Put down that novelty cocktail shaker! Whether you’re shopping for the budding home mixologist or a drink-slinging pro, we’ve collected the tools and gear they’d actually like to receive this holiday season. Drink up.
CB2 Maitre Wine Bar
Bar carts look cool, but they aren’t practical. When has anyone ever wheeled their entire bar around the house? Instead, opt for a bar cabinet like CB2’s industrial Maitre Wine Bar. The iron and wood piece of furniture has racks to hand a dozen glasses, shelves to hold your alcohol bottles and a pull-out drawer to hide your gadgets and all of those shot glasses you collected in college. Available from CB2 for $500.
Most home bars lack quality barspoons, according to bar guru Jeffrey Morgenthaler. This stainless-steel trident barspoon from Cocktail Kingdom works double-duty: stirs with one end and spears garnishes like olives with the other. Plus it has a twisted, ergonomic handle for a comfy, non-slip grip. Available from Cocktail Kingdom for $29.
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails
The guys behind New York City’s most influential cocktail bar of the past decade, Death & Company, just released Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. The book is packed with 500 original recipes and essays on the theory and philosophy of drink-making. It also includes guides to buying spirits and mastering bartending techniques, plus a collection of stories written by the East Village bar’s tenders about their favorite regulars. Available from Amazon for $26.
W&P Carry On Cocktail Kit
Never suffer through another flight without a proper Old Fashioned in hand. The W&P Carry On Cocktail Kit includes cane sugar, a tiny bottle of bitters, a bar spoon/muddler and a linen coaster—everything you need to mix two real cocktails and drink them in style. And all of it can get through T.S.A. security. Just order a mini bottle of bourbon when you get to cruising altitude, combine it with the other ingredients and enjoy your flight. Available from W&P or Sur La Table for $24.
Usagi Cobbler Shaker
If you insist on buying a shaker, get the best one on the market: Usagi’s heavyweight cobbler shaker comes with three copper-plated pieces and a built-in strainer. Available from Cocktail Kingdom for $70.
Koriko Mixing Tins (Boston Shaker)
To prep cocktails like a pro, get a Boston shaker. Fill the stainless steel cup with your ingredients and then slap it onto a pint glass or smaller stainless steel cup, shake, break the seal and pour. It takes a bit of technique to disconnect the cup from the glass, but once you get it down (just hit the unit where the halves meet) you’ll be able to mix up a lot of cocktails quickly and look damn cool while doing it. Set available from Cocktail Kingdom for $17.
Teroforma Whisky Stones Max
To add a slight chill to straight spirit, drop a cold Teroforma whiskey stone into your glass. The 1.5-inch sandstone cubes are milled in Vermont and help open up the alcohol’s flavors without watering down the drink. Available from Teroforma for $22.
Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds
For more traditional drink chillers, make your own ice with spherical molds from Tovolo. The plastic and silicone molds create large, slow-melting ice orbs. You can also freeze herbs or citrus peels in the spheres for a pretty additional to punch bowls or sangria. Available from Amazon for $11.
Misc. Goods Ceramic Flask
Misc. Goods’ Ceramic Flask is hefty in a rustic, this-just-came-out-of-a-kiln way. The handsome vessel’s cork is secured by tanned leather straps, a brass stud and brass button. Available from Misc. Goods for $92.
Rablabs Tiger’s Eye Bottle Stopper
Rablabs’ crystal bottle stopper is topped with a tiger’s eye gemstone, which looks like a hunk of marbled wood. Available from Barneys New York for $52.
Carry that Moscow Mule vibe over to all your icy drinks with Williams-Sonoma’s polished copper tumblers. Made in Turkey, each 3.5-inch-high cup is hammered out by hand and lined with tin. Available from Williams-Sonoma for $20.
AHeirloom Cocktail Muddler
You can use a muddler for a lot more than making mojitos. Use the 8-inch-long cocktail muddler from AHeirloom to smash herbs, fruits and spices for all kinds of cocktails. It comes in walnut or maple (the darker version resists stains) and has a Corian tip for thorough smashing. Plus it can be engraved. Available from AHeirloom for $20.
Koriko Hawthorne Strainer
This tight-coiled, stainless steel Hawthorne strainer can attach to multiple sized mixing glasses and makes split pouring a cinch. Available from Cocktail Kingdom for $15.
25mL / 50mL Japanese Jigger
This gold-plated jigger is the ultimate in bar swag. Use it to measure out standard 1.5-ounce shots on one side and 0.75-ounce pours on the other. Available from Cocktail Kingdom for $21.
W+P Mixing Glass
Stir up all of your cocktails in this beaker-like mixing glass from W+P Design. The vessel is made from hand-blown glass and has a thick, sturdy base for staying put. Available from Williams-Sonoma for $30.
Jackson Cannon Bar Knife
This high-carbon, stainless-steel bar knife from R. Murphy Knives can scrape, peel and cut fruit and herbs to your heart’s content. The hand-edged and honed blade is cryogenically treated to help it resist losing its cutting edge. Plus the handle is made from a tropical hardwood that resists wet environments. Available from Bespoke Post for $80.
Steer Horn Drinking Cups
Do as the Vikings did and drink from a steer horn. These polished cups from Cool Material have a natural curve because they’re cut from authentic horns. Available in a set of two from Cool Material for $19.
Easy & Oskey Make Your Own Bitters Kit
Take the guesswork out of concocting your own aromatic batch of bitters. Easy & Oskey’s Make Your Own Bitters Kit includes a Mason jar mixer, cheese-cloth filter, funnel, dropper bottles, recipes and a dry spice blend containing roots, seeds and herbs. You distill the spices with sugar and a spirit to make 10-ounces of the concentrated good stuff. Buy it through Bespoke Post and receive two different bitters kits and a copy of Dave Solomson’s home mixologist bible, The 12 Bottle Bar. Available from Bespoke Post (where it is called the Dash kit) for $45.
.50-Cal Bullet Bottle Opener
Made from a piece of spent BMG brass, the .50-Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener may be the most intense bottle opener we’ve ever seen. But it gets our vote as the best way to use 5.25-inch-long ammunition. The opener is constructed from an actual demilitarized casing and is made in America, because of course it is. Available from Cool Material for $16.
Domaine de la Côte Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Sometimes the drinking man wants to get straight to drinking without all the faffing about making a cocktail. In that instance, they should reach for one of the wines from Domaine de la Côte, especially the Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir, which features notes of berries and garden herbs. It’s one of the best Pinots you’ll find from Santa Barbara County. Sta. Rita Hills is available online for as low as $40.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep