Handmade using traditional Japanese brewing techniques and the finest ingredients — pristine water sourced from the Oirase River in Northern Japan, Yamada Nishiki rice, handmade koji, and proprietary yeast strains — TY KU White ($175) is a high-end, Daiginjo-rated sake that's sure to liven up your next sushi dinner. Brewing of the White stuff is overseen by legendary sakemaster Yoishio Koizumi, and its small batch nature combined with its striking, sleek white bottle make it a great gift, as well, whether it's for a friend, family member, or angry Yakuza.
Originally formulated in the 15th century to lure bears out of their caverns, trees, and other hiding spots, Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur ($30) is a 70 proof blast from the past. Literally translating to "bear hunter," Bärenjäger is still crafted in a traditional manner with all-natural ingredients, as well as some new world fine spirits and premium Mexican honey.
Add an exotic kick to your cocktail party lineup with Pernod Absinthe ($65). Based on Pernod Fils, the original absinthe produced in the late 18th century, Pernod Absinthe is faithful to the original, offering high-quality ingredients, a light green hue, balanced taste, and a high alcohol content. Just in time for the holidays, it's also available in a gift set (pictured) complete with absinthe spoon.
Meant to be savored and sipped at room temperature, Samuel Adams Utopias ($150) is only for the most daring of beer connoisseurs. The 2009 batch is the strongest yet, with a staggering 27% alcohol by volume rating (a standard beer is about 5%). The rich, dark, uncarbonated (and world's strongest) beer is brewed in small batches, blended, and aged in the Barrel Room at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, where you'll find only 53 barrels of the stuff. The limited-edition 2009 batch of Utopias is bottled in numbered, ceramic brew kettle-shaped decanters.