Source It: Punch Bowls for Springtime

Springtime! A reason for garden parties and gathering outdoors (both of which I need MORE of in my life). Where cocktails flow from giant bowls and ladles, all laced with bits of fruit and maybe a flower or two… Excuse my fanciful daydreaming for a moment. I’ve been nose-deep in another Jeeves and Wooster novel this week and the English Countryside is calling my name. It’s also calling for the procurement of another punch bowl set in my house.

These punch bowls have caught my eye recently and perhaps they’ll pique your interest too. What’s a home bar without at least ONE fanciful punch bowl? Undignified; that’s what. Ok, maybe not that but take a look.

Source It: Punch Bowls // stirandstrain.comGreen Bowl / Rosé / Multi-Color / Orange / Mini Cobalt / Silver Set

 

Holiday Gift Guide: What I Want

I’m taking a break from reading emails where everyone is telling me to get “what I really want”. I figured I would just make up my own mind and make the last gift guide on here this season “what I really want”.

My Holiday Cocktail Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

What I really want, is to be able to buy Stranahan’s in California again since it’s been at least over two years since I could. I’d also like to picture myself as a cocktail, something with a giant straw umbrella hat would be fitting. An ice maker that makes crystal clear ice? In my bathroom?! Or wherever the hell I want?! And seriously, I could totally use a saber to cut open bottles of champagne. Now, if only I could get a year of Uber rides for free (while eating Gin & Tonic chocolate bars and a full punch set up in the back).

1. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey 2. Punch Bowl Set 3. Veuve Clicquot Brut 4. Drinkify Me! 5. Gin and Tonic Chocolate Bar 6. Champagne Saber 7. Portable Clear Ice Maker 8. Uber Rides

Holiday Gift Guide: Stuff Your Stocking (with booze)

Growing up, stockings were always an important part of the holiday tradition in my household. On Christmas morning they were the first things that my sister and I could touch. And what a bounty! Looking back, it was a lot of little crap, but my mom knew exactly the kind of crap we would go nuts over. Since I’ve been with my husband celebrating Christmas, I’ve reinstating stockings. From socks to swanky sunglasses, anything goes. However, if I was going to choose some items to put in there for all of you readers, here’s the loot you’d get!

Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers // stirandstrain.com

Let’s light a champagne scented candle (when it’s done you get a new cup!) and juice a couple limes. Break open your copy of Home Bar Basics and contemplate how you’re going to personalize that barrel you’ll be aging a Negroni in later. It’s the holidays, so let’s mix up that all natural cranberry syrup with some gin. Shoot it back, or get out the coasters?

1. Stainless Steel Citrus Juicer 2. St. George Spirits Tasting Bottles 3. Fruitations Cranberry Syrup 4. Home Bar Basics Cocktail Book 5. Swizzle Stick 6. Mason Jar Shot Glasses 7. Glassware Coasters 8. Personalized Mini Barrel 9. Decanter Tags 10. Champagne Candle/Glass

Holiday Gift Guide: TIKI Excess

During the winter months, those palm trees outside tend to look rather sad and dreary. But with the Grog Log in hand, and a couple of Hurricanes, suddenly it seems a bit more balmy out. For those cocktail lovers on your list that tend to dip towards the over-saturated wonderland that is Tiki, here’s a couple of choice gifts.

Tiki Holiday Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

Tropical fruits delivered to your door? Yes please. And while you’re at it, let’s crush some ice and make a cone mold. Then stick it on a puffer fish.

1.Pineapple Drink Dispenser 2. Grog Log Cocktail Book 3. Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters 4. Star Fruits 5. Flamingo Stir Stick 6. Navy Grog Cone Mold 7. Vintage Ice Crusher 8. Puffer Fish Tiki Mug

Holiday Gift Guide: Booze Filled Advent Calendars

Whisky and Gin Advent Calendars // stirandstrain.com

Living under the shadow of the Roman Catholic Church growing up, December 1st meant putting up the advent calendar. If you’re not familiar with this tradition, it’s pretty much a calendar for kids to use themselves in lieu of bugging their parents about “how many days until Christmas?”. At this point in life, I’ve forgotten any other symbolic meaning it may have. Anyways, one school year the teacher brought out what I thought was the best thing to happen since the invention of Christmas, a chocolate filled advent calendar. We all picked days and when our day came up in class, we got to open the door and eat the chocolate. And I remember it as pretty decent chocolate. That moment in time has stuck with me as the best advent calendar ever, until last year, when I spotted these two beauties from the Master of Malt site. You can pick either whisky or gin for 24 days of boozy surprises. This year they have premium editions of both making your only decision whether you go brown or clear. If you can’t decided, just get both.

Premium Whisky Advent Calendar // Craft Gin Advent Calendar

Holiday Gift Guide: Into the Woods

I don’t know about you, but when I think of “nature”, I think bear attacks and canned beans. If you find yourself stuck in one of those situations, only a good cocktail will help. And also running like hell.

Holiday Gift Guide: Into the Woods // stirandstrain.com

Wilderness doesn’t seem so daunting when a bear’s roaring mouth is helping you crack open a bottle of tonic water (thanks pal!). Or that fox just chilled your drink real nice. Just watch out for the wild turkeys; they might bite.

1. Animal Print Cocktail Napkins 2. Fox Shaker 3. Animal Head Shot Glasses 4. Bear Bottle Opener 5. Giraffe Cocktail Stirrers 6. Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon 8. Zebra Coaster

Holiday Gift Guide: The Gold Standard

When something is covered in gold it makes it special, right? Unless you’re Jill Masterson; then you’re an unfortunate casulty of a James Bond love affair. But let’s not get bogged down with my obsession with the James Bond franchise. Let’s talk gifts! Of Gold! For cocktails!

Holiday Gift Guides: Gold // stirandstrain.com

 

I’m sorry if you were expecting a certain gold-flecked liquor, instead I’m opting for some gold-wrapped champagne to top your cocktail. Make sure you mix it up nice with some blindingly beautiful accessories. And when you’re done, that bar cart is sure a nice way to store everything.

1. Southern Hemisphere Double Old Fashioned Glass 2. Brignac Brut Gold Champange 3. Gold Bar Spoon 4. Gold Jigger 5. Polka Dot Coasters 6. 18K Gold Cocktail Shaker 7. Bar Cart 8. Gold Stripe Straws

In Other News

If you’re on Facebook, Stir & Strain now has a page! You can click here to follow along.

Do you know the perfect gift for the cocktail enthusiast in your life? Care to share? Leave a comment so shopping is a little less awful for everyone else this year.

Holiday Gift Guide: Cocktails. On a Boat.

Probably every year about this time I start feeling uneasy and mumble to myself, “I’m not ready yet”. Purity jokes aside, it usually means I’m all a fuss about the upcoming holiday season. I mean, it’s 80 outside. It sure doesn’t feel like Santa is hiding in my chimney, ready to come down and scold me for not baking enough cookies this year.

But just because I’m a bumbling mess doesn’t mean YOU have to be. This year I’m trying to be more proactive and bring you, readers, timely gift guides. Not like those I threw out in March, even though, well, St. Patrick’s Day is also a relative holiday in my field.

Today we’re going to ease into just thinking about fun gifts for those cocktail lovers/enthusiasts/entertainers in your life. Or you can make a list for yourself! Who cares?! I don’t; you should see my “to buy” list, many items of which will actually be appearing here in the next few weeks.

Since it is still pretty balmy out here in Southern California, I’m taking you on a boat trip – with boozy gifts.

You’ll need a good Navy Strength Rum on this boat, and a couple of shatter-resistant glasses (for when it gets rough). Who wants to carry a bunch of full size products when you can have mini bitters on board? Adult ice pops? Yes. Just don’t forget the ice bucket!

Nautical Cocktail Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

1. Loop Rocks Glasses 2. Vintage Nautical Bar Tools 3. Sailboat Stir Sticks 4. Smith & Cross Rum 5. Sailboat Pops 6. Scrappy’s Bitters Travel Pack 7. Nautical Ice Bucket

Source It: Flask Gifts

Christmastime this year felt easy. With Pinterest, if you’re me, you mindlessly pin stuff when you have some down time, you pin on your phone when you’re standing in line at the grocery store. You pin in the dentist’s chair. At some point you find you’ve pinned some 3000+ images that you for some reason or other felt compelled to want to hang on to. When it came time to start thinking about what to get people this year (and I am a person who LOVES to give gifts) I turned immediately to my Pinterest boards.

A flask is always a nice little stocking stuffer for those booze lovers in your life. A gift that works both personally or impersonally depending on the gifting situation. This year my husband received a nifty flask I had found while sifting through my boards. It does double duty being a flask with a whopping 8 ounces of booze holding capacity and embedded in the side is a collapsable cup- just in case you would rather sip from a cup then throw back out of a flask. Or for sharing!

St. Patrick’s Day? St. Joseph’s Day? Bunsen Burner Day?!? There’s tons of reasons to buy your loved one a flask this March. Here’s a couple of my Pinterest finds.

shot and a flask Gold Flask Mini Flask Copper Flask Wood Flask Giant Flask

From top to bottom: Shot and a Flask, Gold Flask, Mini Flask, Copper Flask, Wooden Flask, MEGA Flask
For these and more flask ideas, check out the Home Bar board on Pinterest.

Source It: Glassware Love

I’ve gotten a couple comments lately on the glassware that I use in my shoots and I thought now is as good a time as any to elaborate on that.

Every time I visit a vintage store I have dreams of walking in and finding all sorts of mid-century tumblers and goblets and what-have-you, all with a reasonable price tag. Reality is that I’ve NEVER had that happen. I’m either disappointed with the selection (my Nana might love it) and/or the price tags are outrageous. I want to drink out of the glass, not lock it up in a curio cabinet.

This perfect combination of stock and reasonable price tags does though exist. I’ve found it through Etsy. Although you have to sift through a lot of what you don’t want, there is a large selection of what I DO want.

Below are some selections from the site of just the type of vintage barware you can find, without hefty price tags. Besides glassware, I’m also collecting vintage bar shakers that I hope to one day use/display when we finish our home bar.

1 & 2 are from my own Etsy purchases. 3-6 are a couple of choices I picked out to share from Etsy. Click for links to their pages. All photos from Etsy sellers.

{Etsy had no bearing on this post whatsoever. All content of my own choosing. Just FYI.}