It’s that time of year again! That awkward gift giving season where you need to find something that’s special and nice enough to be thoughtful and appreciated, but without racking up the same bill that you just paid (and are probably still recovering from) thanks to the recent December holiday season. So, if you’re looking for a couple ideas of things to get your whiskey loving significant other, here are a couple items we’ve been using that should probably fit the bill — and make sure to read all the way through for a bonus cocktail recipe to try from our friends at Glenfiddich!
Before we get into it, lets just clear the air, shall we? You can trust our gift guides because:
- We do not (as of this publication date) receive any revenue from you clicking links in this post. We just like the products, and aren’t getting any kickbacks or sponsorships.
- We have actually used nearly everything in this post and are honestly recommending them — again, not shilling for any companies.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into the recommendations!
A warning up front: buying bar tools is probably a risky idea for someone who is serious about their cocktails. Chances are they have already found the tools that work for them and anything you give them is just going to be clutter on their counter.
That said, if you are dead set on going down this path, or you know they are looking for some good bar tools, here’s what I’ve been using and recommend.
First up is a good cobbler style shaker. I get that some people find them fiddly and annoying, but for me they are the perfect size, shape, and form factor to make a couple cocktails for myself and my wife after a long day of work. Things to look out for include making sure you get a metal shaker (not glass or plastic) and one that isn’t insulated, as those tend to cause problems. Stick to the cheap single ply metal version. This one here is one I’m particularly fond of myself.
To go with that shaker you probably want a jigger. These are measuring cups that are easy to use when making cocktails, and finding one that fits just right can be a pain. With these, the real catch is that you want to find a jigger where one side isn’t just a multiple of the other — for example, a 30/60 ml jigger, you could just use the 30 ml side and dump it twice for 60 ml, there’s no need for the larger cup. Get one that’s got different measurements, like this 30 / 45 ml jigger that I use.
I’d consider this the safest of gifts, since you can never have enough quality glassware. And that’s not just because people are clumsy — it’s fun to put different cocktails in different types of glasses. So this is definitely a place where you can feel free to go out on a limb and get something quirky or unique.
If you have some time to get something custom ordered (usually about a week advance notice — my order from these folks arrived nine days after it was placed, and that includes Christmas and New Years holidays) the folks at Crystal Imagery do some great work. They’re the ones that made my 31W logo glass in the image above and it’s a really nice quality engraving for a surprisingly cheap price. They can do initials, names, logos, whatever strikes your fancy, and they have a number of glassware options to choose from.
If you have a little bit of scratch to spend / are looking for something more high-end, I do always want to plug the Shoreham whiskey glasses that were a collaboration between Simon Pearce and WhistlePig. Click the link to check out our review, but in short they are pretty much my ideal glass for sipping whiskey neat.
If you’re the kind that wants to give the gift that keeps on giving, a whiskey subscription might be a good idea. There have been a number of subscription delivery services that have popped up in recent years and Rackhouse Whiskey Club is one I can personally attest for. My experience with them so far has been great, with a good selection of craft spirits sourced from local distilleries around the United States being delivered on a regular basis. They ship new bottles every two months from somewhere else you’ve never heard of, and offer either the option for one or two bottles to be delivered straight to your door.
It looks like this month they are also offering a one-off shipment of a single two bottle box if that’s your thing.
Sometimes the best thing to get someone is just a bottle of whiskey.
If you’re in a love triangle with someone who also has had their heart stolen by a whiskey bottle, then you probably already know roughly what kind of spirit they want. I’d recommend that you dive into our reviews section where we have spirits broken down by type, location, classification, and even price range for your browsing pleasure. You can probably find something similar to what they like, or even better.
But if you’re not quite sure of what to get, then my go-to would be a bottle of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. In my opinion, it straddles the line between a bunch of different styles: a little smoke, a little caramel, not too powerful but not too weak either — and is a good safe bet for a gift. I don’t think I’ve ever found a whiskey drinker who didn’t enjoy a sip of this bottle.
Bonus Recipe: V-Day Pick-Me-Up for Single Whiskey Drinkers
If you for some reason find yourself single on this particular holiday, then you might want to grab yourself a single malt scotch whisky to keep you company and enjoy. And if you’re looking for a cocktail to make with that, then our friends at Glenfiddich have a suggestion they would like to pass your way:
White Haute Chocolate
Created by Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Kevin Canchola
- 1 part Glenfiddich 14
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 8 parts milk
- 8 parts white chocolate
- Star anise (for garnish)
- Method: Heat milk and white chocolate in a pot until melted. Add a pinch of sea salt. Pour into mug + add Glenfiddich 14. Garnish with star anise.