Yesterday while at my brother’s for a post-Christmas brunch, I discovered that he has a collection of over 90 nips!  Most of these are from Dad’s collection which he started early 1970s and includes many standards but also some unique finds.  Considering I am the booze expert in the family, I am not quite sure how this amazing collection went primarily to my older brother and partly to my younger sister.  Hmmmm….

I thought I would share some of my favorites.  The collection includes lots of fairly standard bottles of products that are popular today.  These are 20-30 years old, so its neat to see how packaging changes over time (or in some cases, doesn’t change much at all).




Some fun mixers like OLD MR. BOSTON SOUR MIX

 Some things I have never tasted like MANDARINE NAPOLEON

Developed by French chemist and friend of Napoleon, Antoine-Francois de Fourcroy in the early 1890s, this Belgium liquor is made with a cognac base flavored with herbs and the extracted oils of Sicilian tangerines. I’ve never tasted this, so cannot comment on its flavor, but one cocktail blogger likened the flavor to Sunny-D.

And then things get really fun

I absolutely love this adorable bottle of BOLS CHERRY BRANDY in the shape of a pig


“Fond of things Italiano? Try a sip of Galliano.”


Made in Benevento, Italy, a legendary gathering place for witches, this liqueur is named for the legendary tale; strega is the Italian word for “witch.”

VANDERMINT, the chocolate and mint liquor from Holland

The opaque white bottle with blue windmill images is reminiscent of Delft tiles and the top is shaped like a tulip.

And now my absolute favorite:


Sets of these mini-bottles of flavored Japanese liqueurs were popular in the late 1960s.  The bottles, featuring wooden Kokeshi-style doll head, each contain a different liqueur, in a rainbow assortment of colors.   The bottle below is Sumire (a violet liqueur); the others in these sets were Sakura (cherry), Mizuiro (blue curacao), Mikam (mandarin orange), Banana (banana), Reishu (melon), Midori (menthe).

And that is my brother’s fabulous bar top in all these photos. Cheers!