THE BLOG

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Your Favorite Drinker

Have you got somebody in your life that enjoys cocktail culture? We thought so.
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christmas present with ribbon...
christmas present with ribbon...

Have you got somebody in your life -- in your office, your apartment or house -- that enjoys the cocktail culture? If so we've designed this gift guide with you (or rather, them) in mind. The following ideas are items we've collected all year and have been thoroughly vetted by us -- experts in the cocktail culture (or just about any culture that involves booze).

(Note - we have no affiliation with any of these products or their manufacturers, we just like 'em.)

Tin Play Bartending Kit
Let’s say you know a wannabe flair bartender that can’t quite make that fancy pour you see on TV. Or, maybe you yourself are a bartender or bar owner and want to save a little coin. In either case, the Tin Play multipurpose bar tools are definitely for you. We found these babies in San Diego at the Aero Club Bar and were completely blown away. This 3-piece set replaces 7 traditional bartending pieces, plus gives you a cheater pour set that lets you pour like a flair bartender. And, according to the manufacturer, the set is more sanitary and wastes less booze than traditional metal sets. More information available at http://www.tinplay.com. (image courtesy Tin Play)
iFlask
It’s not that you want to sneak booze into your favorite events, but just knowing that you could is pretty cool. That’s where the iFlask comes in. Billed as the “world’s first smart flask” this little beauty looks and pretty much feels like an iPhone wrapped in a thick case. In actuality though it holds about 5 ounces of your favorite beverage and has a bottle opener on the reverse side. More information available at http://www.goiflask.com. (image courtesy iFlask)
Black Box Wines Tetra Paks
Billing itself as “the world’s first super-premium boxed wines,” Black Box Wines are a great gift for friends and family who prefer chardonnays and merlots over whiskies or beer. The great thing about them is the reaction they get. Bust open a box of wine and everyone immediately thinks you’re a cheapskate, but after trying it they’ll be sold, and probably agree with the company’s tagline. The Tetra Paks are especially great because they’re small enough for stocking stuffers, yet each holds 3 glasses of wine. That’ll get anyone through their kid’s holiday recital (trust us, we know). More information available at http://www.blackboxwines.com. (image courtesy Black Box Wines)
Wooden Beer Tote with Bottle Opener
Becoming increasingly popular, these wooden beer totes are a great gift for any craft beer lover, allowing them to mix and match six-packs to take on the go. They’re hand made from sturdy red cedar right here in the US. Each tote also includes a handy bottle opener since, you know, craft beers don’t have screw tops. More information available at http://www.uncommongoods.com. (image courtesy Uncommongoods.com)
Brew-opoly
Okay, a bit kitschy, but it's still fun. Play the classic game Monopoly, but instead of playing for lots in Atlantic City, play for breweries, including many of the better craft beer brewers in the US. And instead of putting up hotels and apartments, you increase value through kegs and brews. While replicating the classic board game, this can easily be turned into a drinking game (again, trust us). More information available at http://www.lateforthesky.com. (image courtesy Late for the Sky)
Bulleit “95” Rye Whiskey
If you simply want to give some booze as a gift, then you might as well do it right. Bulleit Rye Whiskey is probably one of the best Rye whiskies we’ve ever tasted – and we’ve tasted a lot. The minimum legal requirement for rye whiskey in the US is 51%. However, Bulleit Rye has an incredible 95% rye to 5% malted barley mix, making for a spicy-mellow combination that just screams to be complimented with some sweet vermouth. The whiskey is aged for four years in charred, white oak barrels. Oh and the water is retrieved from “an ancient glacial aquafier.” More information available at http://www.bulleit.com/. (image courtesy Bulleit Whiskey)
Woodinville Age Your Own Whiskey
For the DIY guy or gal that likes whiskey, here’s a great gift that will surely test their patience. The Age Your Own Whiskey kit comes with a miniature whiskey barrel that, because of its small size, accelerates the aging process. The result is a whiskey that takes 3-6 months to age, but tastes like it took years. The barrel will hold two 750ml bottles of white (un-aged) whiskey. Good luck trying not to break into it! More information available at http://www.woodinvillewhiskeyco.com. (image courtesy Woodinville Whiskey Co.)
Balls of Steel Drink Chillers
Here’s some tongue-in-cheek drink coolers that actually support a good cause. Guaranteed not to dilute your drink, the two steel balls that come in each set actually have a core of specially machined, proprietary material they call Arctic Core technology. Whatever it is it keeps the material cold for a long, long time, ensuring you a perfectly chilled drink. And the good cause? For each set that’s sold they donate a portion to help fight testicular cancer and support research. More information available at http://www.originalbos.com. (image courtesy Original Balls of Steel)
The Curious Bartender
Touted as "a rising start in the bar-tending world" Tristan Stephenson takes readers on a fascinating trip through the world of cocktails while breaking the drinks down to a scientific level in order to better understand what goes with what and why. A great book and easy read for that cocktail connoisseur, aspiring bartender or anyone who simply wants to learn how to make some great classic cocktails as well as some of the modern twists.
Make Your Own Bitters Kits
If you’re buying this gift for a serious mixologist, this is a great idea. Many argue that bitters make a cocktail. To a point they’re right. The spirit might be the lead, but the bitters will influence the spirit, making the drink sweet, spicy or even savory. Bitter kits allow home mixologists to explore these experiences and try new ones. Dash Bitters has a variety of kits to try, all with the essential oils and botanicals as well as instructions to design their own unique cocktail additive. More information available at http://www.dashbitters.com. (image courtesy Dash Bitters)