We all have that friend who knows a crazy amount about spirits and cocktails. You go to the bar with them and order a rum and soda, and they order some wild drink that you’ve never heard of and isn’t even on the menu (but of course, the bartender knows it). When you go over to this person’s apartment for a drink, you suddenly find yourself getting a history lesson on some small distillery in Japan.
There is no doubt – what this person loves to do most with their free time and loose cash is to learn about and buy great booze. So where do you even start when it comes to getting this person a gift for the holidays? We’re here to help with just that problem. We’ve pulled together a handful of great picks for any bar fly or budding mixologist. From solid knives for cutting up fruits, to books full of recipes and coasters to set them on, you’ll be sure to find a host of great gifts. We’ve done the research (read: drinking) to make sure that every one of these 20 best gifts for the mixologist is on point and ready for picking.
Japanese Style Jigger
An essential tool for any bar – this 1 and 2 ounce jigger makes for quick easy measurements of all the liquids you’re tossing into your glass. Made from 18/8 stainless steel with a brushed finish, it’s tough enough to last and well designed enough to be proud to pull out in front of guests.
Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds
An easy and affordable way to add a bit of flair to your cocktails or pours of whiskey. These BPA free spherical molds create a 2.5 inch ball of ice that, due to its increased surface area compared to a regular cube, melts slower and doesn’t water down your drink as quickly.
Time and Oak Natural Signature Elements
Spirits like whiskey get a lot of their flavor from the barrels that they’re aged in, hence the distinction between how ‘old’ a whiskey is. This cut of oak from Time and Oak is intended to mimic that process in just 4 days. By no means is it a replacement for a solid whiskey, but it’s a fun way to turn a lower shelf bottle into something unique.
Give the gift of a great set of recipes this winter. Written by a graduate of the International Culinary Center, Maria Del Mar Sacasa, this book contains a set of cocktail recipes meant to keep you warm when your jacket, space heater, and beanie just cant. Containing over 100 seasonal recipes, it is sure be go-to for years to come.
Angostura Bitters Set
A couple home-bar essentials, these aromatic and orange bitters add a whole lot of character and flavor to your cocktail. Most recipes call for one or the other, so if the mixologist doesn’t already have one in their home bar, they’ll be elated to get this set. Even if they do – it never hurts to have an extra set on hand.
A kitchen essential that works great at the home bar. Built for juicing lemons and limes, this 18/10 stainless steel juicer featuring an ergonomic design and an easy to wash build that makes quick work of getting all of the juice out of those citrusy cocktail add-ons.
Gropener Bottle Opener
Bottle openers are a dime a dozen. It seems like every multi-tool and keychain includes them in their design – and why not? It’s nice to have on hand. This bottle opener, however, is one that you’ll be happy to have in your kitchen drawer. With an ambidextrous design and a magnet inlayed into the aluminum body for holding onto the caps after you liberate your beers – it is as useful as it is well designed.
Orb Copper Shaker
Any serious mixologist will jump at the opportunity to be able to mix their drinks with a shaker. This mixer from designer Aaron Probyn is a particularly fun one to add to the bar. Made from stainless steel with electroplated copper and lacquer finish, it has a kind of rounded, sophisticated look to it that’ll look good on any shelf.
Mazama Cocktail Glass
A unique American made cocktail glass made from hand blown soda lime glass and given a dark smokey treatment. Due to the hand-processing, each of these glasses have a consistent shape with it’s own individual character.
Moscow Mule Copper Mug
You can technically make Moscow Mules without a copper glass, but the mix of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice just doesn’t taste the same that way. Give the gift of a set of unique and fun cocktail glasses with these hammered copper 16 ounce mugs this winter and maybe your friend or family member will make you one (or two, or three) when things start getting warm again next year.
Hammered Beverage Dispenser
When you have a bunch of guests over, it’s nice to be able to whip up some punch in order to serve. This three gallon beverage dispenser does that through its no-drip pull spout while bringing a kind of old-school 1950s vibe to the home bar.
Coasters are a must for anyone serving out drinks at their place, but just because they’re mandatory doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Far from it. These cork coasters from Tom Will are modeled after the real topographical features of places like Death Valley, Red River Gorge, and Big Sur.
Hella Bitter Old Fashioned Kit
Complete with a double sided jigger, a 5 ounce bottle of aromatic bitters, a hardwood muddler, and 20 sugar cubes – this set from Hella Bitters is a great way to get started out making your own old fashioned cocktails for friends and family.
Bar10Der Bartending Multitool
Just about every tool you’d need to run a bar packed into a small pocketable multi-tool. A muddler, zester, knife, reamer, and channel knife and five other tools are fit into this swiss-army-knife tool, making it perfect for the traveler or the guy looking to save a bit of space in their drawer.
Ravenscroft Crystal Taylor Decanter
For the person in your life who already has just about all the tools you’d expect – this decanter is a solid pick. Made from lead free crystal and weighing in at a hefty six pounds, it’s a container worthy of that particularly nice whiskey or scotch that gets saved for special occasions.
Jackson Cannon Bar Knife
A sharp and clean cut American made full tang blade made with 420HC High Carbon stainless steel and paired with cocobolo scale, this thing is designed to remove fruit seeds, slice citrus peels, and scrape workplaces clean.
Forget running to the store to get sparkling water or soda. Just make it yourself at home with the SodaStream. The appliance takes up next to no room on your counter and carbonates water quickly and intuitively. Scotch and soda just got a lot easier.
Hammered Copper Ice Bucket
Instead of reaching into the freezer to grab a few cubes of ice for guests, you can throw them this food safe ice bucket from Williams Sonoma. It’s a more presentable and attractive option made from copper plated polished 18/8 stainless steel that’ll keep your ice good and cold even through a long night of drinking and merriment.
uKeg 64 Pressurized Growler
For the home brewer or just a the big beer fan in your life, this 64 ounce stainless steel vacuum insulated growler is perfect for keeping craft brews nice and cold all throughout the day. A small c02 cartridges in the cap keep the beer pressurized, making for the perfect pour, whether you’re filling up your friends glass or your own while watching the game on Sundays.
Ernest Chrome Bar Cart
With all this great gear, you’re going to need somewhere nice to put it – and where better than on this Ernest Chrome bar cart from MASHstudios. Measuring in at 30 inches high and 19 inches in diameter and featuring interchangeable mirrored and tempered glass shelves and rolling wheels it’s a modern looking car that’ll look great in the home or apartment.