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Choosing a special bottle for a bourbon lover can be a bit of a sticky wicket. Many favorites are either hard to find or impossibly expensive. Plus, even if you manage to locate something they’d love, shipping liquor across state lines can be quite complicated or even illegal.
For some, a better or less criminally fraught option might be to go the whiskey-adjacent route. Accessories and accoutrements are a great way to show love to bourbon enthusiasts. Glasses, tools, and doodads can help them trick out their bar, elevate their cocktail skills, or just plain enjoy their neat pour a little more. Without further ado, here are the best gift ideas for bourbon lovers.
The official glass of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a set of these Libbey beakers is perfect for any fan of the Bluegrass State spirit. Made from ClearFire glass, the shape also tapers toward the top to help the connoisseur soak in aromas. The walls are thin but hearty and feature a wide bowl to allow swirling. These 8-ounce bourbon glasses come in a set of four for sharing or for flights, are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, and stack for minimal storage.
Sometimes ice is nice, and that’s why we love this ice bucket from Corkcicle. It’s ideal for the bourbon drinker who likes a tipple in the form of a cocktail or just digs whiskey with a nice cube or two. It’s triple-walled, so ice stays cold and solid longer, and it holds up to 128 ounces. Flat sides make it easy to hold and move, while a rubber pad on the bottom prevents the bucket from sliding on a wet bar. The bucket comes in four colors, including unicorn magic, gloss turquoise, blackout, and gunmetal.
For the bourbon drinker who loves a big old hunk of ice, we recommend this Tovolo Sphere mold. It creates a 2.5-inch ball of frozen water that won’t melt before the drink is done and will make a substantial clank in the glass. Sold as a set of two, it’s made from BPA-free plastic/silicone and is dishwasher safe.
Metal flasks can impart a bit of flavor into any spirit they hold. So, if your drinker likes to imbibe the good stuff on the go, a ceramic flask like this one from Miscellaneous Goods will help keep the spirit’s integrity intact. Made from quarter-inch thick porcelain, this flask holds 11 ounces of hooch. A cork stopper anchored in place by a leather strap keeps the valuable juice from spilling before it’s time to pour or sip.
For the bourbon drinker on the go, the Orvis Battenkill Bottle Holder will protect a single standard bottle of hooch. A padded interior and a rugged canvas and leather exterior keeps bottles safe when tossed into a suitcase or golf bag. The carrying handle is easy to grab, and solid brass zippers and rock-solid construction make it a gift that will last. Three-letter monogramming is available for drinkers who enjoy a personalized touch.
The mint julep is a simple cocktail to make, but having the right cup is as crucial as using a good bourbon. Traditionally, the drink is served in a silver chalice, and paying tribute to that heritage adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the ritual. Plus, feeling the chill of the drink through the metal will take the edge off a hot summer day. This one from Twine is made from brass and silver-plated, so it won’t break the bank (like solid silver would), and it holds 12 ounces, so it's great for piling in a load of crushed ice, mint, bourbon, and sugar.
Like any other craft, constructing cocktails requires the right tools. This stainless steel set from Williams Sonoma features just about everything a bourbon aficionado might need to whip up a whiskey drink. It comes with a 16-ounce shaker, ice tongs, strainer, stirrer, bar knife, jigger, and bottle opener, all of which are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
Bitters are essential for whiskey cocktail creation. Whether you’re making a basic old-fashioned, Manhattan, or something a little funkier, good bitters are fundamental. So, if you have a bourbon fan on your list, this five-pack set from Hella Cocktail Co. makes an excellent gift. The selection includes citrus, aromatic, ginger, orange, and chili, so recipients can experiment to their hearts' desires—or just focus on perfecting a classic. And with luck, the lovely present and your generosity will inspire them to make a cocktail for you as well.
Cool coasters always make a great gift. This Mid-century-inspired set is crafted from Baltic birch plywood and finished in a handsome walnut stain and semi-gloss finish with designs carved with a CNC router. The 4-inch squares are fitted with cork pads to keep surfaces safe and will look great under any glass.
A snappy bar cart makes an opulent gift for any bourbon lover who doesn’t yet own one. They're great as cocktail stations at parties or as a fun way to show off a handful of rare or hard-to-come-by expressions. This Mid-century homage from West Elm will work with most home decor, and its size (32.4 x 19.9 x 32 inches) and stacked shelves make it versatile either for liquor storage or as a display piece.
Bourbon with breakfast seems like it might be just a short hop away from an intervention. But one can still enjoy big bourbon flavors in the morning without the alcohol buzz. Pappy and Company’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup is a deep, rich ambrosial indulgence, chock-full of delicious vanilla, butter, oak, and bourbon flavors. This batch was created from sap harvested in spring 2015 from Bissell Maple Farm in Ohio and aged six months in Pappy Van Winkle 15-year barrels. Great on pancakes, French toast, or even bacon, the syrup also makes a great cocktail component.
Barrel-aged whiskey cocktails have been all the rage for quite a while now and for good reason. Letting a big batch of drinks mellow together in wood for a short to medium length of time gives the cocktails more depth and roundness. This one from Bluegrass Barrels is made from American white oak without glue or nails that could affect the flavor of the beverage and holds 2 liters so your bourbon drinker can concoct a large supply of his or her favorite drink and experiment with the aging process.
This avant-garde piece from Norlan is about as cool as decanters come. While the design feels like something you might find in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, it’s meant for Earth-born whiskey drinkers and not a son of Krypton. The Raif is mouth-blown from non-leaded crystal. It's diamond wheel cut and sanded so the top appears frosted and the polish bottom is clear. It comes with an aluminum stopper that is precisely cut to fit and holds up to a liter of spirit.
This bright and colorful High West X Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket is made from 100 percent recycled materials. At 50 x 72 inches, it’s big enough for your bourbon drinker to spread out and imbibe at picnics. A limited-edition, charitable collaboration between a Utah-based duo, High West and the eco-minded outdoor gear and apparel company, Coalatree. It’s a gift that gives back as well, as $30 of the proceeds from each piece will be donated to support the conservation efforts of the American Prairie Reserve (the largest nature reserve in the continental U.S.).
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Nicholas McClelland is a passionate whisk(e)y drinker who has written about spirits for Men’s Journal, Fatherly, and Inside Hook. His bar is deep with rare single malts, hard-to-find bourbons, and ryes, but he doesn't believe there's anything too precious to share with friends.