Gone are the days when a well-stocked home bar referred to an assortment of mass-produced clear liquors purchased from the local discount wholesaler, supplemented by jug of Gallo for sangria, a carton of OJ in the fridge, and maybe a bottle of Angostura, if you were very, very fancy. That's why we've comprised the ultimate gift list for the ambitious, in-the-know home mixologist, from a Master Sommelier-approved wine key, to limited edition cask-strength Scotch whiskey.
Korin Sake Cups and Bottles (from 50 cents): Whether you're a full-on connoisseur or casual rice wine imbiber, no one should resort to using shot glasses for sake. And Japan's premiere kitchenware supplier, Korin (which boasts a dazzling Manhattan store) offers quite the collection; from indestructible Hard Strong Goblet Glasses (the defacto standard throughout Japan's hospitality industry) to elegant, unglazed clay Oribe Nagashi cups, as well as Plastic Lacquered Sake Boxes, Chirori Cold Silver Sake Pots, and Blue Glass Sake Carafes with built-in ice reservoirs.
White Label Yerba Mate Soda (from $3): Forget about seltzer; any budding mixologist worth their salt needs this oh-so-Brooklyn mixer gracing their bar. Co-created by Bossa Nova owner, John Barclay, the soda emulates Berlin's cult favorite beverage, Club-Mate; made from organic yerba mate extract, organic cane sugar and ashwagandha, an Indian herb traditionally sought out for its calming properties. Already served at hot NYC establishments like El Rey, House of Yes and of course, Bossa Nova, it's now available retail as well, at Dimes Market, Bedford Cheese Shop, Eastern District and more.
Fruit Infusing Ice Balls ($10): Fancy ice is the new frontier in the bar world, so give those pedestrian square cube trays a pass in favor of these clever, infusable molds; sphere-shaped, freezer-safe canisters that perfectly encapsulate additions of fresh citrus, herbs or fruit.
Clover Bottle Opener ($27-33): From NYC's HWCD Studio, these functional yet stylish bottle openers are part of the HYFEN home design collection, which seeks to create new, strange-familiar objects that recompose how we interact with the environment and daily life. Forged from stainless steel and available in chrome, gold or rose-gold finishes, the Clover has comfortable volume for grasping, and long leverage for easy snapping from all directions, but is attractive enough to act as a necklace pendant, bottle cap, or bit of modernist home decor.
David Wondrich Punch Bowl ($39.95): Not only is punch all the rage, the large-format concoction is a savior for at-home hosts; allowing them to booze up crowds en masse, instead of spending the evening enslaved to a shaker. And none other than mixology guru, David Wondrich, designed this gallon-sized white stoneware bowl, engraved with the phrase "Edamus bibamus gaudeamus. Post mortem nulla voluptas" (Let us eat, drink, enjoy life. After death there is no pleasure).
Love and Victory Decanters (from $50): Class up your dusty bottle collection (or conceal a low-quality label) by decanting your liquor straight into these beautiful, Brooklyn-made bottles, stamped Bourbon, Scotch, Rye, Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Campari or Gin. Alternatively, you can store your hooch in holders specified "Everyday Booze" or "The Good Stuff," or ensconced in sets candidly labeled as "Mine" and "Also Mine."
Aberlour A'BUNADH (from $84): Voted Best Cask Strength Single Malt by IWC in 2016, this batch-limited, cask-strength, Highland single malt Scotch whiskey (which can be purchased at Casker's) is matured exclusively in Spanish oloroso sherry butts, using only traditional methods without chill filtration or other modern processes; resulting in a singularly robust and creamy product with notes of raisin, allspice, and bitter chocolate.
Fleisher's Jerky ($97-227): For the ultimate made-in-Brooklyn bar snack, look no further than Fleisher's brand new monthly jerky subscription; featuring 100% grass-fed beef jerky in mix-and-match flavors like Pastrami, Maple Pepper and Triple Chili, delivered straight to your door.
Code 38 Wine Key (from $395): What to couple with Clover's ergonomic beer top cracker? How about a Code 38 wine key, which Master Sommelier Alexander Pratt (of Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles) describes as the Rolls Royce of openers? The intuitive single-handed blade extension is designed to give a clean foil cut, with a custom French-made helix so precise it cuts a single path through the cork, creating the highest level of grip and the least amount of displacement (which allows the Code38 to perform especially well on older, more fragile corks).
Uhuru's Kupe Line (call to request quote): Take your bourbon appreciation to the next level with this furniture series from the all-green, Brooklyn design team, Uhuru. Hand built to order, and signed and numbered by the maker in Red Hook, items from the Kupe collection (like the Bilge lounge chair) are constructed from reclaimed bourbon barrel staves from Bardstown, Kentucky, the bourbon capital of the world.