20 brilliant drinks for an extra cheerful Christmas

There's never any shortage of fine drinks with which to surprise your nearest and dearest on Christmas Day.

But this year was certainly noteworthy for the continued proliferation of Australian made drinks; particularly distilled spirits.

Buying a relative a nice bottle of whisky used to mean looking abroad, most often to our friends in Scotland.

Whisky chasing

Melbourne distiller Starward's groundbreaking release of Two-Fold Double Grain whisky, priced at $65, makes Australian whisky a genuine alternative to the affordable Scottish blends and malts.

That said, Scotland obviously has an abundance of whiskies to choose from under the $100 mark.

The recent trend of its large companies showcasing individually the 'workhorse distilleries' behind their blended whiskies continues to offer up some exciting new products.

We previously covered Ballantine's foray into single malts; now Chivas Brothers have raised the curtain on their Speyside distillery Allt-A-Bhainne, a delicate malt also priced at $65.

High spirits

Meanwhile, the Aussie gin boom continues and there is no shortage of exciting gins with which to surprise the relos; take Stone Pine Distillery's Decade Dry Gin, or Melbourne Gin Company's new Single Shot Gin.

The rum rebellion may not have swept the country yet, but a rum distillery setting up shop in the central Sydney surely signals it is in the offing.

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That particular outfit, Brix Distillers, has released an interesting blend of white virgin cane spirit with mature Caribbean rum that should prove a talking point for any cocktail lover.

Wine time

Otherwise, the reliability of Australian winemakers and the new quality heights hit by our craft brewers provides an embarrassment of riches from which to select a gift of wine or craft beer.

You can't go wrong with a blockbuster red from a big name like Penfolds or Hardys. Or a stocking filler from a champion brewer like Modus Operandi or Boatrocker.

It's become an annual refrain here at Executive Style, that fine drinks are the gift you can be certain will be put to good use by the recipient.

Click the gallery above for some of the bottles we hope to be unwrapping on Christmas Day.