10 holiday gift ideas for the cocktail lover in Toronto
No holiday list would be complete without some cocktail-related ideas. So as the festive season comes careening at us like the runaway locomotive of shattered dreams and dried out roasted vegetables, one can take solace in knowing that booze makes every family gathering just a little bit more palatable. Although there's no shortage of socks, ties, and ugly sweaters to give to your loved ones, it seems that no family get-together is manageable without the sweet embrace of a good stiff drink.
Here are 10 holiday gifts ideas for the Toronto cocktail lover.
Death and Co:Modern Classic Cocktails $30
This East Village speakeasy has become one of the world's most revered cocktail bars, and the publication of its first book, a collaborative effort between the many bartenders that have worked the wood. Going far beyond the 500 cocktail recipes listed, the book operates as a how-to guide for any budding bar owner, revealing the tricks (and the vast amount of work) involved in running a top cocktail establishment.
'It's Happy Hour' Cocktail Gift Basket / Bites Baskets $110
Featuring a range of nifty ingredients, this little basket neatly wraps up a few great gifts into one. With stuff for caesars to get Christmas breakfast started, there's also cocktail cherries, flavoured syrups, and a pack of the excellent Scrappy's bitters.
The Carry on Cocktail Kit / BYOB $26.00
Accompany the mini bottles on your next flight with this carry on cocktail kit, it includes a spoon with a muddler on the the bottom, a bottle of aromatic bitters, a coaster, 2 packets of sugar and a recipe card.
Deco Barware / West Elm $69.00
West Elm in Liberty Village has everything people need for making their home look great, bar tools being no exception. The Deco barware collection comes with a jigger, fruit knife, tongs and a bottle opener. With a silver finish, and a wooden base, they'll look equally at home in either a modernist or vintage-themed bar.
Ice Cube Tray / CB2 $7.95
Those tiny little cubes that melt in five minutes just don't cut it any more. Any serious cocktail bar now employs either ice spheres or gigantic king cubes, like the ones you'll get out of this tray. Pro tip: use distilled water to help ensure your ice is crystal clear.
Carroll and Co Bitters $15.00
Jeff Carroll's bitters are only available from his website (as is his excellent caesar mix and tonic syrup), but at $15 for 150ml, they're fantastic value for money. The Cherry Masala Chai is the secret ingredient in our pick for Toronto's No.1 Manhattan, but the Root Beer Rum Bitters are something of a must-have for my favourite twist on an old-fashioned.
The Coin Laundry Hand screen Tea towel - Urban Outfitters $12
More of a stocking stuffer, these charming towels, printed with 'Gin', 'Whiskey', or 'Vodka' are best put together for a nifty set of three. As anyone with a home bar will attest, there's plenty of mopping up to do at the best of times, and those glasses certainly won't polish themselves.
The Smoking Gun / Williams Sonoma $99.95
Adding smoky flavour to beverages has long been considered the exclusive preserve of bartenders with belljars, great ventilation, or other equipment you might only find in professional kitchens. thankfully, Williams Sonoma have you covered here, with a sneaky little gadget that pipes cold smoke through a hosepipe into whatever container your drink is in. Use it creatively for a touch of added showmanship.
Double Old Fashioned pineapple glasses / Drake General Store $12
The Pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality and friendship, going back as far as the days of Christopher Columbus. These gold rimmed glasses with a vintage pineapple print are a welcome mix of playful and elegant, suitable for both stirred, boozy cocktails, as well as elaborate tiki and tropical drinks.
Japanese Bitters Bottle / The Crafty Bartender $40
For those cocktail enthusiasts who like to craft their own ingredients, a snazzy little bottle like this is the ideal place for them to present their bitters, tinctures, and drams. Doling out a conservative dash each time, they're ideal for serious cocktail use, as well as adding a welcome touch of class to any home bar.
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