Holiday Gift Guide - Drink Gadgets and Tools
The boom in the bar industry has been a help and a hindrance at gift giving times for the bartender in your life. Whether you are celebrating one big day of holiday cheer or enjoying eight crazy nights of it, the amount of options out there are vast. Where do you begin? Build up their liquor shelf? Add to their book shelf? Are they just getting into the craft brewing scene, or are they making their own bitters and other unique flavorings for cocktails? Here are suggestions to help you find a memorable gift for anyone you know whose home bar may be better stocked than your corner bar.
Tools of the Trade
Travel Bar Set - $160 – When people find out you know how to make a few cocktails, you can be called on to attend parties or weddings to show off your skills. Having this set ready to go, complete with a couple of extra hidden bottles in the box, is a handy way to have all your tools in one place.
Bar10der - $40 – A travel bar set may be too much for some people. They want all of the tools, just not in a large case. That is where the Bar10der comes in. It is a Swiss Army knife for bartenders, storing ten different tools in one unique place. You can purchase it with either a modern stainless steel or warm wooden handle.
Lemon Squeezer - $4 – A great stocking stuffer or gift for a casual friend, this is a great, simple way to juice lemons, limes, and oranges. A little elbow grease will yield a healthy flow of juice, while keeping most of the seeds in the device.
Adjustable Jigger – $20 – Craft cocktails require precision. Having one tool that can measure from an ounce to an ounce and a half of liquid with one twist makes that very convenient for everyone.
55 mm Ice Ball Maker - $150 – Physics is a gorgeous thing. Using gravity and some heat, you can make perfect spheres of ice for any cocktail. There are many benefits of round ice in cocktails, from melting slower in the drink to looking spectacular for your friends. The device itself is a lovely, sleekly designed addition to any bar.
Do It Yourself Bartending
Hella Bitters Craft Your Own Bitters Kit – $65 - Sure, they can go out and buy all the bitters they need for the bar. But where is the challenge in that? Hella Bitters offers their own bitters as well, providing recipes in which to use them. What kind of aromatic potions can you develop?
W & P Design Gin Kit – $50 - The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart made do-it-yourself gin just as popular as it was during Prohibition, without the Jake Legs. This design kit provides all of the hardware and spices you need to make your own flavorful gin. You can add your own herbal blend, or use the one in the box.
Personalized Whiskey Barrel - $65 for 2 L. – The aging process for most liquors can be measured in months, because the barrels used are very large. Smaller barrels will provide the same flavor in a shorter period. Liquor Barrels provides oak barrels of one, two, five, and ten liters for barrel aging any spirit. You may order it blank, or have it laser engraved with a variety of names or images.
Cocktail of the Month Club - $130/mo. – Beer of the Month and Wine of the Month clubs are out there, but if you want to go all out to impress with a gift, Crafted Taste’s Cocktail of the Month club is where it is at. They send mixers, recipes, and a full bottle of liquor each month so they can practice their craft and develop a solid bar in the process. If their bar is already well stocked, they have a Mixers only option as well.
The Porthole Infuser – $100 - This Kickstarter-born project allows for a wide variety of infusions to be created, from cocktails to syrups to oils. They showcase the ingredients being infused into the liquid, creating some art to accompany the science going on in the vessel.
The Carry On Cocktail Kit - $24 – Who is the traveler in your life? The person who can upgrade to first class at a whim, who knows flight schedules like most people know bus schedules, or always has a bag ready to go. Give them something that they can enjoy while hurling through the air in a pressurized metal tube! All they need is the whiskey, and they have two Old Fashioned cocktails waiting for them.
Mixology Dice - $38 – Following a well-honed recipe is the hallmark of a good bartender. Randomly being given a list of ingredients is the hallmark of a brilliant bartender. Pick two, three, or four dice and see what you’ll be drinking. Foodie Dice also has a set Seasonal Beer Dice for the beer lover.
Wooden Beer Carrier - $42 – This handmade wooden tote, courtesy of Merriweather of Montana, allows you carry a specialty six pack to any event in style. It can be engraved with any name or event for an extra fee, and the carrier comes with a bottle opener on the side. You can even put their favorite six pack in as part of the gift!
Wine Thermometer - $30 – Wine can be temperamental. Served at the wrong temperature it can lose the subtle flavors that connoisseurs look for. Menu has created a thermometer that wraps around the bottle to give an accurate temperature of the liquid inside without popping the cork. And it is a very stylish belt.
Outlaw Soaps Outlaw Breakfast Collection - $27 – Now you can enjoy your favorite scents all day long. Coffee for that morning get-up-and-go, whiskey for a nightcap, and bacon for no other reason than it is bacon. It comes with an enameled cup for all of your sipping needs.
Concealable Entertainment Flask -$15 – I could not allow a gift guide to go without adding something for my tribe of fellow nerds. Utilizing old Nintendo cartridges with new graphics (Kega Man or Legend of Drink, anyone?) these hand flasks are perfect for the gamer in your life. I would have loved to add the Planetary Glass Set from ThinkGeek, but it is currently sold out. Keep your eyes open for it.
From the professional mixologist on the edge of the industry to the beginner just starting their journey, there are accessories for every bar. It's still relatively early in the season, so if you act quickly you can have any of these items for Hanukkah or Christmas gift giving. The best part of any of these gifts will be testing them out with the friends and family you are giving them to. Enjoy!