Wondering what to give your favorite bartenders and mixologists this year? Trying to find the perfect gift for bartenders can definitely cause some stress! But don’t fret: If you are buying for a cocktail enthusiast or a professional bartender, we got you covered this holiday season.
Below is our ultimate holiday gift list with our top 20 gift ideas for bartenders. From stocking stuffers to super fancy gadgets, you’re sure to find the ideal gift for the mixologist in your life.
Note: If you are an employer looking to give a gift to your employees, the most requested gift was a Friday or Saturday night off.
Just to let you know, some of the links below are “affiliate links”, which means they help support this blog. If you click and buy, we get a small commission (but it doesn’t cost you anything.) So thanks for clicking our links and supporting us!
Without further ado… here’s the list!
1. COCKTAIL ATOMIZER AND EYE DROPPER BOTTLE SET
The mixologist in your life is going to love this eye dropper and cocktail mister kit, which has everything they need to spray, stencil, and drip their way into Instagram-worthy cocktails!
This set includes both eye dropper and sprayer attachments, so a pro bartender or master cocktail enthusiast can use the same bottle of contents for different techniques.
Your favorite bartender can create gorgeous patterns with bitters, spray the inside of a cocktail glass with vermouth, or make custom stenciled patterns on an egg white cocktail. These bitters bottles come in classic amber brown or gorgeous matte black– and in two sizes: 2 oz or 4 oz.
2. DIY CARBONATING SYSTEM
Carbonated cocktails are extremely popular in the craft bar scene. A DIY carbonating system would be a great addition to any home bar, and it can also be used to make sparkling water and homemade sodas. Chris even shows you how easy it is to set up in this super old video.
YOU’LL NEED TO BUY THE FOLLOWING:
- Carbon Dioxide Tank– (I’d spring for the 5lb canister.)
- Pressure Regulator
- Paintball Adapter
- 5/16″ gas line with ball lock
- Carbonator Cap Adapter
- Plumber’s tape– To ensure a good seal
3. MINI BARREL
You may ask, “Who needs a little barrel for a home bar?” Who doesn’t? Barrel aging spirits and cocktails isn’t exactly cutting edge, but every time I see a barrel at a bar, I always have to ask…”What do you guys have in the barrel?”
The options for barrel aging are endless. You can add a little oak aging to that really high-alcohol blanco tequila or create a batch of barrel aged Manhattans for your Super Bowl party. If you make your own bitters, then you could even consider barrel aging them!
Pick up Oak Barrels at Oak Barrels LTD.
4. BAR ROLLUP
I’ve received a bar roll-up as a gift in the past, and it is one of my favorite pieces of bar equipment. It is a great way to keep all your bartender tools together in one place and is the perfect size for bringing all your important pieces to work with you.
Many rolls come with shabby equipment, so we personally think it’s best to get one that is just the carrying case itself. That way, you can either provide quality barware or let your bartender friend supply his/her/their own favorite tools.
5. MIXOLOGY CLASSES
Give them the gift that gets better every time they make a drink! This program is the fastest way to learn how bar ingredients work together, so you can start making fantastic drinks using whatever you happen to have on hand. It’s a great gift for anyone who loves cocktails, especially if they like to create their own recipes!
For bartenders with a few years under their belts, 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!
6. RECIPE NOTEBOOK
This is one of the best bartender notebooks that I have discovered. It has plenty of room for many cocktail recipes, 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.
And while we haven’t ordered it yet, we also found this adorable notebook that includes a glassware guide and can be personalized. These are ideal gifts for both your favorite home bartender or a pro.
7. MOLECULAR MIXOLOGY INTRODUCTION 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, so what’s not to love?
8. DIY BITTERS KIT
This definitely falls into the “nerdy gift for a career bartender” category along with the molecular mixology kit. You can choose between 8 different cocktail bitters flavors to make (or give more than one for even more options!)
While I haven’t personally tried this kit, it looks like High Desert Botanicals knows what they’re doing. (Bonus: It totally makes you look like a bit of a mad scientist while making your own quality bitters.)
9. SUPER LONG COCKTAIL MUDDLER
“A bar tool?” you say. “Doesn’t my bartender friend already have all of the tools they need?” Well you may be right, but 90% of the muddlers on the market are terrible. They are usually a paltry 9″ long, which is the precise length to ensure that you’ll bust your knuckles open on the side of your pint glass/cocktail shaker every time you muddle a Mint Julep.
If you love your friendly bartender and his/her/their knuckles, you may want to consider getting them a nice long muddler. This hardwood muddler is a full 12″ long to save your knuckles and muddle your mint leaves, herbs, & fruit to perfection!
10. WINE KEYS. LOTS AND LOTS OF WINE KEYS.
It opens beer bottles. It cuts away foil. It has a corkscrew for opening a bottle of wine. It’s coated so you don’t strip pieces of cork into the wine bottle. Seriously, we think we’ve made the perfect bartender wine key.
I know it sounds silly, but trust us: A beer and wine bottle opener is a bartender’s best friend. A black-handled, functional, and simple wine key will probably be very, very well received by your favorite bartender.
11. THE JACKSON CANNON BAR KNIFE
There are bar knives, and there are bar knives. Custom-designed by an award-winning bartender Jackson Cannon in collaboration with a knife company, this knife is beautiful, functional, and seriously serious.
It can handle citrus and finely-detailed garnish alike, and it’s small enough to fit in your apron without poking you every time you bend over. Be careful, you might just make the rest of the staff jealous with this classy gift.
12. INSOLES FOR THEIR TIRED FEET
The next best thing to sitting down, really good insoles can make a huge difference after 6 hours into a long shift. It may be a bit tough to figure out their shoe size, but it’s totally worth it. Happy feet make happy bartenders, and $35-50 (depending on size) is a small price to pay!
13. COMPRESSION SOCKS
I know, I know. Socks. But hear me out! Compression socks are perfect for anyone who works on their feet all day. It may seem strange to suggest socks, but these are one of those thoughtful gifts that will make your bartender friend feel very loved. I speak from experience here.
We all know that bartending is a very physical job, and really good compression socks reduce the pain and swelling that’s oh-so-common after a long shift. Plus, they’re super soft and have fun polka dots! Yeah, I like polka dots, #dontjudge.
14. HAND SALVE TO KEEP THOSE HARD-WORKING HANDS SOFT
With your hands constantly wet from washing behind the bar, it can be hard to keep your skin happy. This salve is perfect for the bartender’s plight and will keep your skin soft for many a shift.
It’s not greasy, so you can rub it in and get right back to work without leaving streaks on your glassware or bar tools. Stored in a handy travel container, this one makes a fantastic stocking stuffer!
15. A WATERPROOF 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.
Better yet, make it waterproof – otherwise they’ll just have to take it off during their shift (and where’s the fun in that?).
16. A MASSAGE OR A DIY MASSAGE PILLOW
After a long week on your feet, a massage sounds like the perfect gift to unwind. The holidays in particular are extremely busy times for bartenders, and this gift could be a perfectly timed one as well.
While a gift card for a local massage parlor might be ideal, a DIY massage is a close second (and isn’t over in an hour!) and is more affordable. Massage those hard-working shoulders, back, and neck with a heated shiatsu massager. This is the next best thing to a weekly in-person massage!
17. COCKTAIL BOOKS. LOTS OF BAR BOOKS.
There are SO many great bar books out there that I could write a whole post on that. Oh wait, I did!
THE BAR BOOK: ELEMENTS OF COCKTAIL TECHNIQUE BY JEFFREY MORGENTHALER
But if you need just one cocktail recipe book to recommend, you can’t go wrong with Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Bar Book. It’s an extremely well-regarded resource for bartenders new and experienced because it contains info on both technique and then how to make craft cocktails. Plus, it’s a beautiful gift that looks darn good on a back bar.
LIQUID INTELLIGENCE BY DAVID ARNOLD
For the experienced mixologist, you can’t go wrong with Liquid Intelligence, one of the most well-respected books in the industry– just make sure your bartender friend doesn’t already have it! They’ll geek out on all the advanced techniques and science behind creating really detailed drinks that push the envelope.
18. FILTERING EARPLUGS
When working in a live music venue or club, you’re constantly around incredibly loud music. But bartenders can’t use traditional ear plugs because they still have to hear their customers’ orders.
These high fidelity earplugs are made just for this purpose – they don’t block everything, but they do reduce the volume to a more comfortable (and safer) level.
While I personally haven’t given these a try yet, they have pretty good reviews and might be a good choice for a bartender who works in a loud bar, club, or concert venue.
19. DINNER SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
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 pro service industry folks, so something like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh would be a really thoughtful gift for the busy bartender.
If the person you’re shopping for seriously doesn’t have time to cook, a gift card to a food delivery service like DoorDash or GrubHub would be extra thoughtful.
20. A (REALLY) PRO BARWARE KIT
Most bartenders I know have a barware problem. Whether they collect Hawthorne strainers, cocktail shakers 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 this set of three strainers, a heavyweight bar mixing spoon set, or even some cocktail picks to step up their garnish game.
Or go hog wild and get one of our full sets of essential tools– We have a 14-piece and a 10-piece stirred set for any classic cocktail that requires stirring! Within our catalog, you’re sure to find the perfect tool for your buddy.
Our products come in three gorgeous finishes– gold, copper, and stainless steel– so you can find the perfect selection of gifts for cocktail lovers and pros alike, guaranteed to match anyone’s personal taste.
And to really make it special, check out our gorgeous, pre-selected gift box set, including recipe cards and a gift voucher for our Bar Basics mixology course.
Of course, you can buy directly through our site, but all our products are also on Amazon so that you have buying choices.
WHAT ARE WE MISSING ON THIS GIFT GUIDE?
What’s on your Christmas list this year? Let us know in the comments what your favorite bartender gift is, and we’ll add them to the list!