Gadgety Gifts and Glassware For Everyone's Inner Bartender

courtesy Vincent Hand Salve
courtesy Vincent Hand Salve

The holidays are here! While I am sure there is at least one shop in your town that has been playing Christmas music for a month, the serious shopping does not really start until Thanksgiving dinner is over. Hanukkah begins on Christmas Eve this year, making the end of the year one huge celebration for everyone! If this list does not offer what you are looking for, the 2015 version of this article also has some outstanding gift ideas that are available again this season. With Rogue Onecoming out soon, who wouldn’t want a Star Wars Planet glass set?

Tools of the Trade

Vincent Bartender’s Hand Salve - $9 for a single – The hands of a bartender take a beating, whether you are in the neighborhood bar serving shots and beers or hand carving the ice for each cocktail. A group of bartenders, after testing several products on their own, developed this balm. Not too greasy, not heavily scented, and will last a shift. What more can you need? Oh, and it's great for non-bartenders who just want softer hands this winter.

Courtesy Knooop
Courtesy Knooop

KNOOOP Moscow Mule Mugs - price varies - These are amazing. Sporting nothing but 100% copper, each mug is hand crafted and guaranteed for life. The pure copper will keep your drink nicely chilled as you savor it. Included with the mugs is a copper shot glass and a guide for the care of your mugs. They will take a little extra maintenance, but it will be worth it for the quality of the vessel. The guide provides additional recipes for when you are ready to explore beyond the basic mule.

Rastal Teku Glasses
Rastal Teku Glasses

Bourbon and Boots Whiskey Legends Rocks Glasses - $39 for a set of two – "A good glass of whiskey loosens the tongue." Some of the greatest thinkers of our time, from Winston Churchill to W.C. Fields, are featured on these glasses. If you find you can’t decide on just one quote, you can add a set of six of their best sellers or all twelve quotes under the tree. Hopefully someone bought them some whiskey to enjoy with them.

courtesy Manuscript Maps
courtesy Manuscript Maps

Rastal Teku Glass - $25.99 for a set of two – The craft beer explosion resulted in an explosion of glassware. Should it be in a snifter? A mug? A boot (watch for the bubble)? One Italian brewery wondered the same thing, so they solved the problem: make one glass for all. The Teku glass was engineered to be the right glass for any beer. This should be on your list for the serious craft beer drinker in your life.

Drinking Decision Coin - $20 – There comes a point in an evening when you are just not sure what to drink. Or even if you should keep drinking. The fine people at Uncommon Goods have solved that problem for you: just flip a coin. This coin gives you multiple options for what to drink, including the option to just call it a night.

Fun For Everyone

Manuscript Maps – prices vary – From all of the gin joints in Great Britain to all of the whisky distilleries in Scotland, there is a map for you. The maps have a classic beauty with intricate details, and are updated yearly as distilleries come and go. The artist draws the maps by hand, dipping a variety of pens into his ink as he crafts each one. Print runs are limited, and they will be coming from overseas, which means you should be ordering one after you finish reading this article.

Early Times Whiskey Barrel Dog House - $299 – Your best friend could use a place of their own in the house. They made it from a (cleaned) whiskey barrel, and all you have to do is add the legs to it.

Mitten flasks!
Mitten flasks!

Chillsner by Corksickle - $29.95 for two – Yes, I am aware that not every beer needs to be enjoyed ice cold, or out of the bottle. But there are going to be more than a few days in the summer where someone you know wants one that way. Place the Chillsner in the freezer to ice it down, then slip it into your beer and start drinking. You don’t even have to take it out of the bottle, since it is vented at the top! What will science think of next?

wassail kit, courtesy Oliver Pluff & Co.
wassail kit, courtesy Oliver Pluff & Co.

Mitten Flasks - $22 – Thumbs up to the person who came up with this novel concept. You can slip some hot chocolate in these mittens to keep your hands warm while shoveling snow or ice skating between the snowflakes. Add some cinnamon schnapps or rum to it for a little extra treat! The gloves and the flask can be separated for washing, and the bite valve ensures that you are not spraying the red wine all over when you grab something.

Oliver Pluff & Co. Wassail Spice Packets - $20 – Beyond some fine teas, cocoas, and other beverages, this company offers a simple way to make a delicious wassail. The kit comes with three bags to steep the spices in, and makes three gallons of warm, spicy goodness. They offer a kit for wines and a kit for meads, ales, and ciders. All you need to do is select your favorite beverage and start enjoying!

Bar Accessories

Stanley Vacuum Growler - $50 – A growler is an indispensable part of a craft beer lover’s arsenal. Most of the people I know have several dark brown jugs at home, just waiting to be filled. This growler by Stanley may replace all of them. It is insulated to help maintain your beer’s temperature and has a vacuum sealed lid to keep in carbonation. When it is not full of tasty beer, you can use it as a day-to-day thermos to keep you hydrated.

growler, courtesy Stanley
growler, courtesy Stanley

Aervana Electric Wine Aerator and Dispenser - $99.95 – Wine needs to breathe. This aerator offers you the option to allow the whole bottle to breathe or one glass at a time. Just hold down the button on top of the unit your glass or decanter is full, then serve. The tube goes to the bottom of most standard bottles, and reduced the amount of sediment you will find in your glass.

Christmas Vacation Wally Moose Punch Bowl - $49.95 – When you are discussing a punch bowl, you are probably considering a more classic design. But why offer something traditional when you can have a good old fashioned Griswold Christmas? This is a well-crafted glass bowl with detachable antlers for storage. You can add some moose mugs to complete the set. We even have a tasty egg nog recipe for you to use to fill the bowl!

courtesy Bootleg Botanicals
courtesy Bootleg Botanicals

Globe Spirit Decanter - $79.99 – There are more than a few globe decanters that have sprung up in the last year. Some have ships or planes or cars in them. This simple design offers an etched map of the globe and can hold just over one bottle of your favorite spirit.

Bootleg Botanicals Absinthe Infusion Kit - $45 – Are you still making homemade bitters or gin? How 2014 of you. Why not make your own bottle of the Green Faerie? Among the many other infusions that Bootleg Botanicals offers, they have a kit with everything you need to turn a spirit into quality absinthe. Lest you think this is a one-time purchase, they sell refills of the botanicals. You can make as many batches as you want!

Beyond the gifts in the article, these sites offer a plethora of other options for you. You can find the spirits to use with these lovely items in the New York International Spirits Competition, Berlin International Wine Competition, and New York International Beer Competition lists of winners. Hit the internet running with this list! Enjoy the holidays and the time spent with those closest to you. And If it gets stressful, remember you have a pair of mittens with a flask in them. Happy Holidays!

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