Whiskey Gift Guide: Ideas For A Whiskey Lover’s Home Bar

By Jeff Bernheisel / November 28, 2016

Editor’s Note: This week we kick off a series of holiday gift guides for the whiskey lifestyle. We hope you enjoy them and find some great goodies for yourself or the whiskey lover in your life. This first guide also represents an experiment for us in the use of our own in-house video. We would love to get your thoughts on it in the comments below – cheers and happy whisk(e)y holidays!

Ahh, it’s that time of year again… you know, the time of year when you bust out the festive Christmas sweaters and then struggle to come up with clever gift ideas for family, friends, and, of course, lets not forget the random co-worker at the annual company holiday party.

This year is different though. Unlike years past, you’ve got some help, because if any of the aforementioned people are whiskey lovers, I’ve got you covered with my list of stocking stuffers and gift ideas for their home bar setup.

Let Me Be Crystal Clear

First things first, lets talk glassware. Gone are the days of serving beverages in red Solo cups. You can be the driver of change, and elevate the recipient’s cocktail game to a whole new level. Remember, no home bar is complete without a good mix of tumblershighball glasses, and Glencairn glasses, each built to suit a different style of beverage.

Personally, I prefer the feel of crystal glassware and cocktail mixing glasses. It’s heavier, and just feels better in my hand. Plus, it holds up a little better when muddling up an old fashioned.

Read More Whiskey News
Whiskey Reviews: Barrell Whiskey Private Release

Tools of the Trade 

With the proper tools, your whiskey lover will be mixing and serving drinks like a pro in no time. Most sets will include the basics: a jigger of some sort, a muddling stick, a mixing spoon, and hawthorne-style cocktail strainer. I also opted to pick up a nice shaker and matching ice bucket so I can keep some ice handy right at the bar. Some of the more complete kits will come with all of the above.

I Just Need to Chill Out

Speaking of ice, anyone who’s been to my home for drinks knows that I’m a little bit of a freak when it comes to my ice. Size, shape and clarity are all things you have to take into account when choosing how to properly cool various beverages. You can get silicone ice trays and molds in various shapes and sizes, and depending on how serious you are about it. You can even get a professional level ice press so your spheres don’t have those ugly little seams on the edges.

I could go on for days about ice, but for now I’ll save that for a future post. Though I will say that in the end, it really comes down to personal preference, but generally for most of my whiskies and bourbons, I like a good solid jumbo cube or sphere to keep things cool and take the edge off. For those that prefer to chill without watering things down, there are also soapstone or stainless steel options available.

Coasting Towards Gift-Giving Success

An often overlooked feature of any home bar, a set of coasters and a nice towel set will keep the bar in tip-top shape for years to come. You can find coasters made of stone, wood, and various leathers. My favorite are leather coasters, as they soak up the condensation fairly well and your bartender won’t need to be constantly wiping the bar top down.

Read More Whiskey News
Bardstown Bourbon Goes Orange Curaçao For Its Latest Whiskey Cask Finish

As far as towels go, any old terry towel will do for cleaning up the bar…but not for YOUR whiskey lover’s bar. They deserve nothing less than a custom designed towel as the cherry on top of this year’s gifts.

So, that concludes my list of gifts that I think any whiskey lover with a home bar would appreciate. Have you received similar gifts in years past that you think deserve to be on the list? Leave a comment, I’d love some more ideas for next years list!