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Ginning it up at Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits.

Yuletide Libations

Whether they’re 80-proof or kid-friendly, these drinkable presents will make you merry

December 4, 2012, 8:00 pm
It’s December, which means holiday party season is officially upon us—and while it’s perfectly acceptable (or should be) to give the gift of a few cocktails at your giftee’s favorite watering hole, most parties call for a bit more formal, sharable take on presents.

For the casual, BYOB house party after a day of skiing, warm up with a six-pack of Imperial Java Stout ($7.99) from Santa Fe Brewing Co. (35 Fire Place, 424-3333). At 8 percent alcohol by volume, it packs a serious punch, but the locally roasted Ohori’s coffee in it won’t let you fall asleep. In the downtown area, both Marble Brewery Taproom (60 E San Francisco St., Ste. 313, 989-3565) and Second Street Brewery in the Railyard (1607 Paseo de Peralta, Ste. 10, 989-3278) sell 64-ounce growlers of seasonal brew. Second Street also sells kegs at its original location (1814 Second Street, 982-3030).

If you need to class it up a bit, visit Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits (1005 S St. Francis Drive, 984-1582) for a mind-boggling selection of local alcohol. Silver Coyote white whiskey ($29.99) may be its most familiar libation, but Santa Fe Spirits ( also makes Expedition Vodka (a steal at $22.99) and an attractively bottled Wheeler Gin ($28.99)—perfect for those fireside Negronis. Farther north, Alcalde-based KGB Spirits ( has become known for its Taos Lightning bourbon-style whiskey ($36.99), Los Luceros Hacienda Gin ($36.99) and Vodka Viracocha ($29.99). Susan’s also sells KGB’s Ceran St. Vrain’s single barrel rye, aged 15 years and named for the 19th-century fur trader who set up near Taos ($82.99), as well as two liqueurs: Naranjo Orange ($22.99 for 375 ml) and Brimstone Absinthe ($25.99 for 375 ml).

If the green fairy seems like an overly suggestive gift, explore the diverse spectrum of New Mexico wines. Don Quixote Distillery & Winery, located on the road to Los Alamos (236 Rio Bravo Drive, Los Alamos, 695-0817), produces a seductively labeled (literally: the bottle features two naked people making out) white wine called the City Different for $15.49—if you’re into shocking the out-of-towners. For cocktail drinkers, a 2-ounce bottle or two of locally made bitters by The Bitter End ( will surprise and delight: They come in flavors ranging from Memphis barbeque and Jamaican jerk to Thai, Moroccan and Mexican mole. For non-alcoholic treats, visit the Santa Fe Farmers Market and pick up a gallon of locally sourced apple cider, or stop by Kakawa Chocolate House (1050 Paseo de Peralta, 982-0388) for a ceramic mug of steaming, viscous drinking chocolate ($3.50 for a small) sure to help you channel your inner gods.  

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