Search for recipes and articles

The Cocktail Lover

Make fancy and delicious cocktails at home with these snazzy gifts.

Brooklyn Bartender

If you know someone who has a taste for a well-made cocktail, but lives far from the heart of the Brooklyn drinking scene, this book is the perfect gift. It features 300 innovative and classic drink recipes from the best bars of the borough; every cocktail we've tried from it so far has been killer. The drinks Carey Jones has selected aren't dumbed down at all, but, for the most part, you're not looking at mile-long ingredient lists, either.

Brooklyn Bartender Sold by Amazon

Be Your Own Bartender

This is a fun, interactive book featuring over a dozen flowcharts to guide you to the perfect drink for every mood and occasion.

Be Your Own Bartender Sold by Amazon

Whiskey Set

If you like to give a nice bottle of whiskey for special occasions, try switching things up with some nice glassware. This whiskey set from Snowe is durable and elegant, sure to get serious use in the homes of your spirit-loving friends for years to come.

Whiskey Set Sold by Snowe

Le Creuset Pitcher

Pitchers are great home multitaskers, and this beautiful one by Le Creuset is no exception. We love the meringue color, but choose whichever tone suits your fancy. Then use it to pour coffee for a cozy breakfast, hold margaritas for your next party, or act as a nice little vase for a holiday bouquet.

Le Creuset Pitcher Sold by Le Creuset

The One-Bottle Cocktail

Organized by spirit—vodka, gin, agave, rum, brandy, and whiskey—with an additional section devoted to specific seasons and occasions, The One-Bottle Cocktail makes it easy to figure out how to polish off that lingering liter of rum and is guaranteed to expand your cocktail repertoire for your go-to bottle. It does so by forging surprising, nuanced, eminently sippable flavors from commonplace liquors and fresh fruits, herbs, and other seasonal ingredients, as well as vinegars, spices, and sodas. This is the kind of book that every home cocktail-maker should keep on their shelf.

The One-Bottle Cocktail Sold by Amazon

Handheld Seltzer Maker

If you're short on space, this compact soda maker fits snugly into any refrigerator door. The iSi Sodamaker Classic can carbonate 0.9 liter of water at a time using recyclable, 15-gram CO2 cartridges. This unit also maintained the carbonation level of the water over the long term better than the other models we tested.

Handheld Seltzer Maker Review: The Best Soda Machines Sold by Amazon

Julep Cups

We don't often recommend single-function items, but for the cocktail enthusiast, a couple of julep cups really are fun to have. There's nothing like holding that metal cup frosted with ice on a blisteringly hot summer day. If you don't have an ice crusher, check out our Lewis bag suggestion as well.

Julep Cups Sold by Amazon

Insulated Beverage Bottle

The Hydro Flask is designed to keep water cold for hours on end, but its vacuum-insulated walls don't discriminate between beverages: The 32-ounce flask can also accommodate a full bottle of wine or a big batch of margaritas. It's ideal for picnics and trips to the beach, no matter what you're drinking.

Insulated Beverage Bottle Sold by Amazon
Frog Hollow Citrus Sold by Frog Hollow

Craighill Trophy Bottle Opener

We wouldn't normally spend $9 on a bottle opener, let alone $95. But this beautiful creation from Craighill, made by Niki's good friend from college, is both sculptural and functional, just as the website proclaims. When it's not opening bottles, use it to decorate your coffee or dining table, or even as a paperweight on your desk.

Craighill Trophy Bottle Opener Sold by Craighill

Rose and Orange Flower Water

Forget flowers—they'll be dead by the end of the week. These flower waters, on the other hand, will last (most of) a lifetime. Both rose and orange flower water will stay good just about forever on the shelf, and a drop or two is all that's needed to give any recipe an aromatic boost. Try a splash of rose water with a strawberry or rhubarb dessert, or orange flower water in a classic New York cheesecake, where its gentle perfume can work wonders.

Rose and Orange Flower Water Sold by Amazon

Jigger

This versatile cocktail jigger features two primary measures for one- and two-ounce pours, but what makes it especially useful are the etched markings inside each cup indicating 0.5, 0.75, and 1.5 ounces, so that you don't have to get out multiple jiggers just to make a cocktail.

Jigger Sold by Amazon

Cocktail Strainer

This type of strainer, called a Hawthorne strainer, consists of a flat disk affixed to a coiled spring. The spring traps large chunks or slivers of ice and other solid ingredients, such as muddled fruit or mint leaves. The spring also allows you to control the flow of liquid from the shaker, and the strainer does a generally excellent job of keeping small ice chips, citrus pulp, and particles of muddled ingredients in the shaker, where they belong.

Cocktail Strainer Sold by Amazon

2-Piece Boston Shaker Cocktail Set

We prefer to use a Boston shaker over a three-piece metal cobbler set, which has a tendency to seize up. Boston shakers open easily, they're relatively inexpensive, and even if the mixing glass breaks, you can replace it for cheap. Using a Boston does require you to have a separate strainer, but that means you can choose a strainer that'll do the job well.

2-Piece Boston Shaker Cocktail Set Sold by Amazon

Pineapple Tumbler

Sure, you can serve crushed-ice cocktails in a regular old glass, but these shiny pineapple-shaped tumblers really up the ante and make a tiki party feel special.

Pineapple Tumbler Sold by Amazon

Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky

Anyone who appreciates Scotch (or good spirits in general) will embrace Nikka's exquisite whiskies. The Taketsuru Pure Malt is named for the company's founder, who studied in Scotland before bringing whisky distilling back to Japan. This bottling has a slight fruity character, with lingering sherry on the finish.

Taketsuru Pure Malt Japanese Whisky Sold by K&L Wines

Mini Angled Measuring Cup

This small, quarter-cup liquid measure from OXO is indispensable in the kitchen, making all the awkwardness of measuring something like one and a half tablespoons a thing of the past. You can use it at your home bar, too: Its fluid-ounce markings make it a handy stand-in for a cocktail jigger.

Mini Angled Measuring Cup Sold by Amazon

Bourbon-Soaked Cherries

An ideal gift for any Manhattan, cherry, or all-around whiskey lover. These cherries trade the cloying sweetness of maraschinos for the boozy bass notes of great whiskey. Use them in your go-to whiskey cocktail, or to top a favorite dessert.

Bourbon-Soaked Cherries Sold by Amazon

Liquid Intelligence

Dave Arnold (you might know of his bar, Booker and Dax in NYC) won't just accept the common assumptions about cocktail technique—his mission in this excellent book is to dig into the science of how the very best drinks are made. This is a must-read for inquisitive types who like to host cocktail hour at home.

Liquid Intelligence Sold by Amazon

Fancy Glass Pitcher

Niki received this classic Waterford pitcher as a wedding gift, and it's become a workhorse in her home. When she's not using it to decant wine, it's hard at work serving cocktails, ice water, and juices. And in between any special occasions, you can drop in some fresh flowers and use it as a vase.

Fancy Glass Pitcher Sold by Amazon
Fancy Grape Jelly Sold by Gustiamo
Coming Soon Cocktail Glasses Sold by Coming Soon New York

Get It Right Bottle Stopper

This clever little silicone bottle stopper is a true wonder. A tight seal keeps wine from dripping out, whether the bottle is on its side in the fridge or flipped fully upside down (Ariel's tried!). It comes in several colors and shapes and makes a perfect stocking stuffer for all your wine-loving friends.

Get It Right Bottle Stopper Sold by Amazon

Glass Tumblers

Ariel's dad lives in Florida and never drinks enough water. These little tumblers are the perfect compromise for getting him to drink just enough to not get totally dehydrated every day. And if he refuses to fill them with water, at least he can use them for alcoholic beverages. The final plus: They stack, so they won't take up too much space in his cabinets.

Glass Tumblers Sold by Amazon

Leon Circle Wine Club

For the oenophile in your life, there’s no greater gift than the gift of, you guessed it, wine. Chris Leon, owner and wine director of Leon & Son Wine in Brooklyn, developed his wine club exactly with that person in mind. Leon Circle is a subscription service that delivers three expressive wines from ambitious producers, hand-picked by Chris himself, right to your doorstep. You can opt for a one-time delivery or a membership package of three or six months.

Leon Circle Wine Club Sold by Leon Circle

Redbreast 15-Year Irish Whiskey

For those who find Scotch too smoky, bourbon too sweet, and rye too spicy, Irish whiskey is the ideal gift. Redbreast emerges from the barrels complex and substantial; some of the whiskey is aged in sherry casks, lending it a weight and dark hue, while some is aged in bourbon casks, imparting characteristic vanilla flavors. There's a hint of fruit up front and spice on the finish.

Redbreast 15-Year Irish Whiskey Sold by K&L Wines
Schott Zwiesel Whiskey Glasses Sold by Amazon

Mixing Glass

This etched mixing glass from Japan looks stunning on a bar cart and even better in action, whether you're stirring a Negroni, a Martini, or a Manhattan. Mixing glasses made from two parts joined together sometimes split at the seam, but this version, made in one piece with a beaker-like spout, can stand up to heavy use.

Mixing Glass Sold by Amazon

Cocktail Kingdom Lewis Bag

If you're taking our advice and buying pretty metal julep cups, either as a gift or for yourself, you might as well go all the way and grab an inexpensive canvas Lewis bag as well—it's used to smash ice into a fine powder with a mallet.

Cocktail Kingdom Lewis Bag Sold by Amazon

Bar Cart

If you want your home cocktail equipment a little less out of sight and out of mind, consider highlighting your bourbon and bitters with a bar cart. The combination of curves, straight lines, and brass finish in this one makes it feel very mid-'50s. Mix drinks on the upper shelf and stash ice buckets, glasses, and other supplies down below.

Bar Cart Sold by West Elm
Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro Sold by Astor Wines

Bar Spoon

You could use any old spoon to stir a cocktail, but a bar spoon is best suited for the job. Long and slender, it can reach to the bottom of a tall mixing glass packed with ice, without getting stuck on the way in or out. Its twisted handle isn't just for aesthetics, either—it's designed to spin gracefully in your fingers as the spoon goes round and round, minimizing the jostling of the contents with the spoon bowl and reducing splashes and spills. Plus, it just looks cool.

Bar Spoon Sold by Amazon

Lever Corkscrew

The OXO worked on every bottle and cork we tested it with. The two-step motion—push down, then pull up—yanks the cork out in about two seconds. Repeat the process, and the cork drops free of the opener. The capable foil cutter clips into the body of the tool.

Lever Corkscrew Review: The Best Wine Openers Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

More Gift Guides