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.
With the rise of the home bartender a natural consequence of lockdown, there are now plenty of gift ideas around this Christmas. We’ve narrowed it down to a selection of 13 top items that range from artisanal glassware and drinks trolley accessories to garnishes, ice trays and cocktail bitters. 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.
Skull garnish cocktail picks (set of ten), Beaumont
Add a bit of edge to your Dirty Martini. These skull-topped picks are ideal for skewering olives, but could add a gnarly decorative slant to any number of drinks. In fact, its manufacturer – a supplier to a great many hospitality venues around the UK – recommends them for garnishing a round of Tiki drinks.
The Negroni Society subscription, Asterley Bros
How can a cocktail like the Negroni vary from month to month? The founders of this exciting new members club – London-based vermouth producers Asterley Bros – are teaming up with a host of top bartenders to showcase the drink’s versatility through the seasons. Expect smoky offerings in the winter or floral-leaning numbers come the spring: pre-batched, packaged in cute pouches and delivered to your door.
From £10.35 per month, asterleybros.com/thenegronisociety
Grapefruit Complex Artisanal Bitters, Grandeur View
Utah-based Grandeur View makes small-batch cocktail bitters infused with local herbs and aged in clay pots, with deep and interesting aromas to amplify the flavours of your favourite drink. Its Grapefruit Complex bitters was awarded a Gold medal by the IWSC, with judges praising its citrus edge and Christmas spices. ‘Tis the season.
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 infinitely fewer spillages.
Old Fashioned unframed print, Elin PK
Swedish illustrator Elin PK pays homage to some of our favourite food and drink in her hand-painted prints – and cocktails are a particular specialty. This striking design would look great framed above any home bar – or select from prints that honour the Espresso Martini, the Cosmopolitan and the Gin and Tonic, among many of the classics.
Supercube ice tray, Epicurean
While the cocktail lover will be fully aware of the importance of the level of dilution and temperature in their drink, it’s harder to achieve bar-standard results at home without access to commercial ice. But the larger ice cubes created from this mould of six should help insure the contents of a drink on the rocks stays in its optimum form while sipping away.
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.
Bloody Mary (pack of six), Edmunds x The Pickle House
The quality tomato juice at the core of this pre-mixed cocktail goes to show that a Bloody Mary can be so much more than a hair of the dog (although, we won’t judge you if it’s required over the Christmas period). This BM was awarded a Gold medal at the IWSC thanks to its texture, vibrant spice and balanced heat – pick up a pack of six for the spice head in your life.
Martini cocktail napkin, Fortnum & Mason
Okay, so the dinky embroidery on these ‘Martini cocktail napkins’ look more like a Daiquiri to us. But we still think it’s a sweet design that would make a fun stocking-filler for cocktail fans – or maybe a nice item to break out should you be hosting the festivities this season.
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.