Bottled Classic Cocktails
BTL SVC • $20
Your correspondent ran across these charming apothecary-styled drams in a hotel room mini-bar, figuring they most likely looked better than they tasted. Boy was I ever wrong. Each of BTL SVC’s classic tipples are carefully crafted with top-shelf booze and ingredients, and it shows — pour one over ice and you’d never know it didn’t come straight from behind the bar at your favorite craft haunt. Grab ‘em individually or, you know, try the whole set — Lord knows I did.
Jackson Cannon Bar Knife
R. Murphy • $65
Put down that dull, overused kitchen knife. Designed for bartending professionals (by an award-winning mixologist), this high carbon stainless steel blade works just fine for home bartenders. The square tip can notch citrus for garnishes, remove seeds and slice citrus peels. Caveat: Do note the skill level of your host with sharp objects.
Absolut Elyx Gift Set w/ Original Copper Pineapple
Reserve Bar • $130
We went to Sweden a few years back to learn the whole process behind Elyx, an elevated vodka (seriously) that works just as perfectly in a vodka martini as it does in a cocktail. The pineapple? Originally, those were gifted to nobility. Now? They’re both ornamental and a great vessel for a variety of delicious drinks (to be enjoyed by the host on an off-party night).
Whiskey Club Membership and Advent Calendar
Flaviar • $170+
About a gift that keeps on giving? An adult take on a holiday tradition, this advent calendar is filled with 24 different whiskies from around the globe -- from well-known single malts to Irish tipples, along with a few surprises (a beer-barrel bourbon, an ex-bourbon cask whiskey from Taiwan, etc.) Throw in a year-long membership to Flaviar and your host will get a new (non-advent) sampler every month.
The Balvenie Bar Cart
Todd Snyder • $3900
Yours truly has been to a few cooperages in his time -- there’s a wonderful craftsmanship behind the making of each whiskey barrel (one that involves a lot of fire). Reclaiming these barrels for a made-to-order bar cart (charred interior included) creates a perfect whiskey cycle of life, or some other end-of-year mumbo-jumbo you can impress your host with over a few drams.