It’s Better to Give
By JENNIFER ZEGLER
Promotional packaging solves gift challenges
Specially wrapped packages
are prominent during the holiday season, yet
they have a special meaning for beverage companies. Promotional packaging
often combines a featured product with appropriate recipes, specially
crafted glassware or serving suggestions and is a way to showcase product
with its appropriate accessories. This year, a wealth of special-edition
packages for both the naughty and the nice on everyone’s list were
Spirits companies have long offered box sets as
solutions to the gift-giving conundrums that seem so prevalent at the end
of the year. The sets many times include the essential elements to create a
cocktail or ingredients to make a party, such as Absolut’s Disco
package, released in September. The disco-themed package is a 1-liter vodka
bottle embossed with 1,000 reflecting prisms to replicate the signature
element of a disco dance party — the mirror ball. Sweden’s
V&S says it makes for a portable party option, and when the package is
empty, the bottle can hang from the included loop for decoration.
Fitting in with the growing cocktail culture,
Stirrings introduced gift sets for connoisseurs and party hosts. The mixer
manufacturer has four sets available this holiday season, including its
Cosmopolitan Deluxe Gift Set, which comes with a stainless steel shaker,
two stemless martini glasses and Stirrings’ Cosmopolitan mixer.
Seasonal mixers Chocolate Peppermintini and Spiced Apple are among the
favorite flavors packaged in the Classic Gift Sets. The package teams
cocktail mixer and sugar rimmer in a glossy ready-to-give box.
For the green consumer, McCormick Distilling created
an eco-friendly holiday gift set for 360 Vodka. In addition to a 750 ml.
bottle of vodka, which is packaged in a bottle made from 85 percent
recycled glass, the set includes a 60 watt Philips CFL bulb and a pocket
guide containing simple steps for a greener lifestyle.
Another specific niche was the target for Evan
Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon’s gift set. The whiskey set is
tailored to appeal to lovers of whiskey and cigars. Made by
Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distilleries, it consists of a silver tube for
cigars and an additional 2-ounce tube for bourbon. Both are etched and
ready to travel.
Similar to the challenge of remembering which flatware
goes with which course, spirits have specially designed glasses for
specific drinking occasions. Whether it is a champagne flute, rocks glass
or martini glass, consumers can be confused and unprepared for cocktail
hour. Luckily, gift sets often include stemware tailored for intended usage
Heaven Hill Distilleries also put together gift sets
for its liqueur brands. To emphasize its versatility, the blue-hued Hpnotiq
spirit is packaged with two martini glasses. On the other hand, the Pama
Pomegranate Bellini is the focus of its holiday gift set, which features a
champagne flute. The company’s O’Mara’s Irish Cream is
presented in a 750 ml. or 1.5-liter gift set with two cut-glass rocks
glasses embossed with the O’Mara’s crest.
Ireland also is the home of another holiday giving
option from Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, C&C International Ltd.,
Dublin. Accentuating its “Give Every Man His Dew” program, the
gift pack contains one 750-ml. bottle of whiskey and two rocks glasses
etched with the brand’s logo. Tullamore Dew’s Irish heritage is
linked with its countryside image captured by photojournalist Tony Gavin.
Boru Vodka also takes its inspiration from the Emerald
Isle as it is named after high king Brian Boru. The vodka from Castle
Brands, New York City, was released in a set that transcends holiday giving
occasions to a year-round option, the company says. Inspired by the
vodka’s clear packaging, the package includes a clear acrylic martini
pitcher and stir rod.
Castle Brands also offers two Irish Whiskey brands,
Knappogue Castle and Clontarf, in gift packs this season. Enclosed in a
black box, a bottle of Knappogue Castle Whiskey is accompanied with a
ceramic water pitcher, which is made for the tradition of adding a splash
of water to enhance the whiskey’s flavor. Fellow whiskey brand,
Clontarf, is presented in a package with two rocks glasses frosted with the
Also making its way from Europe is Castle
Brands’ Pallini Limoncello holiday gift box. The Italian
liqueur’s set includes two hand-blown “classico” glasses
for drinking the lemon-flavored spirit.
Two signature cocktail recipes for Castle
Brands’ Gosling Black Seal Rum are the focus of more gift sets. A
little hot water is all you need add to the ingredients packed in
Gosling’s Black Seal Rum’s Perfect Hot Toddy gift set, which
include a 750-ml. bottle of rum and 12-ounce jar of Gosling Gourmet Hot
Buttered Rum Toddy mix. Additionally, the rum offers the Dark ‘n
Stormy mason jar mug set for a conventional take on the traditional
cocktail of Bermuda.
Cognac connoisseurs were the target for Camus
Cognac’s XO Elegance Gift Set. The brand, imported by AV Imports,
Baltimore, Md., was packaged in a set with two crystal glasses specially
chosen to highlight the subtle flavors of Camus XO Elegance, the company
says. The set retails for $99.
Also prepared for party occasions, Chopin Vodka and
Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur unveiled their promotional packaging options.
The Chopin set includes a platinum-stemmed martini glass, cocktail recipe
book and a 750-ml. bottle of vodka. A carrying case encloses a 750-ml.
bottle of Navan liqueur and also includes two stemless martini glasses.
Tea for you
The largest variety of beverage gift sets may come
from spirits companies, but the tea trend has opened new consumers to the
beverage. Whether for the tea aficionado or curious consumer, companies
have released packages that combine favorite varieties in presentable
packages. The tea chest, which presents several tea flavors in a box, is a
popular choice with incarnations available from Starbuck’s Tazo and
Twinings of London.
Davidson’s Teas, Reno, Nev., is offering
samplers of its organic teas in Mini Tea Chests. Packaged in a sustainable
and reusable pine chest containing 40 tea bags, the chests are available in
Holiday, Classic, Chai, Dessert and Green Tea assortments. The company also
stocks multiple gift set options, including a Flowering Tea gift set. It
includes three tins of Organic Flowering Teas and a clear tea pot to watch
the tea unfold as it brews.
In addition to year-round gift baskets, boxes and
cases, R.C. Bigelow Inc., Fairfield, Conn., also offers seasonal gifts,
such as Frosty’s Basket. The winter-themed basket contains cookies
and eight-bag samplers of seasonal teas, including Pumpkin Spice,
Eggnogg’n, Ginger Snappish and Apple Cider. The four teas also are
available as a box set in 20-count packages.
For the health-conscious recipient, Ito En announced
several sets suited for gift-giving. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company
emphasizes its green tea collection this season with the New Way of Tea
gift set, which includes one bottle of Ito En’s Teas’ Tea, two
single-serve cans of Sencha Shot, Sencha and Jasmine
loose leaf teas, and six tea bags each of Gyokuro, Sencha and Jasmine green
Medicine and tea combine in Ito En’s Dr. Andrew
Weil for Tea line, which has been packaged in a holiday gift set. The set
includes a canister of Sencha with Matcha loose leaf tea, Genmaimatcha tea
bags, turmeric powder, and Jasmine White and Gyokuro ready-to-drink steel