Cocktail culture has never been hotter. Cute bars are popping up everywhere in our city and people are snapping up chic bar carts at every turn. There’s a pretty good chance someone on your list has an obsession with cocktails and might even be an ammeter bartender themselves, so we’ve rounded up thirteen pretty fabulous items anyone, no matter how novice or advanced would love to receive this holiday.
Similar to the gold barspoon, you definitely never thought you’d need gold jiggers at first, so we think these Japanese gold-plated jiggers would make the perfect gift for someone into making cocktails at home. They won’t expect it, nor are they essential or in any way better than the normal ones, but they sure are pretty, and that’s what the holidays are all about
2. Hella Bitter Citrus, $26
Every bartender has their essential Angostura’s, Peychaud’s, and orange bitters, but once you use Hella Bitter’s Citrus, you’ll be hooked. They come in a cutely packaged dropper and is an all natural alternative to mass-produced bitters. They’re also made in Brooklyn, what’s not to like?
3. Four Spout Fairy Absinthe Fountain, $295
We may not have proper absinthe in Canada, but we do have some pretty fine absinthe fountains. This Winged Artemisia fairy fountain might not be for everyone on your list, since they may not have any absinthe at home, but it’s darn pretty to bring out at parties. Pair it with a foreign bottle of absinthe you smuggled back from Europe for an extra special gift.
4. Moore & Giles Inc. Meehan Bar Roll Up, $135
You’re so good you’ve graduated to making house calls outside your home bar. Obviously it’s essential you own the Meehan bar roll up, designed by mixologist Jim Meehan of the legendary New York bar PDT, featuring organizational compartments to help transport all the essential tools of the craft.
5. Dom Pérignon Metamorphosis Champagne 2004, $249.95
Every good home bartender always makes sure to have a bottle of champagne ready and chilled. You never know when celebration will strike and you’ll need something fabulous to mark the occasion, so we’ve chosen the Dom Pérignon Metamorphosis bottle designed by Iris van Herpen to round out this holiday guide. Nobody appreciates good champagne more than a cocktail lover, because topping off those French 75’s or Seelbach’s will never be the same.
6. Gold Plated Teardrop Barspoon, $55
You’re pretty handy at the bar already, and you’re taking to stirred and slow sipping cocktails more and more lately. You have a bar spoon, but it just a generic one, that probably came in a bar kit before you thought you’d really take it up as a hobby. It’s time to graduate to the gold teardrop bar spoon my friend. Not only do you feel mad fancy using it, 24 karat gold looks good on you my friend.
7. Dillon’s Rhubarb Bitters, $16.95
Dillon’s have been really dominating this year locally with their gins, ryes, and vodkas, but lots of people don’t know that they actually make some pretty awesome bitters too. We love their rhubarb bitters made from a Niagara wine grape base as yet another alternative to mass-produced bitters which often use artificial flavouring.
8. Usagi Copper Plated Cobbler Shaker, $67.95
You’ve got your boston shakers and weighted shakers, it’s time to get a little more fancy with this copper plated Japanese Usagi cobbler shaker. You can mix two drinks (one for you and one for your lover) in this 800ml shaker that’s well designed for easy separation once chilled.
9. Koriko Hawthorne Strainer, $32
You’ve got your run of the mill strainer that came with your shaker, and it’s time to graduate to a finer Hawthorne like this Koriko. They come in gold, copper, and polished silver and really help to keep the foam and texture of a drink that you lose with a fine strainer, while still holding back pulp and seeds.
10. Stanley Classic Flask, $35
You’ve decided to take your bar mobile, but you don’t want to lug all those fancy liqueurs along with you. Flasks are the perfect way to transport a small amount of something special you may not want to bring in full form. We love this classic Stanley flask because it reminds of our youth days camping in the great white north.
11. Japanese Ice Pick & Axe, $60
You’ve been slinging cocktails long enough to know your ice and you can no longer tolerate inferior ice, so you brought your own to the party. You’ll need a good ice pick and axe to make your precise cuts with, and if you’ve ever attempted doing this in your kitchen without the proper tools, you’ll know why this item should be on your list.
12. Waterford Mixology Crystal Coupe Set, $220 for set of 4
Every good bar starts with a set of excellent glasses and these Waterford Crystal coupes are pretty darn special, perfect for occasions like Christmas and New Years. They’re not cheap like your regular run of the mill cocktail glass, but every home bartender need some fancy crystal in their collection.
13. Sipsmith London Dry Gin, $51.85
The most expensive gin you can find at our LCBO’s in Canada at the moment. A classic london dry gin made of juniper berries, herbs, with aromas from olive groves, it’s one of the finest gins you can drink alone or mix into a cocktail. It would make an excellent addition to anyones collection of gin which is making a huge comeback this year.