this is for you. It’s a real treat for a whisky drinker who would prefer  to be sipping on a 10 or 12-year-old spirit. Recommended selling price: R699 (gift box).

Tequila is all grown up and you’ll find it in many of your summer cocktails this summer. The Patron Premium Imported Silver Tequila and Shaker in Gift Pack would be a great spirits gift.  The silver tequila does make for a good sippper, but put the shaker to good use and experiment with fruity,  tequila cocktails. Recommended selling price: R400.

Budget Buys

Hendrick’s Gin is quirky and a bit odd. This gin is best served with a slice of cucumber and it’s recommended you pour the gin into a tea cup. The Hendrick’s Gin secret order gift  pack contains a 750ml bottle of gin and a vintage-look teacup  and saucer (there are three designs to choose from). Recommended selling price: R399.

Monkey Shoulder is touted as the world's first 100% malt whisky made for mixing. This is  the perfect gift for that special person who loves making cocktails at home. It's  a smooth but versatile whisky with hints of vanilla, so you could also enjoy it as a sipping  whisky. Recommended selling price: R320.

Cognac can be pricey; cognac gift packs can be even pricier, so to find one under R400 is  a bargain. The Martell VS Fine Cognac gift pack comes with two glasses. This cognac was  launched earlier this year and is best described as “smooth blend with elegant, fruity aromas,  highlighting notes of the plum, apricot and candied lemon”. Recommended selling price:  R350.

Break The Bank

Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal fine champagne cognac is a truly indulgent purchase. This cognac is worthy of the  name, a blend of 240 eaux-de-vie and aged in French Limousin Oak barrels for four to 20 years. Sweet butterscotch flavours blend beautifully with citrus  flavours. The 1738 is also great for cocktails. This gift pack comes with two glasses. Recommended selling price: R950 

The smoothness of a premium vodka is a joy. The ABSOLUT Elyx Handcrafted Vodka with Pineapple Cup in Gift Pack, is  the perfect gift for a vodka lover. It’s crisp and smooth, with a dried fruit flavour. Instantly your Long Island Iced Tea has been  upgraded when mixing with the Elyx. The pineapple cup will look great at any home bar. Recommended selling price: R1 000. 

SA brandies are world class and the KWV 15 year old (with decanter in gift pack) is a testament to this. With tropical and peach flavour notes this  brandy is a special treat for the brandy lover. Recommended selling price: R700.