There may be no better time of year to play home bartender than the holiday season. From family gatherings to New Year’s Eve parties, honing your skills as a mixologist will come in handy when preparing a gin fizz, rye Manhattan, or something of your own invention. For those of you shopping for the cocktail enthusiast in your life, whether a neophyte or seasoned veteran, this handy guide to the best gifts for the mixologist will help you check off your list.
Whiskey Peaks American Mountains Whiskey Glasses
Never stray too far from the outdoors with Whiskey Peaks’ ever-popular line of whiskey glasses, each featuring a glass version of a famous mountain from around the world at the bottom. The American Mountains set of 4 is perfect for those who long to return to Half Dome, Mt. Rainier, Denali, or Mt. Whitney.
THAT! Inventions Chill Beer Glass
If you’re tired of your beer warming up from the second it leaves the fridge, then get yourself a 16oz Chill Beer Glass from THAT! Inventions. Freezing fluid is sandwiched between two shatter-resistant borosilicate glass walls and a cork sleeve ensures that your hand won’t grow numb holding it. You just store one or two of these in the freezer for a couple of hours and they’ll be ready for you when you want to imbibe.
For mixing spirits into cocktails, you don’t want to go for the top shelf, but you might want to stay away from well bottles too. For gin lovers, Fords was backward engineered by its creators to find the perfect gin that can pair with every drink, from martinis to Negronis. Likewise, the bottle was constructed to be ergonomic and easy to grab and pour in a bartender’s hand. Tequila fans will appreciate Espolòn Blanco, which is proof that budget tequilas can still taste amazing. And then there’s WhistlePig’s PiggyBack, a fantastic mid-level 100% rye whiskey aged for 6 years that’ll go perfectly in an old fashioned or Manhattan.
Viski Lewis Ice Bag and Mallet
For all you tiki drink lovers, crushed ice may come at a premium and your fridge may not necessarily give you the proper size or size distribution. Made by home mixologists, this Lewis Ice Bag and Mallet from Viski features a beechwood mallet for crushed ice exactly how you want it.
ClearlyFrozen Clear Ice Cube Tray
Clear ice is an underrated addition to any quality cocktail. Evading the unwanted flavors brought on by murky ice, these crystal-clear cubes also thaw at a slower rate, thus slowing down the dilution rate of your drink. Where most clear ice cube trays can only make 2 to 4 large cubes at a time, this tray from ClearlyFrozen can handle up to 10.
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Dark & Rich Bitters Trio
Be prepared to make any drink with Jack Rudy’s Dark & Rich Bitters Trio, featuring cherry, orange, and aromatic bitters that will help bring versatility to your mixology repertoire. These high-end digestifs are the perfect addition to any old fashioned or pink gin recipe.
Elevated Craft Cocktail Shaker
Perhaps the best shaker on the market, the Elevated Cocktail Shaker takes an age-old design and has the gall to change it up, with double-wall stainless steel construction that doesn’t freeze your hand off while shaking, silicone gaskets to preclude leakage, and measuring markers on the top that range from 0.25oz to 6oz. Likewise, this container can also double as an insulated flask that fits an entire 750mL bottle of liquor.
The Essential Cocktail Book
For those just starting to scratch the surface of the art of mixology, The Essential Cocktail Book from Graphic Image will provide beginners with techniques and recipes for over 150 different cocktails with beautiful photographs. This leather-bound edition also looks fantastic on any bookshelf or bar cart.
The Crafty Cocktail Medium Dome Smoking Kit
Smoked cocktails are all the rage right now. This home set lets you make your own smoky old fashioned using a luxury butane gun and a pack of 3oz oak barrel chips.
LSA International Palette Shot Set & Ash Board
Mixology doesn’t just begin and end with standard rocks glasses. Shooters are a fun way to entertain larger groups without burning through entire bottles at a time. LSA International is known for its high-end, mouth-blown glassware and this new serving set comes with 12 tall shot glasses placed in an indented ash wood board with a thumb hole for carrying.
Nambé Mikko Ice Bucket with Tongs
Nambé’s Mikko is an ice bucket that your guests will actually talk about. Made from stainless steel and an acacia wood lid that fits the tongs inside, this elegant piece is crucial for cocktail parties where you’ll need cubes at the ready.
Verve Culture Artisan Citrus Juicer
A good manual juicer is key for getting every last drop of juice from a lime or lemon, and quickly. Sustainably made by hand using 100% recycled aluminum, this larger model from Verve Culture sports a lever for easy and efficient squeezing compared to a small hand juicer.
TRNK Hand-Blown Diamond Whiskey Decanter Low by Decicio
Impress your guests with this beautiful decanter from TRNK, featuring smoked glass which was hand-blown by Seattle-based DeCicio Artisan Glass and a 24k gold leaf topper. The vessel can hold an entire 750mL bottle of liquor.
Legacy Madison Acacia Tabletop Bar Set
There are bar tool sets and then there’s the hinge-top Madison Acacia Tabletop Bar Set from Legacy. This incredible mid-century-inspired piece made from cherry-stained acacia wood features 19 essential tools for any home bartender, whether they’re a newcomer or a master mixologist.
CB2 Drysdale Wood Bar Cabinet
Standing just over 3ft tall, this new design-forward bar cabinet from CB2 is inspired by Brazilian modernism furniture. Utilizing Indonesian trembesi wood, the Drysdale sports stylish panel doors with large knobs and adjustable shelves inside.