There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season than over a couple festive cocktails. Weather you’re home making them with friends and family, or out at a restaurant sipping on a couple fine libations, there’s really very few other ways to elevate an experience, than a craft cocktail. There’s just something about a Jack and Coke with a giant lime wedge, that doesn’t really feel festive, you know?
What better way to keep the celebratory season going, than to give the gift of good drink this holiday. We’ve rounded up the top items we, as seasoned home bartenders would like to gift and love to receive (hint hint!) as well as few items for those appreciators out there who might not be so handy behind the bar but still would like to dabble.
Check out out top ten picks for the cocktail lover on your list.
This much-hyped new book was written by Toronto natives Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum after many dedicated years of research, meticulously testing each recipe. They’ve come up with over 100 cocktails inspired by local spirits and flavours from across Canada from “Yukon’s Sour Toe Shot to a Prairie Caesar to New Brunswick’s Fiddlehead Martini,” as well as other recipes from some of our countries top bartenders. This book would make a great gift for any cocktail-obsessed person on your list.
Truly an essential element in every bar in our opinion. While it’s not exactly an expensive or festive gift any any means, it is useful, and who doesn’t love useful gifts?! Plus it makes the perfect stocking stuffer. Pair it with a bottle of Sipsmith, Botanist, or Whitley Neill and a couple limes, and bring the party with you as your gift.
Everyone needs a good flask. Weather it’s to house the last few drops of your favourite bottle of scotch or to fill up with spirits and take on-the-go when travelling a little longer than usual to a party. And why not give a luxe one this holiday like this one in solid hammered rose gold brass from Toronto’s go-to cocktail emporium, BYOB.
It’s getting easier to find Absinthe on the menu at bars these days, but if you’re like us, it’s nice to enjoy at home, but you of course need the proper tools! This Wormwood Leaf spoon is the perfect stocking stuffer for any booze lover on your list paired with a pack of matches and some sugar cubes. If they don’t already have an absinthe dripper, you should probably add that on as well (or get it for them next year?).
For the cocktail nerd on your list who’s crazy enough to make their own bitters at home, Hella Bitters out of Brooklyn makes a cool kit with everything one would need. Including everything from the tools, packaging, and their proprietary mix of herbs, spices, bittering agents and dried fruit peel you need to make bitters, they’ve got it all wrapped up in a neat little package.
There are few bar tools out there finer than the Japanese variety. We love this triangular strainer for its design and gorgeous rose gold colouring to elevate your post-shake game. It’s made in Japan by Yukiwa and would make the perfect gift for someone who’s already set with tools, but wants to brighten up their game for the holidays.
Luxardo and Jack Rudy cherries have become a staple in most peoples bars but we’ve never seen Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries. These sweet bourbony cherries come with the stems on for that old school appeal and are made with natural ingredients including Woodford’s fine and fancy bourbon. An excellent gift for anyone who loves Manhattan’s, Rob Roy’s, or even an Old Fashioned.
Surely every good bartender already has a selection of coupe’s in their home bar, but one we’re still missing is the Nick & Nora glass. Perfect for egg based drinks and even Sherry, these etched one livens up even the simplest of drinks giving it a total throwback vibes. Impress your next host with a set of four without having to search for vintage.
If you travel as much as we do, you’ll know the in-flight cocktail game is seriously lacking on most airlines. Enter, the carry-on cocktail kit! Perfect to fit into your carry on, you’ll be able to craft two perfect old fashioned’s with the help of some ice and a couple mini bottles of bourbon from the flight attendant.
Essential for any bartender who takes their game on-the-go. This barware roll up was created by renowned New York mixologist Theo Lieberman to hold all his tools, including spoons, jiggers, stainers, muddlers and more.