Make the holidays merrier

Several of my friends have asked me for gift suggestions for the bourbon fans on their lists. I thought I’d share some of the ideas with my blog readers – consider it my gift to you.

Is there anything better than a bottle of Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark? Well, how about a bottle etched with your recipient’s name or a special message? Liquor Barn locations will do the personalization free – but tomorrow (Dec. 19) is the last day to place an order for Christmas.

You can also put a special message on a paper label specially sized for VIP bottles of Woodford and Maker’s at Liquor Barn; that free add-on can be done as late as Christmas Eve.

Most large liquor stores have special gift sets this time of year, as well as “personal selections” not available anywhere else, which might impress that hard-to-buy-for brother-in-law.

Also available at Liquor Barn, as well as Paul’s Fruit Market, A Taste of Kentucky and other local retailers, is the Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake. This moist brown-sugar cake topped with walnuts, chocolate and caramel-bourbon icing ($24.95) practically melts in your mouth – and although it retains the nutty flavor of the bourbon, no alcohol remains, so it’s perfect for the whole family.

I’ve mentioned Bourbon Barrel Foods in this blog before, but it’s worth mentioning again for the foodies on your list. Products range from soy sauce fermented and aged in bourbon barrels ($30) to gift sets of gourmet sugars (bourbon smoked sugar, mint julep sugar and bourbon vanilla sugar, $33 the set) and spices (Bourbon Barrel smoked sea salt, pepper and paprika, $25 the set) to bourbon-barrel aged vanilla extract ($10) and pancake mixes. You can find them online or in the Butchertown Market, 1201 Story Ave., and other local retailers.

While you’re at the Butchertown Market, stop by Cellar Door Chocolates and pick up some bourbon balls flavored with Evan Williams. 

If you think bourbon is for the birds, you’re right. The Wild Bird Center in Shelbyville Road Plaza has hummingbird feeders fashioned from recycled bottles of Woodford and Maker’s Mark ($59.99). I’ll bet the little guys really go for that red wax on the Maker’s bottle.

Happy shopping!

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The Bourbon Babe