Curling up by the fire, cocktail in one hand, a great book in the other, is one fantastic way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. And this year, we’re in luck with the amazing plethora of cocktail books that have hit the shelves. Ready to crack one open? Let’s dive in with this week’s Gift Guide!
From single spirits to honing your craft to the actual science behind that drink, there is a cocktail book out there for everyone this year. Thanks 2014. And if your bartender is still shaking your Manhattan, well, there’s a book for that too.
It’s that time of year! The time for gift guides! And this year we’re kicking off the holiday season with the best ways to transport your booze, your booze tools and whatever else you need to take your bar on the road.
On a plane, or a train, or maybe even a lazy river, you never know where you’ll be when the need to make a cocktail strikes. Keep some nips on you at all times, and throw some extra in your bar case. On a plane? Well, don’t leave it to the crew to make you a drink, you know how you like your Old Fashioned. Don’t chance breaking some bottles while riding the subway- just pour your booze into a bag. Or if you must be fancy, pour a bit into your keychain shot glass. And when you do find yourself on a lazy river, there’s a cooler for that.
For all of my non-US readers, if you’ll allow me a moment to indulge in a little red, white, and blue bar cart accessorizing I’d super appreciate it. And while together it’s a Patriotic Bar Cart fiesta, taken piece by piece they could work in your home too.
In a little less than a week, my neighborhood will be filled with illegal fireworks, barking dogs and the inescapable wafting aromas of food being grilled. It will also be filled with drinking galore. For those of you outside the city of Los Angeles, I’m sure you picture every day here like this (sometimes I’d agree with you), but next Friday in particular the country bands together to show our love of hotdogs and beer (and maybe something to do with history but you can turn on C-Span for that). For those of you hosting a party, here’s a little guide to up your bar cart game for the 4th. Buckets of crushed ice, colorful drink accouterments, and some fine liquor selections. Now go get some sparklers and confetti poppers!
My dad will probably get a phone call with an uncertain promise of “it’s in the mail” next week. But you don’t have to be that person! Here’s a roundup of some rugged cocktail accessories Dad might like.
Dad’s can always use some updated bar tools. And if your Dad is into wine, then a leather pouch to discretely put that wine opener might be much appreciated. Let him get DIY with making his beer, and then he might even want to cook with it! And if all else fails, buy him some scotch and immortalize him as his favorite drink.
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”.
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).
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.