Well, another year has come and gone, and we’re already swapping out summer rum for winter whiskey. Which means…it’s almost the holidays.
And of course that means it’s time to SHOP! So who’s on your list this year? No matter if you’re buying for cocktail lovers, professional bartenders, or cocktail novices, here’s our list of top gifts that are sure to please everyone.
We even have a few recs for those who prefer their cocktail recipes sans alcohol. Enjoy!
(Spoiler: We definitely included some of our own stuff because, well, it’s the best.)
SMALL GIFTS FOR THE COCKTAIL LOVER
A BAR ABOVE COCKTAIL ATOMIZER AND EYE DROPPER BITTERS BOTTLES
We have a brand new product designed to really take cocktails to the next level! This eye dropper and cocktail mister kit has everything your favorite drink master needs to spray, stencil, and drip their way into super fancy, Instagram-worthy cocktails!
This set includes both eye dropper and sprayer attachments, so you can use the same bottle of contents for different techniques. They also come in classic amber brown or gorgeous matte black– and in two sizes: 2 oz or 4 oz.
A BAR ABOVE COCKTAIL PICKS: STAINLESS STEEL, COPPER, BRONZE, OR GOLD
Whether you need a host gift, a stocking stuffer, or an easy gift for Hanukkah, these cocktail picks are a great…pick (see what I did there).
Perfect for stuffed olives, fruit, other garnishes, or even for hors d’oeuvres, this compact and affordable gift item is both thoughtful and useful for the foodie in your life and your cocktail-obsessed friend. Pair them with a jar or cherries or olives, and you’re good to go!
This is such a great gift for your favorite party host, whether it be to hold cocktails, food, or (let’s be honest) mail and other random stuff that gathers in one’s home. Just me? Oh, OK.
This one from Wayfair comes in a variety of colors and sizes, but there are lots on the market to choose from to fit different styles– or you could get really creative and pick up a vintage one at a thrift store. You can even pair it with a nice bottle of liquor or our 4-piece set (or both!) for a complete gift.
We know that’s not water in your tumbler! No, but really… A travel mug is a great gift for someone who goes to a lot of BBQs, loves coffee, or is otherwise on the go a lot. We adore the Yeti brand because it keeps things really cold or hot and is dishwasher safe, unlike many on the market.
I know this seems like a somewhat odd gift, but these mats are so versatile! Nearly indestructible (seriously, Chris has run them over with his car just to be sure), they’re great for your dry bar, a professional bar well, or as a dish drying mat.
We just launched a beautiful light gray color, alongside traditional black, so you have options! And like the drink tray, pair them with a bottle of liquor, and you have a complete gift!
BOUGIE HOME BAR GIFTS
A BAR ABOVE STIRRED COCKTAIL SET: STAINLESS STEEL, COPPER, OR GOLD
Is there anything more beautiful for your home bar than a mixing glass and some sleek bar spoons? Nope. And lucky for you, we’ve put them both into one kit (along with a strainer, jigger, and cocktail picks!), making it the perfect present to help make stirring drinks like Manhattans and Martinis that much easier– and more stylish!
This kit was a labor of love for us, and we’re excited to make it the best gift your loved one receives this year.
FLAVIAR LIQUOR SUBSCRIPTION
So, we all have that friend who is impossible to shop for, right? Maybe YOU are that friend. Maybe they’re not the biggest cocktail purist, but they sure love something that looks–and tastes–luxurious.
A liquor subscription is the perfect gift for a friend who loves cocktails and luxury– it’s a fun little surprise every month that is sure to tickle the fancy of the recipient while also giving them the opportunity to try lots of new liquors they may not otherwise know about.
What’s more swanky than a gorgeous bar cart? Very little, really. And it’s so functional for holding both booze and your always-necessary bar tools. You can buy new or shop vintage at your local antique store.
GIFTS FOR THE COCKTAIL NOVICE
A BAR ABOVE 4-PIECE CRAFT BAR SET: STAINLESS, GOLD, BRONZE, OR COPPER
The best of the basics! For the person who doesn’t know where to start, we’ve included what is needed to create most cocktails in this barware kit. This set comes in four beautiful finishes; plus, it will last for a REALLY long time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
If you know someone just starting out in their home bar journey, amazing cocktail glassware is a very thoughtful gift. Don’t know what kind to get? We have a comprehensive guide on our blog to get you started!
There are some really affordable glasses on Amazon and at Crate & Barrel, but vintage glassware is also a lovely gift for cocktail lovers who like to show a little personality.
A BAR ABOVE 14-PIECE COCKTAIL SET: STAINLESS STEEL, GOLD, OR COPPER
Is the cocktail newbie in your life suddenly REALLY interested in mixed drinks? Got a friend who needs a new hobby and likes to go all out? Well, give the gift of a perfectly-balanced cocktail!
Our complete set has everything needed to measure, shake, and strain the perfect drink– a shaker, spoon, strainers, jigger, muddler, and picks. Oh my!
It’s the exact same tools we sell to high-end cocktail bars – the real deal! Pair it with a mixing glass, and your friend will be all set for years to come.
GIFTS FOR THE COCKTAIL EXPERT
A BAR ABOVE 14-PIECE COCKTAIL SET: STAINLESS STEEL, GOLD, OR COPPER
This isn’t a mistake… What’s good for the novice is good for the professional bartender! There’s nothing better than getting new bar tools if you’re a cocktail lover.
And we might be biased, but ours are the best. Designed for mixologists, this kit has everything to make the perfect bartender gift.
CLEARLY FROZEN HOME CLEAR ICE CUBE TRAY
So, this may not be the most aesthetically-pleasing gift you’ll give to your bartender buddy. But if you have a true cocktail lover in your life, they won’t care. The benefit of this particular ice cube tray is volume–some of the more refined-looking clear ice makers will only get you four or maybe six cubes–whereas this bad boy makes you ten lovely, clear ice cubes.
SMOKE TOP INFUSER
Pair it with a smoking torch or check out one of the many smoking guns on the market if you want to go that route. No campfire required.
Smoked cocktails are really popular right now, and I’m surprised (but maybe shouldn’t be) by how many bartenders in our professional bartenders Facebook group said they wanted one of these. It’s an excellent gift for bartenders who love to experiment.
We’ve covered smoked cocktails on our podcast and why we’re loving them as the temperatures drop. Your favorite career bartender will certainly appreciate the ability to take their drinks to the next level, which makes this one of our top gifts for bartenders.
Here are some other smoked cocktail options to check out:
- smoking cloche or a buy a kit that includes both the smoking cloche and the smoker
- smoking torch,
- smoking guns
- Cocktail smoker kit
No campfire required!
COCKTAILS GIFTS FOR EVERYONE
A BAR ABOVE DIGITAL GIFT CARD
Have someone in your life who could use a good drink? Let them pick out their own perfect bar gift by getting them a gift card for new bar tools. It’s the perfect gift…especially for the last-minute shopper.
THE GIFT OF EDUCATION
Know someone who would love to learn more about making cocktails or even wants to become a professional mixologist? We have a couple of informative, self-paced courses for anyone who loves making mixed drinks– one for bar basics and an advanced mixology certification course!
Like many of you, we’ve really opened our eyes these past couple years to the lack of diversity in the bar business. So we’ve picked a few great bottles crafted by Black spirits producers to try to highlight the work these companies are doing that so often goes unnoticed.
You can enjoy your spirit of choice while celebrating Black distillers. Here’s to finding your new favorite bottle!
Launched in 2017 by Chaunci King, Rex Whiskey is the second spirit by the Royalty Spirits company, and it is the first spirits company owned by a Black woman in the Pacific Northwest. (We love women in the bar and alcohol industry!)
Rex Whiskey is the perfect bottle to add to your bar for the holidays with its warm aromas of apple, toffee, and red wine. Its taste combines caramelized brown sugar, rye spice, and vanilla, making it an easy sipping rye whiskey or a great base for an old fashioned and other classic cocktails.
Whiskey lovers will thank you ten fold for such a thoughtful gift!
TEN TO ONE RUM
The mission of Ten to One Rum is to create “A contemporary and elevated blend, created to challenge expectations and reinvigorate the way people taste, experience, and talk about rum.” Founder Marc Farrell successfully brought his Caribbean roots and culture to the US through both the bright white and complex dark rum.
If you’re not already sold, I also noticed that neither variety has sugar, color, or flavoring added–making them an amazing base for a multitude of delicious cocktails.
So scratch what we said in our intro about swapping out whiskey for rum–This one is staying on rotation when we need to feel a touch of the islands on cold winter nights.
LOFT + BEAR
This L.A.-based distillery produces an award-winning bottle of vodka that has the spirits world raving. It’s buttery and vanilla-forward, a great example of “new” vodka with lots of character and– gasp!– actual flavor (and an excellent gift or the perfect addition to your next cocktail party).
If you’re not so sold on vodka, this may actually be the one for you! They identify their spirit as “the whiskey-drinkers vodka,” and it is distilled from organic winter wheat, giving it light, wheaty flavor notes that mix with the sweetness of vanilla.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but there are some really superb spirit-free options on the market these days. Just because someone is cutting back on the alcohol doesn’t mean he/she/they shouldn’t enjoy a delicious mocktail!
Here are a few of our favorite non-alcoholic spirits and pre-made “cocktails” that will still make the non-drinker in your life feel included. And if you’re curious about more alcohol-free living, we have several articles about mocktails.
RITUAL ZERO-PROOF SPIRITS
This brand is such a great non-alcoholic option if the person you’re shopping for loves mocktails but has eliminated alcohol. Ritual has whiskey, gin, tequila, and rum alternatives to choose from, so your giftee can make a variety of cocktails sans liquor!
You’ve seen us talk a lot about Seedlip on the blog in the past; A Bar Above even uses this non-alcoholic spirit for our own company happy hours. With three options available, you can make a multitude of non-alcoholic cocktails that simulate the alcoholic versions.
One way to step up your cocktail game is with bitters. No matter their experience level, the cocktail lovers on your list will benefit from some delicious bitters– They’re even great for non-alcoholic cocktails if the person can have the teeniest bit of alcohol.
We love this traditional set of bitters from Scrappy’s– or try a mix of traditional and more unique flavors from Hella Cocktail Co.
COCKTAIL AND MOCKTAIL BOOK GIFTS
Sure, you can look up recipes for an array of cocktails online (ahem, such as on our blog). But there’s something about having a beautifully-curated book in your library, on your counter, or casually laid across your bar. It’s the perfect backdrop for a great Instagram post. Here are a few that are sure to inspire your cocktail creations.
BEAUTIFUL BOOZE BY NATALIE MIGLIARINI
We are saps for well-developed cocktails. We are even BIGGER saps for beautiful cocktail photography. This cocktail recipe book has both. It features easy-to-follow recipes that are well-written, drinks for all different experience levels, and gorgeous photos, which make this book a work of art.
ZERO: A NEW APPROACH TO NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
So, everything we just said about “Beautiful Booze,” copy here– except these refreshing cocktails are non-alcoholic. Whether you’re planning on participating in dry-January or just interested in that teetotaler lifestyle, this book has hundreds of cocktail ideas and BEAUTIFUL photos. Again, art.
Cocktail Codex by Death & Co.
One of the best books for a new (or seasoned) cocktail enthusiast is Cocktail Codex because it breaks down the classic cocktails you need to get started. The person you give this to will be stirring up delicious drinks for you in no time.
FROM YOUR AMATEUR BARTENDER FRIEND TO THE MIXOLOGY EXPERT: WHICH GIFTS DO YOU CHOOSE?
We hope you’re able to find the perfect cocktail gift for the cocktail lovers in your life and that we’ve helped make this year a little brighter for your loved ones. And for you. It’s been a rough couple of years, so treat yourself to your favorite spirit, essential bar tools, or any other special gift you have your eye on.
Buying something from our selection of cocktail gifts? We’d love to see it, or better yet…the cocktail you make with it! Be sure to tag us on Instagram at @ABarAbove. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, motivation, or even a community to talk about cool bar things with, join our Craft Cocktail Club on Facebook!
Happy Holidays… and happy mixing!