Corporate Gift Etiquette: The Dos and Don’Ts of Giving Alcohol as a Business Gift

Everyone loves gifts, especially receiving them, but sometimes, picking the best one can be a bit tricky. Things can get even more troubling when it is a gift for someone at work, which is why we will focus more on whether giving alcohol as a business gift is good or not.



Showing that you listen and care is always the best way to express how much someone means to you, and since most people have a drink they prefer, buying it can be a great gift. Of course, you first need to learn more about that person’s preferences and likes, especially if it is a business gift, but going with Jim Beam Gifts, for example, is always a great idea, and you can find here more info on that.

It shows initiative

Okay, this one might confuse someone, but when you think about it, what better way to show that you understand what someone likes at work than by buying them a bottle of their favorite alcoholic beverage? It can definitely show initiative and help you gain a point or two, especially if that gift is meant for the boss.

It shows courage

This is yet another tricky thing, as every company has certain boundaries and policies, especially about sobriety at work, which is why many avoid buying alcohol as a gift. Now, you can use this to your advantage as almost every company will not sanction you for such a gift, even those with strict rules, and as another benefit, it will help you stand out from the rest. Another factor we must mention is that you will be looked upon as a cheerful person and the one who knows when to break some rules from time to time.


Although a bottle of high-quality liquor can be one of the best gifts on many occasions, as it can show someone we care about them, there are some things that we need to pay attention to before we decide it is the best choice. Namely, the goal here is to show that you care about someone, but at the same time, that you know what they like or/and dislike, which just adds to the pressure of picking the right gift, or in this case, liquor. That is why it’s good to know when you should buy it, and there are also some situations when it is better to avoid them, and we will describe them further in the text below. 

Simply giving a bottle to someone without knowing their religious views


There are many different religions in the world, and they differ from each other in various things, facts, customs, etc., and for those who do not know -one of them is surely about alcohol consumption. While some of them allow their believers to drink moderate amounts of alcohol, others strictly forbid its usage, and it can be pretty offensive to give them alcohol as a gift. Keep in mind that we live in a world where “being woke” is something that everyone is talking about, and even though your intentions are good, the result of bringing someone whose religion forbids drinking alcohol an alcoholic beverage as a gift might be taken the wrong way. 

Because of that, buying a bottle of high-quality whiskey, for example, is never a good idea if you do not know anything about the religious view of the person for who you are buying a gift, as it can get a completely opposite effect. In that situation, a box of chocolate or some beautiful flowers will be a much safer choice, and no one will end up offended. Overall, you want to impress, and since that’s the goal, make sure to learn more about that person, as it will make picking the right gift much easier and faster.

Forgetting to check whether they or someone they love struggle with an addiction


No one wants to be stuck in an unpleasant situation, or even worse, to cause one, and besides religious beliefs, giving someone who struggles with addiction a bottle of liquor, regardless of what quality it is or how much you have spent on it, is never a good idea. That is why another situation when alcohol is not a good choice for a corporate gift is if the person to who we plan to buy something is struggling with alcoholism. It is sometimes extremely difficult to notice, as people who struggle with alcoholism usually hide it because they are afraid that people will judge them, and they go to anonymous alcoholics meeting to find people with the same problem to help them with their battle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we can never know if someone from their family or some of their close friends is dealing with this problem, and no matter how great quality drink we decide to buy, we might offend them or remember them on their most difficult time of life. If you do not know them in person and are not completely sure they do not struggle with this serious addiction, choosing a gift that will not make them uncomfortable is a much better solution. Once again, the more you know about the person and their closest friends and family, the higher the chances of picking a perfect gift.

Ignoring the corporation policy


Okay, this one varies from one company to another, and even though, in most situations giving alcohol as a business gift will not cause any problems, it’s highly advised to check the company policy about it before you do so. Yes, even if we know that someone likes to drink a glass or two and what is their favorite drink, we still need to check the corporation’s policy before buying it. Namely, some corporations have a strict policy about alcohol usage, even gifting it, and we can face severe consequences if we simply neglect it or forget to check.

If the corporation has this policy, it will be highlighted, so checking it will not require a lot of time, which means there are no excuses for that. In the best case, the bottle would be returned to you, but in the worst case scenario, we can cause huge problems for the person we wanted to surprise. So, to avoid an unpleasant situation and even earning 10% less, make sure to check the company policy regarding alcohol or ask an experienced coworker for advice.