The year 2018 has been an eventful one, no matter where you looked. This is no less true in the spirits world. Even as cannabis continues to boom as an intoxicant of choice and manufacturers pivot to weed beer, there have been innovations in almost every type of booze, from Japanese gin to bartender-made brandy to a Danish spirit from a team of Noma proteges that defies categorisation. The spirits we selected as “best in show” represent a bunch of delicious, weird and pioneering bottles divided into three categories: classics that are newly available from distributors; true innovators; and the purely best in class — plus an honourable mention that warrants its own space, because, well, it’s not even alcoholic. If you’re in the market for a few different bottles to welcome 2019, each of these is worth cracking open. Amaro dell’Etna Made from a 1901 recipe of 26 botanicals, this Sicilian bitter is a great addition to the expansive line-up of digestif-style amaro. Bright and citrusy, w...

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