2013 Gift Guide: The Cocktail Enthusiast

So here’s the thing. Up until now I’ve avoided doing gift guides. Both because I struggle just as much with finding the “perfect” gift for those on my list and because I consider this blog to be one giant gift guide for any paper-loving person. But after a couple of reader emails with questions about particular gift ideas, we thought it might be nice to share a few recommendations on a couple very specific topics. So without further ado – our very first gift guide! First up, some ideas for your favorite cocktail enthusiast!

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1. Simple Syrups from Morris Kitchen and Royal Rose; 2. Cocktail Book (also this, this, this, and this); 3. Copper Shaker; 4. Basic Bar Tool Set; 5. Cocktail Aging Kit and DIY Bitters Kit; 6. The Macallan 18; 7. Cocktail classes, like these at the Columbia Room; 8. Ice spheres; 9. Cork Decanters

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10. Walnut Muddler; 11. Portable Bar Kit; 12. Ice Bucket; 13. Clear Creek Distillery Apple Brandy; 14. Rocks Glass; 15. Gold Rim Cocktail Glass; 16. Cocktail Bitters (or this)

1 + 16: Simple syrups and bitters are essential ingredients of any well-stocked bar. We’re big fans of the syrups from Morris Kitchen and Royal Rose – and the cocktail recipes that come with them!

6 + 13: A bottle of fine aged Scotch is a classic gift. When in doubt, look for a single malt Scotch – and the older, the better! Alternatively, a quality Apple Brandy, like Clear Creek‘s, is an excellent alternative gift to a Scotch or Cognac for fans of fine spirits. Plus, it makes for a great conversation piece: there’s an actual apple grown in the bottle.

7: Cocktail classes (like these at the Columbia Room here in DC) aren’t available everywhere, but they’re becoming increasingly popular in more cities and states. Classes are a wonderful way to establish a basic foundation in techniques, recipes, and learning how to pair various spirits and flavors!

14 + 15: When it comes to glassware, we prefer to use vintage whenever possible (eBay and Etsy are great resources, as are local flea markets and antique shops). But when we decide to buy brand new glassware, we always make sure to buy glasses that are close in size to their vintage cousins (typically between 3 and 6 oz). And we always always stay away the gigantic cocktail glasses that you frequently see these days.

And of course if you’re looking to gift someone with a favorite bottle of something, check out our How to Stock a Home Bar post for spirit and liqueur recommendations right here!

{images via their respective sources}

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