It’s not cheap, it’s frugal. Here’s our first of the “practical” gift guides this year.
They might have a small price tag, but no one is going to regift these guys. Except maybe the reusable wine bag, because that’s the point. Whether you need some stocking stuffers they’ve never seen before (hello cocktail pins and firewater tincture!), some solid basics (muddlers! crushed ice trays!), or if you need a gift for your officemate who just got into cocktails (Meehan!), these are a sure bet. And of course, there’s always rum! And don’t forget yourself! I’ll be stirring up some drinks this holiday season with a couple Palm Springs stirrers.
Oh my gourd! It’s time to get that bar cart styled – for Halloween!
If you don’t want to drop some dollars on a fancy punch bowl but still want to impress your friends, hollow out a pumpkin! Plop it on your bar cart! Pour in whiskey (or check below for some recommended recipes)! Stir it up with a skull spoon! And serve up your punch in some gothic goblets. Or some very Fall coppery glasses. With glow-in-the-dark eyeball ice cubes of course. Come November 1st you’ll need only add some decorative wheat stalks, and remove the eyeballs, and your Autumnal bar cart is DONE.
Unless that tie rack comes with booze…think again.
For the bookworm Dad: booze books. For the stylish Dad: booze cufflinks. For the junk food Dad: beer and pretzel ice cream. For the outdoorsy Dad: a pocketknife to hand carve a muddler. Oh, and also a plaid flask (duh). For the goofy Dad: bourbon socks. For all the rest of the Dads: whisk(e)y. And you should probably throw in a Negroni finger stirrer because… well, your Dad knows a joke for that too.
If you’re anything like me, scrolling through endless Instagram photos of kids out at a festival, profusely sweating and pretending to smile at the camera, you’re SO happy you didn’t wait in line 45 minutes for a watered down margarita. You get to drink yours with 2 ounces of top shelf booze in front of the air conditioning. You win.
Still miss that 104° heat? Make your home bar into your own oasis. Here’s how…
Do they even serve alcohol at these festivals? Who cares! You have a well stocked bar cart at home. Throw up some cactus photos, maybe in #milleniumpink and match your glasses to that desert vibe. Crochet. There has to be lots of crochet things. A hanging chair to sip cocktails in? YES! And maybe some hanging crochet fruit baskets to match. Add in some tassels and some leather fringe. And if your festival look veers off in the electric art dream in the desert, might I suggest uranium glow-in-the-dark mixing glasses and colorful rainbow ice cubes? You can always use that glow stick to mix a few drinks with too.
It’s March. It’s almost spring. Let’s refresh that bar cart with a little smattering of green and gold. Lucky Charms cocktail garnish optional.
Thank your lucky (edible) stars we’ve been scouring the internet for some new bar cart items this month. First, skip the green beer and get yourself some green liqueur instead. Now that you’re adulting, a gilded bar cart is much prettier than a cardboard box. Next, grab yourself some equally pretty gold jiggers and a functional pitcher (for like, water or holding straws). And OK, yes, you can have ONE novelty glass. And a stir stick or two. And if you insist, some mint bitters for that adult Shamrock Shake you secretly want.
Remember, bottles of booze fit nicely into stockings. As do magazines (about booze), gummy bears (filled with booze) and cocktail kits (for making booze). Up your cocktail party cachet with some boozy playing cards, and don’t forget the fancy glassware! Pineapples are still a thing, so throw a couple of shot glasses in that stocking. Infused ice cubes fit too! And maybe a key chain that yells I like fancy drinks!
Whether Santa’s giving you coal in your stocking, or Santa’s coming round the back door, you’re on his naughty list this year.
Are you making yellow snow and beating up on innocent reindeer piñatas (even if they are filled with tiny bottles of booze)? Don’t go crying some Bitter Tears, those are whiskey stones Santa left you, not lumps of coal. Now, on the other hand, if you’re looking for a little danger, and your scotch comes out of a bottle that was possibly forged in hell, then pour yourself some stripper highballs and put on some appropriate holiday music. Santa’s making a special stop at your chimney.
Chances are you going to forget someone on your list. Here’s a helpful guide to making sure you get them something by Christmas day. Better make it boozy!
Vinyl Me, Please
First up, forget about Netflix and chill. Wine and records is where it’s at. Vinyl Me, Please has partnered with Vine Box to create the ultimate bundle: Two Nights of Music and Wine. You get two albums and 6 glasses of wine. You bring the crackling fire. This deal is only around until December 18th so you’ll want to jump on this deal NOW.
If your relatives can’t be trusted to buy good booze and never have any ingredients to work with, SaloonBox is for them. Everything is included in these kits and delivered to their doorstep. Sign up for a subscription or browse their selection of bar tools, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift.
Shaker & Spoon
If your house is full of good booze, but you get stuck making the same drinks over and over, Shaker & Spoon should be the gift you give yourself. Every month you can get 3 recipes curated by top bartenders with all the ingredients to make up to 12 drinks (minus the booze). That’s a lot of good cocktails!
If you just want booze, or even, rare, hard to find, or smaller unknown brands, Flaviar has introduced an online speakeasy for just this reason. You get personalized recommendations and a FREE tasting box. And again, it’s being shipped to your doorstep, so no need for pants.
Chances are there is someone on your list with fancy tastes, but who wants to figure out what to get them? Have Robb Vices do that instead. Each month there is a curated box filled with luxury items and usually booze. Maybe one month it’s a scorpion lollipop. Another month it could be specially designed whiskey drinking glasses. Regardless, it will be fancy and cool.
Choose what cocktail you’d like, or pick one from their extensive list of drinks, Cocktail Courier will get that to your doorstep ASAP. If you’re thinking about having a holiday party this year and need help at the bar, they can even deliver a bartender to you. Holiday drinking is so easy this year!
Whether you’re a Level IV Sommelier or just like mixing your red wine with coke, this guide’s for you!
OK, let’s talk glassware. You can get it fancy (it says so on the glass), or save yourself the trouble and just get some unbreakable glasses (they look so REAL). Or if you just can’t be bothered, you can just attach your glass to the bottle. For your fanciest wine peeps, grab some copper, or a fancy decanter, or maybe a book on the wine regions of Argentina. And what’s the best wine gift of all? Wine. Sent to your home. Every month.
If last week was rough, then hopefully we can help out with this week’s giveaway. It’s a battle of East Coast versus West Coast, sort of. We’ve teamed up with Cocktail Crate (from New York) and Stark Spirits (California) to offer one lucky Stir and Strain reader a super giveaway package.
What’s in the package you ask? Cocktail Crate is giving you a full bottle each of their Maple Whiskey Sour, Ginger Bee, and Grapefruit Daiquiri craft mixers. Stark Spirits is shipping you a full bottle of their Sunshine Orange Brandy. With this combo any holiday blues will be whisked away.
So let us ease your holiday stress with helping you make some delicious and easy cocktails. Ready to enter? Click below and receive up to 10 entries (Open to US residents 21+ only). Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Monday December 5th, 2016. For more information on Cocktail Crate, check out their website at cocktailcrate.com and Stark Spirits at starkspirits.com for the entire line up of products today! Good luck!