The 22 Best Gifts for Cocktail Lovers

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Williams Sonoma Crafthouse by Fortessa Cocktail Shaker Set
Photo: Williams Sonoma

Whether sipping a stiff martini or a whiskey-fueled Manhattan, cocktail lovers know that a drink is only as good as the ingredients and tools used to make it. If you have someone in your life who loves to play the role of host or bartender, look beyond a traditional bottle of liquor and consider one of these expert-approved bar tools, from smoking guns to hand-blown coupe glasses.

Start with the basics for a novice cocktail enthusiast to make drinks for two, like the Crafthouse by Fortessa Cocktail Shaker Set or a comprehensive recipe book. For more seasoned home bartenders or drinks for a crowd, go straight to a pro-level tool like the Flavour Blaster or a countertop pebble ice machine. This cocktail gift list has something for anyone who loves a properly mixed drink, so read on for more of our favorite options.

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Cocktail Shaker

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Macy's.

If you're looking for a suitable gift for someone who recently developed an interest in cocktail making, you can't go wrong with a well-made cocktail shaker as a gift. This set from Fortessa is one of the best around, and it comes with everything, including a classic Boston shaker, Hawthorne strainer, jigger, and wooden muddler.

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Foghat Cocktail Smoking Cloche Set

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

Perfect as a gift for your cocktail-obsessed friend, this kit goes beyond the basic cocktail smoker and provides everything from the cloche to whiskey barrel oak smoking fuel to a handmade serving board. The included smoking fuel is made from aged bourbon barrels, featuring a traditional oak flavor with notes of caramel, autumnal spices, honey, and vanilla — a great addition when creating whiskey, bourbon, or Scotch cocktails at home. Plus, given the board's generous size, you can easily smoke a cocktail and your favorite meats and cheeses.

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Estelle Stem Coupes

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Also available at West Elm and Food52.

Drinks taste better in beautiful glassware. So add some glamour to a loved one's bar with this pastel-colored coupe set by Estelle Colored Glass. Hand blown by glass artisans in Poland, the six coupes feature a mix of jewel tones and soft pastels, instantly elevating any table setting.

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Westwood Liquor Decanter 3-Piece Gift Set

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Potterybarn

For craft cocktails or whiskey neat at home, this barware gift set will come as a welcome surprise. Featuring a decanter and matching double Old-Fashioned glasses for under $100, all pieces in this functional, stylish set are made of blown soda-lime glass and are dishwasher safe.

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SaloonBox

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Saloonbox

A subscription box is ideal for home bartenders, easing the search for ingredients and allowing experimentation without committing to a full-size bottle of spirits. SaloonBox includes two recipes, spirits, ingredients, and recipe cards, equaling four cocktails per kit. Depending on who you gift it to, you can choose between a three, six, and 12-month pre-pay option.

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Camp Cocktail Mixers

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Etsy

Handmade in Florida, these mixers are delicious, sustainable, and easy to make drinks with (think mocktails or cocktails). Depending on which flavor profile you choose, Camp Cocktail recommends the types of liquor to infuse and the number of times you can infuse each jar (typically twice, for a total of 16 servings), all without sacrificing taste and quality. One of our favorites is the Brunch Punch, featuring dried cherries, pineapple, oranges, and citrus-infused vegan sugar, which can infuse vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bourbon, or hot water.

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I'm Just Here for The Drinks

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

The world of cocktail making is fraught with mystery for many people, which is why this book is one of the best for those just getting started making drinks solo. Wine Enthusiast's 2017 Mixologist of the Year Sother Teague covers everything from the history of both classic and lesser-known spirits to insights from industry pros and veteran bartenders. It includes plenty of easy-to-mix drink recipes that even the most novice cocktail maker will be able to master.

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10-Piece Mixology Bartender Kit

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

This kit supplies everything you need (except the booze) to make the perfect cocktail. Play around with all the tools the pros use — including a jigger and a muddler — and conveniently store the items on a stylish bamboo stand, keeping everything organized and accessible so you can quickly whip up a cocktail at a moment's notice.

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Glacio Ice Cube Molds

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

We could chat all day about ice molds and the ice itself, but the bottom line is that great cocktails always involve great ice. For a home bartender, serving drinks over large ice cubes makes a big difference and goes a long way in impressing your guests. These cube and sphere-shaped molds allow for slow dilution and satisfying presentation.

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In the Clouds Glassware

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Jonathan-hansen

Though this crystalware collection doesn't come cheap, it's guaranteed to make a statement. Reserve this gift option for a wedding or a more formal occasion, as these glasses won't only make someone's cocktails look great, but they'll also double as a work of art when displayed in a cabinet.

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Deluxe Ice Stamp

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Stamptitude

Think of this custom ice stamp as a cocktailer's answer to a monogrammed pillow. It's a unique way to upgrade drinks with friends and family. With a solid detachable brass plate, the stamp has either a 3-inch solid walnut or aluminum handle with an additional customizable brass top. Each stamp is expertly gift wrapped for a fun unboxing experience, too.

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Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

There is plenty of excellent cocktail literature, but we recommend starting with this book for your home bar library. If you can make a solid Old-Fashioned or Manhattan, you'll be the life of many parties — and Cocktail Codex is a must-have. This book breaks down all cocktails into six categories to help readers understand the rationale behind what can seem like an overwhelming number of recipes and steps to follow to create the perfect drink.

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Geo Lacquer Wood Bar Tray

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Westelm

If you're working with a wood sideboard or coffee table, a bar tray is a perfect way to protect surfaces and add an element of design. Go with a lacquered version for an understated piece, or elevate the space with a glass mirror tray that reflects art deco bar style. Both are easy to clean with handles for carrying.

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Glitter Flask

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Brumate

Also available at Brumate.

What's not to love about this high-shine Brumate Glitter Flask? Described as a "party in your purse," there's no way this head-turner of a gift won't be an absolute hit. Affordably priced, this fun flask is leakproof, fits five ounces of your favorite spirit, and discreetly fits inside a purse or pocket. Plus, you can mix and match glitter flask caps with options like black rhinestones, glittery silver, and multicolor jewels.

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Flavour Blaster Mini Kit

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Flavourblaster

Bubbles, flavor mists, and vapor clouds — the Flavour Blaster Mini Kit is what cocktail dreams are made of. This funky tool lets you blow smoke-filled bubbles and infuse aromas into cocktails, mocktails, food, and desserts while putting on a one-of-a-kind bar show for friends and family. This is a great party trick that not only impresses your guests but also allows them to play mixologist at home, too.

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Coravin Timeless Three SL

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Coravin.

For the wine lovers who buy the best of the best, treat someone to a Coravin to preserve their finest bottles. The Three System is a great introduction to the brand's Timeless Wine Preservation System, which allows you to preserve still bottles for weeks, months, or even years — keeping it as fresh as the day it was corked.

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Crafthouse by Fortessa Cocktail Smoking Box

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma.

This smoking box is sure to impress if you know someone who loves to make cocktails at home. It's a worthwhile addition to a home bar, perfect for entertaining and experimenting. The concept of the smoke box is simple: Put combustible wood chips into the device, light it, and allow the smoke to infuse into the drink.

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DIY Martini Cocktail Set

best gifts for cocktail lovers
Courtesy of Hanson of Sonoma

For those looking to gift high-quality, organic vodka, check out Hanson of Sonoma's DIY Martini Kit. Geared toward anyone curious to learn how to make cocktails, this kit includes one bottle of organic vodka, a jar of olives, two engraved coupe glasses, and a simple martini recipe card.

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Tibo Bar Cart

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Wayfair

A gorgeous bar cart is a great way to display your liquors and tools for a big gift or major bar upgrade. After all, part of the bar is the atmosphere — so why not try to recreate that at home? Setting up a bar cart with select bottles, bitters, tools, and possibly a favorite book can show the devotion to making an enjoyable, balanced cocktail, rather than just mixing alcohol over ice. If this sounds like an ideal gift for someone in your life, we suggest the Tibo Bar Cart, a classic style at an affordable price.

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Countertop Pebble Ice Machine

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Bestbuy

Also available at Best Buy.

If you have the countertop space and the money to spend, this is a worthwhile splurge for dedicated home bartenders. Make the switch from hard ice cubes to soft, crunchy, restaurant-style ice with the GE Profile Opal Ice Maker. It can make 24 pounds of nugget ice daily, ideal for chilling cocktails, sodas, and other beverages. The machine is also equipped with Wi-Fi functionality and voice-control software, which means you can request fresh ice from your smartphone or smart device and have it ready in 20 minutes.

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Margarita Cocktail Kit

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Ilegalmezcal

You can't go wrong with a margarita kit as a gift. Everyone likes a margarita, and this kit elevates the classic cocktail with Ilegal Mezcal instead of tequila, adding complexity and a light hint of smoke. It also comes with cold-pressed crystallized lime juice, a spicy margarita salt blend, and agave syrup. Plus, it serves 12 people — a perfect excuse to have a party.

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AeroGarden

Best Gifts for Cocktail Enthusiasts
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're looking to surprise a cocktail-savvy friend or family member, consider gifting this AeroGarden. Aside from bitters and fresh citrus, the key to plenty of traditional cocktail recipes is a handful of fresh herbs — what better way to have mint leaves, rosemary, and basil than with a miniature hydroponic garden right in your kitchen? This is a multi-purpose gift that will delight any home cook or home bartender.

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Conclusion

Choosing the best gifts for cocktail lovers depends on who you're gifting to. A tool for a novice home bartender will inherently differ from what you'd surprise a seasoned cocktail enthusiast with. The next factor to consider is the price point — how much are you willing to spend? If your budget is modest, our pros recommended three gifts for inexperienced bartenders including a basic cocktail-making set, a recipe book, or a cocktail shaker. For skilled home bartenders, they suggest taking it up a notch with a smoking box, high-quality glassware, or a miniature hydroponic garden.

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Pro Panel Q&A

Q: What should a good cocktail gift set contain?

Every tool to make every cocktail would be good in a kit, so think about anything you need to shake or stir a cocktail. If you're trying to be thorough, combine the two, and you'll give someone the ability to make most things at home. Some of the basics include a shaker tin, strainer, double-sided jigger, bar spoon, muddler, and a mixing glass.

Q: What are some must-have cocktail syrups?

You can never go wrong with simple syrup — it's the most common sweetener used in cocktails because it binds flavors together without altering the harmony in a balanced cocktail. Grenadine syrup, made with pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon, is a unique syrup that makes cocktails more fun and refreshing. It's a smart idea to keep mint syrup around so you don't have to rely on muddling fresh mint for a mojito. Don't forget about demerara, agave, honey, and ginger, too.

As a cheat sheet, here are the ratios to aim for with some classic syrups: Simple syrup is equal parts sugar to water. Demerara is two parts demerara to 1 part water. Agave or honey is three parts golden agave or local honey to one part water. Ginger is equal parts raw ginger juice to golden agave. (Pro tip: You can sweeten the ginger syrup with regular sugar instead of agave if you want a less complex flavor in your cocktail).

Q: What are the usual classic cocktails?

Classic cocktails are the easiest to replicate at home. They've stood the test of time because their components are easily assembled with little or no need for sub-recipes, like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, and Martini, or simple sours like the Daiquiri, Margarita, and the French 75. If you can make these well, you can please almost any guest at your bar.

If your goal is something fast, delicious, and easy to clean up, one of the easiest is the Old Fashioned. All it takes is two ounces of any spirit of your choice, about a half ounce or less syrup, and a couple of dashes of bitters. Stir it down to perfection or serve it directly over ice. Add a lemon and orange zest for citrus aroma, and you have a delicious year-round treat. Even if you have no experience bartending, you can make yourself a great drink by following that ratio.

Setting up your home bar to be versatile is where it starts. Buy bottles you can use in multiple cocktails, so you're not stuck making the same one. A bottle of gin, whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a bottle of bitters is plenty for classic cocktails. Stay away from expensive spirits/liqueurs that only have one application.

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The Research

After extensively researching this topic, we consulted more than three dozen pros to get their recommendations on the best cocktail-related gifts. Every gift on this list is endorsed by at least two expert bartenders or hospitality vets. We then read hundreds of reviews, compared their responses, and weighed the information against the input and expertise from our sources.

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Our Expertise

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is an acclaimed food writer with nearly a decade of experience. She tapped nearly 40 bartenders and industry experts from across the country who work in bars and restaurants ranging from James Beard Award-winning locales to iconic watering holes, upscale restaurants, and more. Experts featured in this list include Mary Ellen Angel, Harrison Ginsberg, Brian Kane, Michael Jreidini, Eloy Pacheco, Elvis J. Rosario, Nick Semkiw, Avi Singh, Rishi Rajpal, David Muhs, Ally Marrone, Jessica Nguyen, Amir Babayoff, Juan Coronado, Jarek Krukow, Wael Deek, Sother Teague, Bobby DeMars, Kala Ellis, Adam Morgan, Sam Levy, Hannah Smarr, Kristine Brown, Justin Wilson, Brandon Hanson, April Wachtel, Gilbert Marquez, Bryan Cranston, Karl Steuck, Neil Grosscup, Matt Chavez, Emily McLoughlin, Rachel Garcia, Lynnette Marrero, Chad Matson, Matthew Alper, Lander Otegui, Michael Neff, and Saul Ranella.

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