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In just a few days we’ll be knee-deep in Turkey dinners, work parties and spending time with friends and family. You may already be getting asked, “What do you want for Christmas?”

If you’re a bartender or just shopping for one, this list will hopefully give you some out-of-the box ideas for the perfect gift!

Hey bar owners! If you are an employer looking to give a gift to your hospitality employees, the most requested gift was a Friday or Saturday night off. Just sayin’.


Gift Ideas for the Professional Bartender

Fitbit / Fitness Tracker

As bartenders we are on our feet most of our shift, walking from one end of the bar to the other multiple times in an hour. It can be fun to track how many steps you take during a busy shift and it might be easier to justify that extra piece of chocolate cake or end of the night beer if you hit your 10,000 steps 2 hours into your shift 🙂

Recipe Notebook

This is one of the best bartender notebooks that I have discovered. It has plenty of room for many cocktails, including the glass that it is meant to be served in, the garnish and notes that you can use for recording any ingredient creation if needed. This is an especially good gift for beginning bartenders.

Intro to Molecular Mixology Kit

Alright I’ll be honest, I put this on the list for myself. The kit contains all the chemicals and tools that you need to get started experimenting with caviars, and foams. You get some new toys to play with that could elevate your cocktail program as well, what’s not to love

DIY Bitters Kit

This definitely falls into the gift category like the molecular mixology kit. It gives you a bunch of glass jars for infusing as well as herbs and spices to create your own blend of bitters. Plus it makes you look like a bit of a mad scientist.

A Massage

After a long week on your feet, bending over an ice well for 8 hours a day, a massage sounds like the perfect gift to unwind. The holidays in particular are extremely busy times for bartenders and the gift could be a perfectly timed one as well.

Smoking Gun / Torch

Smoked cocktails are really popular right now and I’m surprised how many bartenders requested one of these. The torch that I linked is the one you find in a commercial kitchen. It’s got plenty of Firepower, sorry couldn’t help it, but it’s a bit industrial looking. There are a lot more decorative options out there,

Edible Flower Garden and Book

Edible flowers are expensive and they don’t last very long when you buy them. Having edible flowers available to gussy up your latest instagram creation would be a great gift. Grab the book, find a few seeds or flowers that you like an this could be a great multi piece gift for the botanically inclined bartender

Blue Apron / Hello Fresh Meal Delivery

Let’s face it the lifestyle of a bartender makes it very difficult to eat right. Our diet usually consists of whatever is for family meal or whatever we can shove down our face at work. Having fresh ingredients with a plan on how to cook them would be a huge benefit for most of us. Just look at that picture above. Vegetables!!


This should be no surprise. But booze can also be one of the more intimidating things to buy for a spirits professional. Don’t worry I got you covered!

There are 2 basic categories of spirits that you can buy for a bartender: spirits that are functional and less expensive, and spirits that are a bit higher end – intended to be sipped and enjoyed.

Functional Spirits: In the functional group we have some bartender favorites, spirits like Tapatio Blanco 110 (Tequila), Jameson and Rittenhouse Rye would all make a bartender pretty happy. These are great spirits at a good price point – great for mixing but good enough on their own as well.

For the “sipping” group you could aim for the $50 price point and be pretty happy with a lot of spirits.

  • Tequila– Siete Lequas and Fortaleza are both brands that produce some beautiful tequilas that would make a great gift for a tequila lover.
  • Amaro – Amaro Montegro, Amaro Lucano and Amaro Nonio are all very popular and delicious. Fernet Branca is another good bet!
  • Whiskey– Colonel E.H Talyor, Basil Hayden and 4 Roses Small Batch would all be great choices for the Bourbon category.
  • Rums – Plantation Rum pineapple infused rum, Santa Teresa 1796 and Clemente Rhum Agricole.
  • Gin – Plymouth, St. George Terroir Gin, Spirit Works Barrel Aged Gin. This last one is a bit unusual, but very delicious.

…Of course a bottle of Green Chartreuse would be a welcome gift, especially if you are going to spiking any hot chocolate during the holidays. (I don’t have a Green Chartreuse problem. I don’t know what you’re talking about.)

Vintage Bar Equipment

Whether you are looking for old hawthorne or julep strainers, cocktail shakers or seltzer bottles, old bar equipment is like kryptonite for craft bartenders. Take a look through ebay or Etsy to see if you can find a few gems for your favorite bartender this year.

Not-So-Vintage Barware

Most bartenders I know have a barware problem. Whether they collect Hawthorne strainersshakers or bar spoons, chances are pretty good that they would welcome any and all good quality bar tools to add to their collection. Now I’m totally biased, but I think our tools are some of the best! Consider the Set of Three strainers, a couple heavyweight bar spoons or even some cocktail picks to step up their garnish game. Or go hog wild and get the full set!

The Gift of Mixology

For bartenders with a few years under their belt, a bit of education can be a great gift – and a great investment. Consider giving the gift of our Mixology Certification Program – an in-depth and fully online video course that teaches you how to design your own balanced and delicious cocktails from scratch! Learn more about the program here, and use this link if you’d like to buy it as a gift. Oh, and since you made it this far, use coupon code “HOLIDAY2018” for 20% off!

About the Author: Chris Tunstall


Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.