Here are my top shopping ideas for your cocktail-obsessed friends and family. These items are things that I either bought this year, my long-time favorites, or items that I wish I would see under my tree.
1. Mini Whiskey Barrel
A mini-barrel is a fun addition to any home bar. It allows you to age your own whiskey, vermouth, amaro or even age cocktails such as Manhattans, Negronis or Boulavardiers. Plus it just looks cool on your bar. Available on Amazon for $38.
2. DIY Kits
A little self promo here. These kits are great for the DIY cocktail enthusiast. All they need to do is add alcohol and sugar and they can make homemade vermouth, amaro or bitters. These kits come with most of the equipment needed and great instructions. Buy at our store for $14-16 each.
3. Foraged Cocktail Book
This book is great for anyone looking to get into the Foraged Cocktail world. There are great instructions on how to make key cocktail ingredients from plants, as well as cocktail recipes. Available at our store for $12.
4. Vintage Coupe Glassware
Vintage glassware is a great gift for a cocktail lover. The three general types of vintage glassware that you will find are rocks glasses, martini glasses and coupe glasses. Coupes are the current trending glassware and most craft cocktail bars serve their "up" drinks in this back-in-fashion glassware.
To find, go to your nearest thrift store and scour the glassware section. This can be great fun, and they are great deals if you can find them.
Otherwise, go to Etsy or Ebay to find online sellers. If you live in Seattle, I have quite the selection and might be willing to sell a few. Contact me here.
5. Large Ice Cube Trays
Ice. Every cocktail enthusiast is always searching for perfect ice. Unless you want to freeze large blocks and then carve them down to perfectly clear and square ice, this is the next best thing to great ice you can make at home. Large 2" squares easily removed from this silicone mold.
Buy on Amazon for $13.95.
6. Japanese Glass Bitters Bottle
This is the gift that I wish someone would buy me (hint hint). I don't think I could fork out $35 for on a bottle just for bitters for myself, but I sure would appreciate it as a gift! This elegant glassware is designed for bitters and has a dasher top for easy dispensing of your favorite bitters. Buy on Amazon.
7. The Canon Cocktail Book
This long awaited cocktail book came out on November 1st and will be considered a classic in short time. Jamie Boudreau has built the largest collection of alcohol in the western world. His cocktails are creative, memorable and instantly classic. Read about his journey along with great cocktail recipes. Buy on Amazon for $16.27.
8. Bar Mat 12"x18"
This is one of those things that you can't believe you lived without for so long. A great way to keep your home bar spills from spreading and quick clean-up. This now has a permanent home in my kitchen. For only $7.49 on Amazon, this is a great item to pair with another gift on this list.
9. Weck Tulip Jars
This is a great gift for the home infuser. The 1L bottle is the perfect size to infuse one bottle of alcohol or vermouth with your ingredients. These jars are elegant and functional at the same time. You can buy them on Amazon ($24 for 6) or World Market ($4-5 for one).
10. Homemade Travel Cocktail Kit
To make your own travel kit gather:
1. A small dopp kit bag or cosmetic travel bag
2. 1-2 ounce bottle of bitters (you can get creative with the flavor)
3. Other cocktail ingredients: Amaro, Vermouth,
St. Germaine, Simple Syrup etc
4. Citrus zester
5. Stir stick
6. Recipe card or booklet
7. Small orange, tangerine etc.
This is not only helpful for when you are on a plane, but also when you are at your hotel room without your full bar. With just a few ingredients, you can make a wide range of cocktails from Old Fashioneds to Martinis to Negronis.
There is a version of this that you can buy on Amazon, but I think it is way overpriced for what you get. For $24, you get a few drops of bitters and syrup or sugar packets in a tin can. A napkin and stir spoon are also included. Making your own version of this is much more fun and bang for your buck!