High-Proof Preacher's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
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Tis the season for gift guides! In case you didn’t get all of your shopping done by Black Friday weekend, here’s a list of 10 gift ideas that would give any boozy nerd a smile come Christmas morn.
I either own or have tried every product suggested on this list. I have done some photography and promotional work with a few of these brands over the past year, but none of them paid to be included on this guide. I’m just genuinely stoked about each of these brands and what they do!
I’ve shared about this thing several times via Instagram. There are plenty of travel cocktail kits in the world but none of them can even come close to this one! My buddy Steve is an LA-based designer and is seriously one of the most creative guys on earth (no exaggeration). He created this cocktail kit in collaboration with the guys at Proprietors LLC. It’s a perfectly crafted leather and canvas travel kit, equipped with 9 empty bottles of various sizes for filling with your own spirits, bitters and other cocktail ingredients. It’s one my favorite things I own and a must-have for making drinks on the go!
No secret here either: I’m a big fan of this naturally indigo gin. I got to visit the distillery in Victoria BC earlier this year and spend some time with the people behind this incredible brand. If you aren’t familiar, Empress Gin is infused with butterfly pea blossom, giving it a deep indigo color. When mixed with different cocktail ingredients (like citrus or tonic) the color will change to purple or even pink. Color-changing-magic aside, it’s also just a really good gin!
1pt is a rad little product that takes all the guesswork out of infusing spirits at home. They have all kinds of different flavor blends (made with real ingredients) that are precisely measured and come with infusion times and spirit recommendations. Nearly fool-proof infusions every time!
Use the code “HIGHPROOF15” at check-out for 15% off your purchase (1pt collection only).
I’ve sampled nearly the entire line-up of bitters from this company and I’m truly a fan. All of their bitters are made with a pure spirits-based, glycerin-free foundation, with all-organic ingredients. Basically, these are as good as bitters can get!
Use the code “HOLIDAYPREACHER” for 20% off your purhcase (expires 12/15)
No Christmas is complete without at least one single malt under the tree (hopefully more though). This particular Highland scotch is what whiskey nerds call a “Sherry Bomb.” Finished in 100% sherry casks and bottled at cask strength, I have previously described tasting this whisky like getting punched in the face by a fist full of raisins, a bit of oak and spices, then falling backward into a vat full of Oloroso sherry. Try it out and see what I mean. I haven’t tasted anything quite like it!
The latest and greatest from the Death & Co crew, Cocktail Codex might just be my favorite cocktail book ever released. The book is based around the idea that there are only 6 cocktails (with a big ol’ chapter on each) and these are the templates that essentially encompass all other cocktails. Master these 6 templates and you can essentially make anything. It’s incredibly practical and somehow easy for a bar novice to jump into, while still providing tons of insight for the seasoned cocktailian.
Already have the Cocktail Codex? Here’s a whole list of my favorite cocktail books.
Everyone needs clear ice for their cocktails and it’s not just an aesthetic thing either. Ice is a crucial ingredient in every cocktail. With clear ice, it doesn’t have any air or impurities in it, so it will melt slowly and not water down the drink too quickly. With this ice mold it insulates the sides, allowing the ice to freeze from the top down, forcing all the impurities into the bottom of the mold and leaving you with 4 clear cubes per use. It’s definitely the easiest method for producing clear cubes at home!
Looking for more bar tools? I have all the tools you’ll need to get started making drinks at home right here.
Have you just been using the same, boring old glassware? My friends at VinePair have opened a pretty sizable web shop with all kinds of unique and beautiful glassware options, as well as bar tools. They gifted me with a set of dipped copper rocks glasses, which definitely stand out in my fairly large collection of cocktail glasses. Take a little look through their shop and see which ones catch your eye.
I’ve been a fan of this Portland-based company for a while. They make some of my favorite cocktails syrups (and bitters!) using real ingredients. They also put together these cocktail kits that are perfect for gifting! How does a Smokey Old Fashioned sound, using barrel-aged bitters and smoked vanilla syrup?
Enamel pins are THE THING this year. I was slow to catch on at first, but now I can’t get enough. Throw them on an apron, add a few to a camera bag, class up your denim jacket… once you get a few, you won’t be able to stop.