It does not need an electric magnetized aerator that swirls wine at 3,000 RPM.
A good home bar needs a few solid and dependable items and a little bit of extra bling for fun. Maybe a secret stash of hangover cures. It does not need an electric magnetized aerator that swirls wine at 3,000 RPM. No, it needs these things right here. OK. “Need” is a strong word. But these will bring a smile instead of a smirk to the face of any serious drinker.
Steel Angled Jigger
You might scoff at first, but dear sir or madam, scoff not. Working bartenders swear by this for ease and accuracy, and its pretty classic industrial design to boot. The good people at OXO caught wind of the fact that barkeeps were using their plastic angled baker’s measuring cup, so they made them one of their own. Stuff that in your stocking and smoke it.
Professional Bitters Bottle
Is it possible for a piece of glassware to be sexy? That doesn’t make us weird, does it? It is and yeah, it feels like it’s getting weird. Will this make your home bitters taste better? No. Look better? Way.
(Artemisia Absithium), $3/oz.
Speaking of bitters and bad ideas, wormwood, of the sort found in absinthe, is a classic and indispensable bittering agent and base for lots of dark bitters. Stock up with dried 100% organic wormwood bought in bulk and put a gleeful smile on your favorite mad scientist amateur mixologist’s face. Or just get them seeds so they can grow their own (and it’s deer and drought resistant, too!).
Bitters Sampler Set
Cecil & Merle, $28
Who really has time to make their own bitters anyway? Especially when Brooklyn-based Cecil & Merle has done all the hard parts and put the results in such nice looking tiny bottles. Get a range of flavors in the sampler gift set. Bonus Points: the sampler set-size bottles are TSA approved. Get a set for yourself and take your airplane-seat Manhattan game up a notch.
Distinguished Bar Club Membership
Napa Valley Distillery, $85/Quarter
You know that proverbial gift that keeps on giving? Wait, we think that might mean hangovers (more on that later). Know what’s better? Four shipments a year of hand-crafted small-batch spirits, accessories, and accouterments, somewhat counterintuitively, from America’s favorite bougie wine-growing region. Just go with us on this one.
Whisky Peaks “Rocks” Glasses
Huckberry, $70 (set of four)
A rocks glass you drink neat out of. Reminisce about that time you scaled Denali, while the handblown likeness of its peaks peek out from the shores of your brown beverage. The Whisky Peaks series, created to mark the centennial of the National Parks Service, will let you sip from Denali, Half Dome, Rainier, and Whitney. Because it’s there, of course.
Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
Griffo, Limited Release
Careful man, there’s a beverage here! Craft distiller Griffo worked with the equally crafty roasters at Acre Coffee to concoct the stuff of the Dude’s dreams: Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. Package with a quality vodka and a creamer packet and you’ve got Lebowskifest-worthy gift.
We might be biased, but we think this stainless steel, bone-bedazzled beauty looks damn good on a bar. And you know how they say you can’t take it with you? Well, yeah, you can tell them where to go and what perfectly-sized shiny container they can take it with them in.
The Sidecar Barcart
Moore & Giles, Price Upon Request
Do you know a home barkeep who’s been really, really exceptionally, ridiculously good this year? Maybe they deserve this piece of crafted furniture, a collaboration between PDT impresario Jim Meehan and purveyor Moore & Giles. This butcher block-topped, leather matted, wood and aluminum beauty is much more than a place to stash bottles.
RecoverORS, $9.97 (4-pack)
These guys scienced the shit out of hangovers. There’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo about six times the electrolytes and hardly any sugar, Osmolarity(?!?) and blah, blah blah, we stopped listening until we can finish our 8 ounce of electrolyte super drink specially formulated by clinicians for hangovers, “the flu,” wine flu, “traveling,” “food poisoning,” and hangovers. We can tell you that they work and are magic. Stocking stuffer up.