There’s a certain razzle-dazzle associated with cocktail culture, which can make buying Christmas gifts for the cocktail lover in your life a fun pastime. However, it might also feel overwhelming if you’re not sure on the correct apparatus and terminology. So we’ve gathered up a collection of gorgeous gifts we’d love to received as cocktail lovers by profession.
One of the legacies of the pandemic lockdowns is an increase in the number of home bartenders and amateur mixologists, so there are more suitable gifts available than ever. We’ve narrowed it down to a selection of 13 top items that range from artisanal glassware and drinks trolley accessories to recipe books and garnishes. Read on for our pick of top gifts for cocktail lovers this Christmas.
For more gift ideas for the drink lover in your life, see the full Club Oenologique Christmas gift guide.
Top Christmas gifts for the cocktail lover in your life
Japanese mixing glass (70cl), Urban Bar
For stirred-down drinks – including the Manhattan and the Martini – a bit of precision is what’s required. With its sturdy base and elegant pouring spout, that’s exactly what you’ll get from this Japanese mixing glass. And its geometrical cut-glass pattern will make it a great centrepiece on any drinks trolley, too.
RTD Xmas Essentials, Tayēr + Elementary
Tayēr + Elementary is a hyper-modern cocktail bar in east London that came eighth in this year’s World’s 50 Best Bars list. This trio of the bar’s ready-to-drink cocktails includes a velvety and rich pudding sour, a Negroni with extra spice and fruitiness, and a classic Old Fashioned with an extra layer of spice. They’re wintry, Christmassy and the order of the day for home mixologists who are taking the night off. The bar’s online shop is also an good place to pick up stylish bar equipment.
Grand Soleil Coupes, Maison Balzac
Maison Balzac’s kitsch coupe glasses seem, intentionally or not, to marry the style of this year’s Barbie-infused summer with some Art Nouveau from more than 100 years ago. Though the glasses are officially described as a tribute to beach umbrellas and would undoubtedly look good in the sunshine, we think they’d also be a great way of brightening up a dark, winter’s night as a vessel for Christmas Champagne or a sparkling cocktail. The coupes are handblown and also available in yellow.
Puglia Green Splatter Pitcher
Whether it contains a bumper batch of cocktail or a sensible helping of water, this ceramic pitcher that’s made in Puglia will look equally good on the Christmas table or outside at a summer barbecue. The splatter design is hand-painted, so no two products are the same, and the pitcher is safe to go in the dishwasher at the end of the night.
Nick & Nora glasses (set of two), Riedel
As much as we love the ostentatious sense of occasion sipping from a wide-rimmed, V-shaped Martini glass, it’s far from the most practical vessel for at-home imbibing. Enter the Nick & Nora. The glass was designed in the 1980s as a throwback to the more subtle and sedate sophistication of the pre-Prohibition drinking. Riedel make this elegant pair in crystal, which should guarantee just as stylish a time – with innitely fewer spillages.
Sip Swirl Straw Set of 4, HAY
This is stylish barware (that looks after any lipstick worn by drinkers) in the form of chic glass straws from Danish brand HAY. They’re suitable for hot toddies as well as Mojitos and come with their own brush to make cleaning them a doddle. A very cute stocking-filler, they also ensure recipients are doing their bit for the environment by eradicating the need for one-use plastic versions.
Amanda Schuster’s new book is both an ode to the classics and a description of how and why certain drinks have become so popular. Schuster maps 200 drinks across 600 years and, most importantly, gives a recipe for every one. Signature Cocktails is beautifully designed and makes a perfect coffee-table book that constitutes more than just a beautiful photo essay.
Cartizze drinks trolley, Swoon
Cocktail trolleys are totally on trend, but the last thing you want is a cluttered cornerpiece for the room. But there’s plenty of space for the cocktail lover in your life to showcase their favourite bottles on the bottom rail of this brass and marble cart, while using the top to mix some magic.
Rochester engraved silver cocktail shaker, Soho Home
Soho Home’s Rochester cocktail shaker is silver plated and features vintage-inspired etchings. Its striking, elegant look makes it a great gift for someone with a drinks trolley or cabinet that puts their cocktail-making equipment and glassware on permanent display.
£170 or £200, sohohome.com
Perelló Gordal Olives
Visitors to tapas and cocktail bars will likely have seen tins of these olives stacked on counters and shelves so as to be within reach for cocktail garnishes and as snacks for drinkers. Gordal olives are the big, plump, juicy, green variety that everyone loves, with a mild kick of heat from the accompanying green chilli. Regardless of whether they’re destined for a Martini or a snack bowl, these are a great gift, particularly around Christmas when fatigue from flavours of stuffing, gravy and dried-fruit-based items can set in.
Drop bar spoon
Don’t underestimate the joy that a good spoon can spark. Cocktail lovers may have their favourite style, but most will agree that the weighted teardrop of a Japanese bar spoon should aid consistent stirring. This copper-plated option looks the part, too.
Budmo! Vodka Cocktails From Ukraine, Dima’s Vodka
There are so many great new cocktail books this Christmas but here’s one that’s also doing some good. Pulled together by Ukranian brand Dima’s Vodka and in collaboration with bartender Tony Pescatori, £5 from every copy of this vodka-driven recipe book that’s sold will be put towards first aid kits for those affected by the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine.
The Original Maraschino Cherries, Luxardo
This may seem like a retro gift selection but no Manhattan is complete without a Maraschino cherry for garnish. And the cherry’s inclusion can elevate a great many mixed drinks – from the Last Word to the Whiskey Sour. Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries are a pinnacle product, with sour marasca cherries candied to a protected family recipe.