The holiday season is fast approaching, which means our gifting lists are growing longer by the day. Fear not! Bourbon & Banter is here to provide you with ideas for holiday presents for that Bourbon lover (or prospective Bourbon lover!) in your life. We asked each of our contributors to let us know what they would like to unwrap this holiday season and put together this 2013 Holiday Gift Guide.
So pour yourself a glass and get ready to some extra boozy shopping. And, as always, something from the Bourbon & Banter Shop or Barrel Proof Bourbon Print Gallery will make every holiday much cheerier!
Our fearless leader, Pops, has quite a few high ticket items on his holiday wish list. But isn’t that what gifts are for?
Erin Russell thinks the best holiday gifts represent both Bourbon and her home state of Kentucky.
“I absolutely love the guys over at Kentucky for Kentucky. They make the best Kentucky-related products, but also have a shop that features quite a few that every Bourbon lover would enjoy, including handcrafted flasks emblazoned with the image of Colonel Sanders, a “More Bourbon than People” poster, and many other Kentucky-related items.
But if Santa were thinking of being extra nice to me this year, I would absolutely want this gorgeous globe bar in which I could display all of my favorite bottles of Bourbon. I saw one of these in a showroom once and have been obsessed ever since. It combines my love for the antique, maps, and, of course, our favorite brown liquor. This would look lovely stocked with a bottle of Elijah Craig 18, Four Roses 125th, a Pappy or two, and any other rare bottles I could get my hands on.”
“Bourbon over ice can be one of the true pleasures of life but bourbon watered down to the point of tastelessness is a tragedy. Therefore one of the first things a budding bourbon geek should purchase is a good set of sphere ice molds. A large ice sphere melts much more slowly than the same amount of smaller ice cubes because the sphere has much less surface area. I have tried whiskey stones in the past but I felt that they didn’t get the bourbon cold enough for me and it just felt weird to have actual rocks clanking around in your glass. That is the second benefit of using an ice spheres: they look amazing in your glass. My favorite brand is the Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds and they make great stocking stuffers for the bourbon lover on your list. I liked the first set I bought so much that I got a second set so I can always have a back ups. The price is reasonable (about $10 a set), they have lasted for over a year now, and, of course, they are very easy to use. I also like that they sit flat and can be stacked in the freezer. Each set comes with two molds that produce 2.5 inch spheres.
But say you want to really wow your Bourbon friends. This Picnic Basket stuffed to the brim with goodies for the most enjoyable kind of al fresco dining: those that feature Bourbon cocktails! Everything you could need to shake up the perfect Manhattan is nicely nestled into this handsome basket, including a shaker, strainer, martini glasses, and all other necessary bar tools. Be sure to pick up a bottle of vermouth and Bourbon to complete the experience. This one will run you a bit more – around $160 on Amazon.com – but it will definitely leave an impression. Plus, you can insist you are taken along on the maiden voyage to break in your most generous gift. “
“I’m not much of a breakfast guy, but every now and then I get a craving for waffles/pancakes/French toast/biscuits/i.e. anything I can put syrup on, and this syrup is unique enough that I could see myself eating breakfast more often just because of it. Maybe make a Sunday habit of it or something. You can purchase a single 450ml bottle or a six pack of 60ml bottles.
- Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey
- Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage
- But Always Fine Bourbon
- Four Roses
For someone who may not be a heavy reader, the book Bitters. I think it’s a great book for two reasons. First the book has a good amount of information on the history and make up of bitters, as well as the evolution of cocktails. Additionally, this book is part recipe book. There are plenty of cocktail recipes and also recipes for folks adventurous to try to make their own bitters. For someone just starting to learn about bitters, I also recommend including the book with Scrappy’s Bitters Gift Box. The gift box offers a variety of bitters for a good price and is a great way to learn which bitters please (and displease) your palate.