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For Christmas last year (that is to say, 2014), I decided that all of my friends who drink, were getting liquor. This worked out fairly well. One of the problems with being a grown-up is that if we need something, we get it, and things we want are often out of the range for mere Christmas presents. This leaves consumables - food, drink, show tickets, dinners out, that sort of thing.

This year I decided to do that again, but I wanted to put a little more effort into it than simply a trip to the liquor store. I also thought about getting bottles of those liquors that people always look at, but don't end up buying because they might not have a use for 750 ml of something. At least not in the time frame that you should drink it.

Aside: I went to a Nerd Nite talk where the speaker was from a distillery. The "good stuff" should be consumed within 1-2 years of opening the bottle. Oh, it won't go bad per se, but it will deteriorate. If you're saving that bottle for a special occasion, make it a special occasion in the next two years.

I settled on buying bottles from a craft store and dividing assorted bottles between them. Then I'd put custom labels on them and make little gift bags. People would get three or four bottles of oddball liquor and they could then try them at their leisure in case they wanted a whole bottle of something.

The first problem was the bottles - the ones Michaels sells were crap. Also, wine-making stores didn't appear to have an ideal size (i.e. in the neighbourhood of 187 ml - 1/4 of a standard bottle). Looking online I found these bottles. The only problem being that shipping them to Canada would triple their cost.

Then we planned a road trip to Leavenworth Washington for Octoberfest. Now I could ship them to a US address and simply stick them in the back of the car. Duty wouldn't be bad, assuming I even went over my duty limit (I didn't). Incidentally, General Delivery in the States is ridiculously easy. My shipment was waiting at the post office, and it took the USPS clerk about two minutes to give me my package and get me on my way.

So now I had the bottles. 200ml is a little bigger than the 187ml I needed, but not by much - a tablespoon basically. Since the capacity was to the cap, this worked out perfectly.

The next thing I needed was labels. I originally wanted to farm out some work to artists to make the labels, but that didn't materialize. You know, something like "Dr Quixote's patent medicine for the stimulation of both the male and female organs of matrimonial necessity". Instead, I bought these Alice in Wonderland labels online:
Eat me. Pretty please

Unfortunately, the labels weren't the right form factor for my bottles. They were too tall and too narrow. A little manipulation broke the images into a front label and back label.
90 percent alcohol - I'll bet it's soothing and calming

Next up was the booze. Here is what I got:

Criollo Chocolate Sea Salted Caramel Liquor

Smells like candy

The King's Ginger liqueur

Gingers really are the tastiest. Trust me.

St Germain Elderflower liqueur

A favourite in our circle.

Original Luksusowa Wiƛniowa

Cherry Vodka, from Poland.  Real vodka, from potatoes even.

Old Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

These didn't get put into the normal bottles, they got put into little mason jars. Because moonshine.

So what does the final product look like? Here's one:

A gift box of wonderful drunkenness.

I managed to make eight of these. All but one are spoken for. I figure I should keep one for myself so I can actually try this booze.

Happy Booze Year

Date: 2016-01-01 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] somejauntypolka.livejournal.com
Thoughtful, creative and gorgeous. You're are all kinds of awesome and a great friend!!

Date: 2016-01-02 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] manyra.livejournal.com
Brilliant! I may steal it. :-)

Date: 2016-01-06 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mallt.livejournal.com
Let me know what you think of the ginger one once you try it! :)

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