The clink of ice in a glass, the swish of booze in a cocktail shaker, do you know someone who loves those sounds? Maybe they like to sample new drinks when they go out, and then try to recreate them at home. Maybe you know someone who has wondered, “how can I become a mixologist?” It sounds like you are in need of the best gifts for mixologists this holiday season.
According to Beverage Daily, Americans double their alcohol intake between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That is because we all love to socialize and attend gatherings with friends, go to parties, and celebrate with family. These gifts will give the mixologist everything they need for holiday entertaining.
My husband and I love creating craft cocktails. Whether it’s the flavors of peppermint, gingerbread or eggnog for Christmas drinks, or sexy cocktails for Valentine’s Day, mixing drinks is a fun date night. In this gift list, I have included drink making necessities, glassware, cocktail accessories, wine and beer items, as well as novelty cocktail gifts. Even if you are not looking for a gift for a bartender, I guarantee you will find someone on your list, including yourself, that will love these gifts for mixologists.
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Neon Bar Sign – Personalized gifts for the home bar
I had one of these made for my husband last year. This is one of the best gifts for mixologists. If you have a home bar, let’s face it, you need a home bar sign. And what better time to show off their new bar sign then when friends and family gather for the holidays. The best part – it’s light weight, so you don’t have to work about it being too heavy for the wall.
Cocktail Bitters – Creative gifts for a bartender
Bitters are used to add additional flavors to cocktails. Think of them as seasonings for drinks. There are all sorts of flavors from sweet to savory. These are needed in many classic cocktails, but many new drinks use trendy new flavors. With bitters, a little goes a long way. This is a gift that keeps giving since it won’t be used up quickly.
Premium Ice Molds – Useful cocktail gift ideas
I like ice in my drinks to keep them cold, but I hate when the drink gets watered down. The trick is to use one large ice cube, instead of several small ones in a drink. The large ones have less surface area and will take longer to melt than several smaller ones. Therefore, the drink won’t dilute as quickly, giving the drinker time to enjoy their cocktail. These extra large ice cube trays are necessary gifts for mixologists, whether just starting out, or old pros.
Mixology Cocktail Kit – Best cocktail gift sets
These kits come with all of the basic bar tools for new bartenders, such as cocktail shaker, bottle opener, bar spoon, and Hawthorne strainer. This gift will be their tool kit for bartending 101.
Liquor Infusion Sets – DIY cocktail gift basket
A few years ago, my husband and I were inspired to try creating our own flavored liquors. We experimented to find which apple made the best apple bourbon. Then we infused rum with mint from our yard, for mojitos. We also infused vodka with habanero peppers for a really spicy Bloody Mary.
By giving one of these cocktail gift sets with alcohol to infuse, your mixologist will be on the road to making their own unique libations. Pick out which set you think they would like. Then buy the liquor to go with it, and create your own cocktail gift basket.
Ski Shot Board – Unusual gifts for mixologists
I saw these a while back and thought they were a cool novelty gift. The ski holds several shot glasses. Partiers all drink their shots at the same time. Some can be customized with name and date, making it a personalized mixology set.
Flavored Cocktail Syrups – Perfect gift for mixologists
Flavored syrups come in handy for creating one of a kind cocktails. This also makes a fun Secret Santa gift for adults.
Whiskey Glasses – Novelty mixology gift sets
Known also as rocks glasses or old fashioned glasses, these will be needed for many mixed drinks as well as for sipping whiskey. Why not get a set with a decanter or a whimsical theme?
Don’t tell! But I think I will get this for my husband this year!
Bar Cart – Best gifts for mixologists
Every bartender needs a place to store their supplies. A bar cart is a must have gift for mixologists to keep liquor bottles, wine, glassware and mixing tools organized. One that has wheels allows the mixologist to change locations. This is great for when they want to move the party onto the patio.
Although we have a cabinet in our kitchen where we store the majority of our liquor, we also have a bar cart in our living room. It is one of those old world globes that opens up to store extra bar supplies. We store our fancier liquor on the bottom. Them we have a wicker bar cart for our patio.
You can never have too many places for storing your liquor!
Travel Kit – Gifts for mixologists on the go
These make great gifts for mixologists who like to travel. You can either get a roll up set of bar tools or a case that has space for bottle storage. My husband has one that fits bottles. We used it on several vacations when we were not planning on going out. We wanted to bring everything to make our favorite drinks with us.
I got the idea originally from my great Uncle Charlie. One year he drove up from Florida to visit us in NY. My dad went to make his pre-dinner cocktail, but didn’t have his preferred brand. He told my dad to wait a minute, went off to his car, and came back with a mini travel bar with his favorite bottle!
Cocktail Classes – Experience gifts for mixologists
During the pandemic, when we couldn’t go anywhere, my husband and I took a lot of fun cocktail classes online. We made homemade limoncello, learned about South African wineries, mixed classic rum cocktails, and learned the proper way to sip whiskey. These classes are small and through the Zoom platform, so mixologists can easily ask questions, and give and get feedback.
Martini Glasses – Classic gifts for mixologists
In the words of James Bond, ” Shaken, not stirred.” The martini is a classic drink that has made a comeback in recent years. What caused the boom in popularity? Martinis are made traditionally with gin, but more often now, with vodka. With everyone watching their sugar and carb intake, vodka drinks have become popular. Martinis, in particular, are mainly alcohol with possibly a splash of juice, so they aren’t very filling.
Trendy varieties, such as the Cosmopolitan, were popularized by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City. Most restaurants have a list of specialty martinis that cost an arm and a leg, but are well worth it. Your mixologist will need this glassware to create their own signature drink.
Blender for Frozen Drinks – Summer drink necessity
Blenders are not all alike. Ones with a narrow base are not good for chopping ice. Large pieces of fruit tend to stick on the blades. If you are buying a blender for a mixologist, make sure to get one that has high power, metal blades and a wide base. Then they will be able to play around with all sorts of fresh fruit daiquiris, frozen margaritas, mud slides, and pina coladas.
Liquor Gift Basket – Cocktail gifts for everyone
Gift baskets with liquor and gourmet snacks always make a big hit during the holidays. On occasion, we have gotten gift baskets with snacks we didn’t particularly like, but it doesn’t matter. These snacks are meant to be shared, so they are perfect for serving to guests.
Huricane Glasses – Glasses for making tropical drinks
Of course, everyone needs some cool glassware to serve the tropical drinks they will be making after they get the blender. Choose a classic tulip glass, or get a set with an exotic tiki motif. We have several designs so people don’t confuse their drinks with each other at parties.
Garnish Tray – Organizer gifts for mixologists
Just like at a real bar, a home bartender needs a place to keep garnishes organized. One with separate compartments for cherries, citrus, olives, and cocktail onions is the best. This way they can take individual sections out to clean as the garnishes are used up. A long tray can easily slide into the refrigerator when not in use. Some even have handy spaces to store straws, swizzle sticks, or picks for garnishes.
Garnish Picks – Small cocktail gifts
Speaking of garnishes, your mixologist will need garnish picks to skewer fruits or olives, making their drinks look fancy. Disposable ones are ok for large parties, but for regular use, fancy reusable garnish sticks are classier.
Liquor Dispenser – Cool gifts for mixologists
This is a handy way to dispense liquor. Whether a wall unit, or a novelty stand alone dispenser, these gifts are sure to be a hit.
Margarita Glasses – Vacation in Mexico at home
While hurricane glasses work just fine for serving margaritas, funky margarita glasses make great gifts for mixologists that already have those. I love these quirky cactus glasses. I think they are going on my wish list.
Swizzle Sticks – Novelty gifts for mixologists
Swizzle sticks serve two purposes. Use them for stirring mixed drinks. Or, in the case of a layered drink, serve them with the drink so the person can stir before drinking. Sometimes heavier components of a drink sink to the bottom, so people may like to stir their drink again after a few sips.
Countertop Ice Maker – Great gifts for large gatherings
The beat of good music, clinking of glasses, happy laughter, it’s the sound of a fun get together. But wait! The unthinkable happens. You reach in for some ice to make a guest a drink, and there is nothing there. Empty! Nothing ends a party quicker than running out of alcohol. But a close second is running out of ice.
Friends don’t let friends run out of ice. These countertop ice makers make ice in a few minutes, so they don’t have to worry about running out of ice again. I definitely need this at my house. Last year we got this amazing smart refrigerator. However, one problem, the ice maker doesn’t hold much, and it takes forever to make more ice. We have to make a bunch ahead of time to keep in our other freezer so we don’t run out during gatherings.
Shot Glass Gift Sets – Unique gifts for mixologists
While we like to collect shot glasses as souvenirs while traveling, a set of novelty shot glasses is one of the best gifts for mixologists. Even if they have a set of basics, quirky themed ones are something they aren’t likely to buy for themselves.
Ice Shot Glass Molds – Whimsical gifts for mixologists
Have you ever gone to an ice bar? These novelty bars keep the temperature below freezing and serve craft cocktails in glassware made from ice.
If you want a novelty gift, this is it. These can be fun to serve shots in. However, a word of warning, only do this during winter. They melt too quickly in summer, or warm climates. Then you have your liquor leaking through. I also recommend the silicone molds. We had plastic ones, and the ice was hard to remove.
That being said, with a little practice ahead of time, these will make a huge hit at outdoor holiday parties. Another tip is to make sure the liquor is chilled ahead of time so it doesn’t melt the glass.
Charcuterie Boards – Gifts for mixologists
When serving drinks, it is a good idea to serve some food. Your mixologist doesn’t need to be a master chef. All it takes is a selection of cheese, crackers, and meats. We like to add grapes and peanuts to ours. Grapes are a good finger food and don’t go bad easily.
Bartending Guides – Best gifts for cocktail lovers
While it is easy to look up a specific drink you want to make online, bartending books often have tips, tricks, and classic recipes they might not otherwise know about. My husband and I have some books that we like to look through for inspiration. They make a nice conversation piece for guests as well. What is the best mixology book? While this is a matter of opinion, the best books are ones with photos, so you can see what you are making, and books with tips and drinks that use basic ingredients and are not too complicated.
Cocktail Sugars, Shimmers, and Salts – Fun cocktail gift ideas
You can make a delicious drink, but as we all know, presentation is everything. Colorful salts dress up margaritas, while fancy sugars add a sweet treat to glass rims. However, my favorite is the shimmer. Shimmer adds mystique to Halloween drinks, class to drinks at New Year’s, and makes Valentine’s drinks more exotic.
Cocktail Kit – DIY cocktail gifts
While I usually recommend mixing cocktails from scratch, a cocktail gift set is a great way to try a bunch of cocktails without having to buy all of the specialty ingredients. These mixers still need alcohol added. But at least your mixologist doesn’t need to have all the extras on hand. Then, if they like the drink, they know they can pick up the additional ingredients on the next trip to the liquor store.
Wine Making Kit – Mixology gifts for wine lovers
Years ago, my husband and I went to Arizona for my friend’s wedding. We had never been there before, so we decided to make a vacation out of it. In addition to the usual outdoor activities you would expect, we ended up finding a wine bar where we made our own wine. We had an absolute blast. A month later, when the wine was ready, the winery shipped our wine to us, at our expense, of course. How much easier it is to make your own at home. So of course, I added one of these kits to my wish list.
Wine Refrigerator – Wine gifts for a bartender
Whether they make their own wine, belong to a club, or shop at the local store, mixologists need a place to keep wine bottles cold. Find out what fits in the space they have, and the average amount of bottles they need to store. My neighbor has one of these, and she never has to worry about running out of chilled wine. Unlike us, sometimes we go to open a bottle of white, and realize we forgot to replace the last one we took out of the fridge.
Monogram Wine Glass Sets – Glassware gifts for mixologists
A bartender needs something to serve wine in. A monogram wine glass gift set is especially nice if you pair it with a bottle of wine. If your mixologist also likes cooking, get them a bottle of wine to go with their favorite cuisine.
Quirky Wine Stoppers – Funny gifts for mixologists
These are just hilarious! I saw something similar for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, but these are just perfect as gifts for mixologists to use on open wine bottles. Tools, cactus, or works of art are just some of the cool choices. These make great stocking stuffers.
Beer Making Starter Kit – Mixology gifts for beer lovers
My neighbor, Larry started his home brewing with one of these kits, and now has moved on to experimenting with his own creations. He enjoys trying out new brews and sharing them with us. Of course, we don’t mind him having this hobby! If they already have a home brewing kit, you might want to get them other supplies such as additional bottles.
Sets of Beer Glasses – Gifts ideas for the home bar
If your mixologist mainly serves mixed drinks and only one or two beers, you can get them a set of pint glasses. However, if he knows his craft beers and likes to serve different types, your best bet is to get a selection of glasses. Different types of brews are served in different glassware. Pilsners are served in tall glasses, whereas Belgian ales are served in shorter glasses shaper more like brandy snifters.
If they already have a set of pint glasses, you may want to get them a set of novelty glasses instead.
Kegerator – Beer gifts for a bartender
Whether mixed drinks are your specialty or not, some people just want beer. Keep a few specialty beers cold, on tap, with a kegerator. Some can hold a few types of beer at a time depending on the size of the keg.
I hope you enjoyed these gifts and find something for everyone on your list, well, the adults anyway!
Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.