Raise the bar: Cocktail gifts for home mixologists

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Whether you’re shopping for the mixologist in your life or looking to elevate your own home bar, this list of unique cocktail gifts will help you find the perfect present. From elegant barware to artisanal ingredients and the latest in cocktail tech, we’ve scoured the options to help you find a great gift for any cocktail enthusiast. 

A glass of smoking whiskey sitting on top of a book.
Photo credit: Unsplash.

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Cocktail enthusiasts love to craft the perfect drinks for happy hour at home. If you have a drink lover in your life, you’ll know their passion for creativity, perfection and beauty is key to savoring every sip.  

But there’s more to cocktail gifts than just giving them a bottle of their favorite type of alcohol. Shake things up with the perfect gift to help them mix up exceptional cocktails. Whether they’re a mixology maven or a beginner bartender, there is something for every drink-smith on this cocktail gift list.

The best cocktail gifts

Whether you’re looking for a 21st birthday present, a holiday gift or a little something just because, these cocktail gifts are a great place to start. When choosing a cocktail gift, take into consideration the recipient’s preferences and skill level when it comes to mixology.

Bar set: A high-quality cocktail shaker set with various tools like a shaker, jigger, strainer and muddler is an essential upgrade for every cocktail enthusiast. I love this bar set by A Bar Above, a company founded by real bartenders. 

Aging barrel: With an aging barrel, your cocktail enthusiast can age whiskey, tequila, rum and even mixed cocktails. The barrel will impart oaky flavor into every sip. 

Cocktail machine: For the drink lover who values convenience or who has a go-to drink, a premium cocktail machine like the Bartesian makes a show-stopping gift. Similar to single-serve coffee makers, these machines combine pods of drink mixers with different spirits to craft your favorite cocktails in minutes. 

Hydroponic garden: If your cocktail lover has a green thumb, they will love growing their own garnishes. The Aerogarden hydroponic system comes equipped with a strong grow light. I love using mine to grow mint for juleps and mojitos, but it can grow anything from cherry tomatoes for bloody Marys to rosemary for holiday cocktails. 

AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Garden
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03/12/2024 04:26 am GMT

Clear ice mold: Ice might seem like a simple cocktail ingredient, but there’s a lot more to it than just freezing water. Clear ice cubes melt slower, don’t crackle and look almost invisible in a cocktail. I make mine in this directional freezer mold and it’s so easy to do. 

a set of books, a bottle of bourbon, a cocktail shaker and two glasses rest on the top of a wooden bar cart.
Bar cart. Photo credit: Unsplash.

Bar cart: If your recipient likes to entertain, a bar cart will be the center of attention at their next party. A bar cart looks beautiful inside, but you can also use bar carts outdoors when the weather is nice. They can stock it with glassware, garnishes and anything else they’ll need to quickly whip up drinks. 

Mobile Bar Cart on Wheels
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03/12/2024 04:36 am GMT

Cocktail smoking kit: Billowing smoke emerging from drinks in elegant cocktail bars garner lots of oohs and ahhs. My husband loves to show off this technique for smoked old-fashioned cocktails at dinner parties — it’s a lot of fun. This cocktail smoking kit comes complete with a butane torch, a smoke lid and several types of wood chips to infuse different flavors into your drinks. 

Cocktail Smoker Kit with Torch
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03/12/2024 04:46 am GMT

Cocktail bombs: Cocktail bombs evoke the same fun as hot cocoa bombs: You simply drop one into your drink and let it do its magic. They will dissolve and make the cocktail bubble in the process. 

MyDrinkBomb Cocktail Bombs
$39.95 ($6.66 / Count)
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03/12/2024 04:51 am GMT

Bitters kit: Cocktail bitters are a great way to elevate cocktails with flavor and fragrance, and your mixologist will love having more to choose from than just the basics. I once received this bitters set from Scrappy’s Bitters as a gift, and they have been some of my most used. 

Scrappy's Bitters The New Classics Gift Set
$25.52 ($1.28 / Ounce)
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03/12/2024 04:56 am GMT

Gin infusion kit: Gin fans will love the opportunity to infuse their own gin with real botanicals, fruits, herbs and spices and make their perfect bottle. This gin-infusion kit provides 12 vials of different seasonings that can be added to vodka or another grain spirit.

Travel cocktail kit: Jet-setting drinkers will love having a mini-bar on the go. These travel cocktail kits come in a range of flavors, from champagne cocktails to old-fashioneds. They’re small, which makes them ideal for packing in your carry-on or bringing on a picnic or to give as stocking stuffers. All they’ll need to add is the alcohol. 

Glassware: Any drink maker needs the right tools for the job, and that includes vessels to imbibe with. Pick them out a set of unique cocktail glasses or wine glasses for serving their favorite drinks. 

Bottles of bitters on a wet bar.
Bitters. Photo credit: Unsplash.

Choosing the perfect cocktail gift

When choosing gifts for home bartenders, it’s all about improving their drink-making experience. Whether that’s through modern gadgets or flavorful ingredients, you can’t go wrong with these practical and enjoyable gift ideas. 

Whenever I choose gifts for my fellow drink lovers, I always try to pick something inspired by their love for drinks, whether it’s a favorite spirit, flavor or type of drink. This helps to show the recipient that you really considered their gift and ensures it’s something they’ll truly enjoy.

Any cocktail lovers on your list will appreciate a thoughtful gift, especially when it helps them hone their happy hour. They’ll think of you with every sip — cheers to that. 

Based in Charlotte, N.C., Susannah Brinkley Henry is the cocktail content creator behind the blog Feast + West. Her work has been featured in Southern Living, Oprah Daily, Buzzfeed and more. In 2019, her website was a finalist in the Saveur Blog Awards for Best Entertaining Blog. As a professional graphic designer, photographer, writer and recipe developer, Susannah helps home bartenders and drink enthusiasts level up their cocktail skills.  

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