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by Maren Swanson
Whether you are looking to gift yourself or your friends that stayed on the "nice" list this year, we've gathered some unique gift ideas to add cheer to any cocktail enthusiast's barsonal. Sure, that Ketel One vodka gift box seems like a bright idea, but come on, we all know that's a lazy choice. Now I'm not saying your recipient would be bummed about receiving such lovely present, but why not think outside the typical "gift box" and go for something different? Here a some options that won't break you budget and will leave your Secret Santa will a holly, jolly smile.
1. Vintage Barware.
Vintage is always in, right? A great place to start is your local flea market. Here you can strike up some real deals and find some classic bar pieces. I've found some fabulous flasks, decanters and full sets of martini glasses from the fifties to the eighties and haven't spent more than $50.
2. Holiday Booze.
Duh. As I mentioned earlier, it will be hard to piss someone off when you are gifting alcohol, but friends and family will definitely appreciate it if you get them something with some extra thought put into it. Instead of the typical bottle of gin or vodka, try gifting them something different like seasonally inspired special release beers or cordials.
Love your swiss army knife but wish you had one for your bar? Bar10nder is a new tool on the market that combines 10 bartending tools in one gadget - the muddler, standard and channel knives, reamer, jigger, zester, stirrer, strainer, corkscrew, and bottle opener. So cool.
4. Homemade Stuff.
Everyone loves something homemade. Plus, you won't break the bank and you will definitely get praised for your creativity. Pinterest in a great resource for this. One idea is to create a certificate that includes a promised night of chocolate dipped strawberries and Champagne cocktails (made by yours truly). Or try making my DIY Christmas beer. All you need is a beer with a green bottle (Heineken, Rolling Rock), pipe cleaners and scissors.
5. Barsonal Gift Basket
Variety is the spice of life, so get creative and fill a large basket with all of the essentials like a shaker, jigger, peeler, wine/beer opener, silicone ice trays, a great bottle of spirits, and some fantastic glassware. This gift idea is perfect for the novice bartender whose just getting started. I would also suggest adding cocktail book to get them even more motivated to start there barsonal. If you don't have time to do it yourself, Build-a-Basket can help you find a customized basket that's perfect for your giftee.