In the Spirit of Gifting Spirits Appropriately: Alcohol Gifting Etiquette

Alcohol is generally a welcome gift. It’s viewed as something associated with prestige or class. You rarely need to sweat over giving someone alcohol because even if they don’t drink regularly, they may take a glass or two during special occasions.

For instance, if you’re not sure what to bring to a small group dinner, with friends and strangers attending, a bottle of liquor won’t hurt. But whether you’re contemplating on single-malt Scotch whisky or reserved wine, it pays to be mindful of the kind of liquor or spirits you give.

Gifting alcohol can be tricky. “How can sending over champagne as a gift be tricky? Where’s the gift-giving drama coming from?” you might wonder. It goes back to culture, history, and subjective personal preference.

The Tricky Nature of Alcohol Gifts

In the United States, the legal climate surrounding alcohol has a puritanical background. Due to the legal experiment of the Roaring Twenties’ Prohibition, alcohol is one of the most regulated products in the country’s history. Depending on where you live, the sale of alcohol might be prohibited on certain days, in certain areas, and during certain times.

Apart from the taboo-ish nature of alcohol as a gift, another challenge for gift-givers is the dizzying amount of options. Your selection is endless — from full-bodied wines to sparkling whites, ciders and liquors, fortified spirits to whisky and brandy, all with different sub-varieties that may or may not suit your recipient’s preferences.

Though your main reason for buying an alcoholic drink as a gift is the recipient’s preference, here are some suggestions on what to give for certain occasions.


Consider what the birthday celebrant likes. If they prefer a specific alcoholic beverage—wine, beer, brandy, whisky—look for a new, interesting, or limited-edition version to make it special. These liquors have mid- to premium prices.

Also, adding something extra can make your birthday gift more memorable. If you are giving wine, look for a nicely designed wine glass that fits the type of wine you’re bringing. For beer, you may purchase craft beers with custom beer glasses. It’s additional work, but the celebrant will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Housewarming or Dinner Parties

When giving alcohol in parties, keep two things in mind:

Beer and wine are often ideal for these scenarios, which gives you more room for your budget. If you chose beer, a local craft brew is more accessible. If you are bringing wine, there are a lot of good red, white, or rose wine options. Your gift does not need elaborate packaging, especially the ones with beautiful bottles. Just put a gift tag or place the bottle/s in a bag, together with your tulip-shaped wine glasses or beer mugs or pint glass.

Milestones: Weddings, Anniversaries, Baptisms

Your gift should reflect the special celebration; therefore, you either tap the premium price point or go bust. Fortunately, you need not shell out always on such events. Take this opportunity to go all out with your gift. Be as extravagant with the packaging and the choice of alcohol.

Vintage sparkling wine is the gold standard of gifting alcohol for weddings and anniversaries. If you want to impress the recipient, find vintage wine that matches the year significant to their celebration. Add-ons like small wine glasses and champagne flutes are acceptable but avoid upstaging your main gift. The alcohol should be the star of the show, and it should reflect the milestone the recipient is celebrating.

Holiday Parties

Seasonal is the best way to go when it comes to finding a potential holiday gift, especially with alcohol. Some beers, for example, are brewed specifically for every season and are great additions to any holiday party.

Consider food pairings when making your choice. Holidays during the cooler seasons (Christmas) see a heartier fare of fortified wines, spirits, and bold wines. On the other hand, holidays during the warmer months are best celebrated with lighter wines, such as white wines and rosés.

Fortunately, you need not break the bank with your holiday alcohol choices. Affordable to mid priced alcohol are still fine additions to the party but avoid buying run-of-the-mill and common alcohol brands or types. So, while it is tempting to say yes to Buy 1 Take 1 offers, take none. Go for quality instead.

The Do’s of Alcohol Gifting

Apart from considering the nature of the occasion, keep the following pointers in mind:

The Don’ts of Alcohol Gifting

Alcohol as One of the Best Gifts You Can Ever Give

Alcohol is a gift made for sharing, which is why it is perfect for special occasions. Whether your recipients enjoy your gift with their loved ones or pops the cork and splits it with you, alcohol is always enjoyed with friends and family. When you give a friend or a loved one their favourite alcoholic drink, you’re enabling them to share the experience with the people they live.

Alcohol also lasts. There is no pressure to drink it now. For example, the right kind of wine can still improve with age when left unopened. Your recipient can enjoy your gift at the time they choose without the pressure of an expiry date. Even though alcohol lasts, keep an eye on drinking guides to look for spirits marked “keep” or “drink now.”

While some people may disagree with deeming alcoholic beverages as perfect gifts, the benefits of giving alcohol cannot be denied. After all, these drinks symbolize honour, prestige, and celebrations for many. By giving them the right kind of drink, you are also offering them a treasure and a treat all in one.

Find the Perfect Gift Today

Here at Bottled and Boxed, we can help you find the right drink for any kind of celebration. Our champagne delivery services offer elegant and luxury champagne gift boxes that we can deliver the very next day (to locations within the UK). We can also personalise champagne bottles to give your recipient unique gifts ideal for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

Browse through our selection of the finest champagne brands, with Bollinger and Dom Perignon included in our collection.

Find the perfect gift for any occasion. See Bottled and Box’s selection of luxury gift items today

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Alcohol can make a thoughtful gift just as much as anything. But there are certain guidelines to remember when gifting your family and friends with spirits.