"After a big meal out, when my friends are ordering dark brown Scotches, I find myself craving something very clear and very strong: mezcal. I've become hooked on the Mexican spirit, specifically the new wave of imports that mix the head-clearing smoke mezcal is known for with a bit of elegance. It's not for everyone, but as a gift for friends who like their whisky to be peaty and intense, a bottle of mezcal will earn you many points."
Mezcal Gifts: Great Bottles
Fidencio Clásico Joven ($40)
In price and taste, a model of what an entry-level mezcal should be: wisps of smoke with a gentle hit of brininess.
Metl Blanco ($45)
A step up in complexity: plenty of char, but plenty of tropical fruit, too. Bonus: The opaque black bottle is very impressive-looking.
Pierde Almas Tobalá Joven ($115)
Distilled from hand-harvested wild agave (thus the price), this is intense, layered and as vivid as a 3-D movie.