It’s the recurring dilemma; what do you bring as a host/hostess gift?

For inspiration, you turn to the Internet and research what’s new and hot and interesting. And invariably everything starts to look the same and you just get tired of looking and looking and looking.

Then it’s the day of the party, and you haven’t found anything, so you make the last minute visit to your local wine or liquor store and grab that bottle of wine, making sure it’s something moderately priced; not too inexpensive but definitely not too pricey. You haven’t had time to research anything so you don’t know whether it’s a good vintage, a great winery or a fabulous year, but they probably won’t even be taking it out of the bag until the party is well and over so it really doesn’t matter, right?

This is definitely a scenario I know, and although I usually take a lot of time to find the right gift, sometimes I just don’t have the time or the energy so the good ‘ole bottle of wine is my fallback.  But I usually feel kinda bummed about it, like it’s a glaring indication of my obvious lack of planning and thought…but what to do? I know that, at some point, I, like you, will need the easy go-to gift but what is that if not wine?

There are some really interesting alternatives to wine and just as easy to get in a pinch.  When you’re doing the last minute run to the liquor store, think about getting something a little different and unusual.  Think about a liqueur.

Many liqueurs are great for mixing in cocktails, but they can also be used in baking and cooking to add another dimension and texture.  If you have had time to plan a bit, print out a recipe that uses the liqueur in an interesting way.

So, even if your gift is kinda not planned, sort-of last minute, you’ll feel good about it.



A remarkable liqueur made from elderflower blossoms that are hand-picked in France. It has a delicate bouquet that encompasses the essence of pear, lemon and grapefruit, but as the description of it says, it’s difficult to really pin-point it exactly.   It has a low sugar content and is preservative free which is an unusual and interesting component. Because of this,it should be consumed within 6 months of opening. For recipes, both for cocktails and cooking, visit the St-Germain website here. 







I love Chambord. This raspberry liqueur is one that many won’t purchase themselves but is a real treat to have.  It is developed in France and it’s infusion of raspberries and blackberries provides a beautifully soft and elegant taste. It is fantastic mixed in cocktails, but can easily be sipped on it’s own as it’s not too sweet.  Plus, the bottle is really beautiful. For recipes, visit the Chambord website here.





There are a variety of Alize flavours available and all mix beautifully well in many drinks.  The original version of passionfruit is the one I use most however there are four varieties to choose from and all would work very well over ice or in cocktails.  The Alize Red is great for the holiday season with it’s mix of passionfruit and cranberry. For some cool mixology recipes, visit the Alize website here. 






Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

Mmmmm.  Rich, smooth, creamy. This liqueur is just delicious and definitely a surprising and fun gift for someone. Even if the recipient doesn’t usually drink aperatifs, they will likely want to try this one. For some inspiring recipes, check out website here.








This is a wonderful liqueur that is intense with lemon flavour. Limoncello originates from Italy and is an after-dinner drink.  It can also be mixed in a cocktail to add a wonderful lemon flavour (Lemondrop Martinis are my favourite!), but it can also be used in baking and cooking.  For some interesting recipes, visit Limoncello di Capri’s website here.


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