I love a craft cocktail at a fancy bar, and it turns out that making delicious cocktails at home might be easier than you think. This holiday season, raise a toast to the cocktail enthusiast in your life by gifting them ingredients and tools that will level up their home bar experience. Below are some of my favorite picks.
1. Speed Rack x Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Kit
Shaker & Spoon is a mail-order cocktail kit company, and they recently partnered with Speed Rack (a high-speed bartending competition) to create four special edition cocktail kits. Speed Rack has raised more than $1.25 million for breast cancer research and care in their 10-year history, and proceeds from the sales of these kits will go towards the same cause. Options include the Citrus Paradisi Kit (which includes rose water, citrus green tea-grapefruit syrup and aromatic tonic water) and the Como la Mujer Kit (featuring Alain Milliat mango nectar, tamarind-citrus cordial, The Bitter End Mexican mole bitters, Addition chipotle cocktail spice and cinnamon spiced sugar).
Buy: Speed Rack x Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Kit, $34-$43
2. W&P Peak Starter Set
Fancy ice cubes do more than just look cool in a cocktail—they control how fast a drink is diluted and can elevate your at-home cocktail game. Help your cocktail-loving friend bring the fancy bar experience home with this variety pack of ice molds that includes a sphere mold, a large cube mold, a crushed ice mold and more.
Buy: W&P Peak Starter Set, $65
3. AVEC The Sampler
AVEC is a line of better-for-you cocktail mixers made with less sugar and calories than traditional mixers like soda, juice and ginger beer. Their ingredient lists include real juice (never from concentrate), extracts and botanicals. AVEC mixers can be enjoyed on their own or mixed with your spirit of choice. This variety pack includes all five of the flavors they offer: Hibiscus & Pomegranate, Ginger, Jalapeño & Blood Orange, Grapefruit & Pomelo and Yuzu & Lime.
Buy: AVEC The Sampler, $45
4. Death & Co: Welcome Home book
From an NYC institution that’s been around since 2007 and has won numerous industry awards, Death & Co: Welcome Home is a great pick for a cocktail enthusiast. It kicks off with a bootcamp of sorts, teaching people how to choose ingredients and what makes a cocktail work. There are more than 400 recipes inside the book, ranging from classics to low-ABV drinks to signature Death & Co cocktails.
5. Chefanie Red Stripe Ceramic Straws
These reusable straws come from caterer-turned-tableware designer Stephanie Nass. Each ceramic straw is hand-rolled and features a striking red stripe pattern that’s reminiscent of a candy cane. It’s sold as a set of four, with each straw measuring 8.5 inches long. They’re also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup and come in a beautiful box that’s ready for gifting.
Buy: Chefanie Red Stripe Ceramic Straws, $60
6. Cosmopolitan Candle by Dante West Village
Coinciding with the launch of the Cosmo Collection, a menu featuring eight different variations of the iconic cocktail, Dante West Village created a cosmopolitan-scented candle. It’s a collaboration with a Brooklyn-based artisan candle maker and has notes of citron, peppercorn, bergamot, palo santo, orange blossom and patchouli. Each candle is hand-poured and made of a high-quality organic soy wax blend and organic essential oils.
7. Three Dots and a Dash Tiki Mugs
From a speakeasy tiki bar in Chicago, these small-production, custom tiki glasses make a memorable gift. There’s a Wave Mug (pictured above), a Skull Pineapple and so much more. They’re a limited edition offering that you can get shipped to your door or at the merchandise store located inside Three Dots and a Dash.
Buy: Three Dots and a Dash Tiki Mugs, $60
8. Dekō Bottled Cocktails
Dekō is a newcomer in the RTD cocktail scene. Two multi-serving, kosher-certified bottled cocktails make up their current lineup: the Bee’s Knees and Gold Rush. Both cocktails are made using ingredients from the North Fork of Long Island, including raw wildflower honey and foraged juniper berries. The brand draws inspiration from the speakeasy era, which is reflected in their bottle design and cocktails. Dekō ships direct-to-consumer to more than 30 states and offers free delivery to Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City.
Buy: Dekō Bottled Cocktails, $25