I am a sucker for packaging. I freely admit that I love a well thought out, well-shaped box or bottle about as much as I love the contents. And this is definitely true when it comes to booze.
My reasons are simple: When you’re entertaining ad pouring, of course you want your drinks to be a hit. But I also like my home bar to look great—some pricey high quality spirits, some unusual/interesting ones and bonus points for bottles that are sexy or architectural or just plain gorgeous. In fact, I’ll keep my favorite bottles long after I’ve drank up the contents, and there are a a few bottles I’ve kept and poured the not-great contents down the sink. That Manhattan Moonshine bottle is art deco beautiful, the moonshine itself is…not for me.
Sometimes having people over doesn’t involve drinking (crazy, I know but it does happen). A few good-looking bottles can be legit works of art. If these works of art contain delicious gin or bourbon or whisky, then all the better. Recently, I received some new offerings that definitely tick all the boxes design and taste-wise.
Bulleit is my go-to bourbon for mixing cocktails and casual neat pours for sipping. The bourbon has that corn sweetness and the lovely vanilla and caramel notes I like, but it also packs a powerful punch of rye to give it a big, spicy bite. Now Bulleit bottles have a unique shape that I’ve always found pleasing but they took it to another level in July when, in celebration of National Tattoo Day, they introduced the Bulleit Bourbon Tattoo Edition. This limited collection of bottles that feature the work of four tattoo artists—Shawn Barber of Los Angeles, Jess Mascetti of New York, Thomas Hooper of Austin, and Jason Kundell of Portland.
The House of Suntory makes Hibiki, one of the first “international” whiskies I ever tasted and enjoyed, and that bottle with it’s 24 facets, is an eye-catcher and conversation starter. For their newest offerings, Suntory steps away from brown and into clear spirits with Roku Gin and Haku vodka. Look for my review of both soon, but in the meantime, check out the absolutely gorgeous bottles.
There are six native Japanese botanicals in Roku Gin—sakura flower, sakura leaf, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sanshõ pepper and yuzu peel. Roku means six in Japanese and sure enough the bottle is hexagonal with each of the botanicals embossed on the glass.
The Haku vodka bottle brings a touch of Japanese minimalism to the home bar with its rippling lines that evoke water and the stark kanji calligraphy of the label.