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Top 10 Spirits 2007

The Best Selections for Your Home Bar

By Chris Rubin

In this age of epic uncertainty—regime change and climate change, just to name a few—it's good to know some things remain constant, among them the ever-evolving quest to create the perfect spirit. Below are some of the best you'll find on the market.

Bottle of U'Luvka Vodka


U'Luvka, $60

Who wouldn't love U'Luvka, the new Polish vodka? The boldly curvy bottle with a crooked neck offers its own appeal, but it's the smooth spirit itself, a blend of rye, barley and wheat—with inspiration from 16th century alchemists of the royal court of King Sigismund III—that makes it smooth and enjoyable.


Rémy Martin Extra, $379

The best spirits engage all our senses, and Rémy’s Extra certainly does that, from the eye-catching container, like an oversized perfume vessel, to its rich amber hue and complex aromas. The long-aged brandies within yield a seemingly endless finish.

Bottle of Rémy Martin Extra

Bottle of Chivas Regal 25 Year Old WHISKY

Chivas Regal 25 Year Old, $300

When the blend debuted in 1909, it featured 25-year-old spirits, but the product was so successful and created such a surge in interest in Scotch that sufficiently old barrels of the stuff were in short supply and younger whiskies were used. This special bottling marks a return to the company's origins.


Maui Dark Rum, $20

With an endless supply of fresh sugarcane and pure rainwater, Maui seems like a natural to produce rum—and finally the people at Haleakala Distillers have made that a reality. Whether for sipping or creating the perfect mai tai at home, Maui Dark Rum is your best bet. It's double distilled by Master Distiller Braddah Kimo, then aged in American oak casks that previously housed bourbon.

Bottle of Maui Dark Rum

Bottle of Bluecoat American Dry Gin


Bluecoat American Dry Gin, $30

Bluecoat, a distinctly American gin quintuple distilled in Philadelphia, does its best to distance itself from its more traditional British ancestors. The custom-crafted, hand-hammered copper pot still produces a balanced gin which showcases the citrus over the organic juniper berries and other botanicals.


Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver, $70

Milagro's Select Barrel Reserve Silver tequila takes maximum advantage of its clear glass bottle, showcasing a blown glass agave on the inside, making this one of the most striking spirits on the market. The fine-aged tequila on the inside merits sipping on its own, or marrying with the finest ingredients for a truly top-shelf margarita.

Bottle of Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver

Bottle of St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur


St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, $28

Fresh elderflowers are hand-picked in season in the French Alps and then delivered by bicycle to the plant for immediate processing. St-Germain, the resulting light and low-alcohol liqueur, has a lovely pale golden hue and comes inside a clear, tapered octagonal bottle that warmly evokes the Deco era.


Beleza Pura, $30

"Pure beauty" is how this product's name translates in English, and one sip will tell you why. It's classic cachaça, Brazil's sugarcane-based spirit, fragrant and potent, and the essential ingredient in the caipirinha, the South American nation's mojito-like cocktail.

Bottle of Beleza Pura

Bottle of Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Finish


Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Finish, $90

Single malts from Scotland have long employed sherry and other previously used barrels to finish their products. Now, with the addition of casks from Sonoma-Cutrer, Woodford is the only bourbon on the market finished in a barrel previously used to age California chardonnay. Think of this rare bourbon as the best of Kentucky meeting the best of California. The result is sweeter and smoother than the standard Woodford Reserve, with heightened notes of vanilla and caramel.


Bushmills 1608, $100

This new limited-edition bottle from the venerable producer of Irish whiskey celebrates the 400th anniversary of the town's license to distill. The use of crystal malt, more commonly found in beer, yields an unusually smooth final product with notes of toffee and chocolate.

Bottle of Bushmills 1608

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(Updated:03/28/11 BH)

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