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Whiskey lovers always appreciate a good bottle of their favorite spirit. But the problem with gifting bourbon, Scotch, or rye is that the booze contained inside the glass is finite, and once polished off, the thrill is gone. If you’d prefer to give a gift to your drinker that will last longer than a few pours, accessories and accoutrements might be a better bet to stand the test of time. Whether your brown spirit fan needs some new glasses, sharper tools for whipping up cocktails, or even a special place to sit and sip, here are the best gifts for the whiskey lover on your list.
The Glencairn glass is the gold standard for sipping and nosing whiskeys. Because so much of the sense of taste is informed by the olfactory receptors, the Glencairn’s tulip-like design channels aromas to the nose, making it easier to suss out tasting notes and flavors. Easy to hold and swirl, the glasses are made from lead-free crystal and are dishwasher safe. No serious whiskey drinker should be without a set.
Classic is in the name, and indeed, it looks like a ’50s throwback. This Stanley flask is rustproof and lined with BPA-free stainless steel. It fits well in most pockets, and the wide mouth opening makes it easier to sip than many others. The cap is mounted to a hinge so you can’t drop or lose it, while the 6.4-ounce capacity is good for a few good belts. If you choose to give this to your whiskey drinker, buy him or her a small funnel as well for easy fill-ups.
Some whiskey drinkers like to decant their daily drinker. We dig that. This 60-ounce version from LSA International is big enough to hold 1.75 liters of hooch, so it can go a while before needing a refill, though you will want to make sure the recipient has a funnel for replenishing without making a mess. Plus the simple handmade design will look great on any bar.
Every whiskey drinker needs a good bar cart. Sure, they are great for entertaining, but they are also a handsome way to display a few prized bottles. This Mid-Century homage from West Elm is simple and charming, plus its size (32.4 x 19.9 x 32 inches) makes it versatile either as liquor storage or a cocktail creation station.
Whether your loved one likes making cocktails or just enjoys whiskey with a substantial portion of ice, a well-insulated ice bucket makes a great gift. We love this one from Corkcicle. It holds up to 128 ounces and is triple-walled, so ice stays fresher longer. Flat sides make it easy to handle, while a rubber pad on the bottom prevents the bucket from sliding on a wet bar. The bucket also comes in four colors including unicorn magic, gloss turquoise, blackout, and gunmetal.
For the whiskey drinker who likes Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, or even a nice Rob Roy, Luxardo Maraschino cherries make a splendid, yet affordable, gift. The first choice for cocktails, these Italian cherries have the perfect texture and tang, while the supple syrup adds sweetness and depth to classic and experimental whiskey drinks alike.
Much like a carpenter, a bartender needs the right tools. This stainless steel set from Williams Sonoma features a 16-ounce shaker, ice tongs, a strainer, a stirrer, a bar knife, a jigger, and a bottle opener—pretty much everything one might need to solve a cocktail conundrum. To boot, it’s all dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. So, let the Manhattans fly.
For those outdoors-loving drinkers who prefer imbibing in nature, what could be better than a whiskey-inspired blanket? This High West X Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket is a limited-edition, charitable collaboration between the Utah-based High West Distillery and the state’s eco-minded outdoor gear and apparel company, Coalatree. Made from 100 percent recycled materials and measuring 50 x 72 inches, it’s perfect for boozy picnics. Plus, $30 from each sale will be donated to support the conservation efforts of the American Prairie Reserve (the largest nature reserve in the continental U.S.) So, it’s a gift that gives back as well.
A great lounge chair is an ideal place to sit a spell and work out all the flavors in the glass. The Sven Charme from Article is just such a seat. With a 24-inch-deep seat, it’s spacious and comfortable, plus the armrests are plenty wide for resting a rocks glass. Pictured here in Chocolat, the Sven Charme comes in three other leather colors, plus three fabric and five velvet options, so it should be a snap finding a shade that mingles well in any living room.
A glass of the good stuff calls for some good coasters. A fun set can add a touch of panache to any coffee table. This marble moon design from West Elm is both elegant and sleek, plus it does its job and prevents unwanted rings on furniture. Hand-cut and polished, the 4-inch diameter is ample enough to base all but the largest vessels and look greats even when not in use.
For the cocktail connoisseur on your list, a good selection of bitters is a crucial component for a home bar. This ensemble from The Bitter Truth is a fun point of departure for experimentation. It includes classic aromatic and orange varieties as well as celery (great in a Bloody Mary), creole (perfect for a French 95 and Jerry Thomas, based on the personal Manhattan recipe of the famed 19th-century barman).
"Hacking Whiskey" by Aaron Goldfarb
Humorously irreverent and delightfully charming, Aaron Goldfarb’s Hacking Whiskey is a must-have for anyone ready to start experimenting with brown spirits. Whether your bourbon lover wants to use liquor in cooking or whip up a batch of “Poor Man’s Pappy,” this book might just change the way they think about whiskey and the way flavors work together—and spark some genius ideas of their own.
There is something wonderfully satisfying about drinking a dram from a substantial glass. The weight adds a bit of gravitas, whether you’ve poured something fine and rare or a lesser vintage from the bottom shelf. Made from lead-free crystal, Norlan’s stunningly designed tumbler glasses clock in at over a pound before you add whiskey. That’s a nice heft.
Use the force to treat your whiskey fan’s inner nerd. Even for those who prefer their whiskey neat, sometimes ice is nice and a big, 2.4-inch cube in the shape of the Star Wars battle station is better still, adding a bit of whimsy to any glass. The two-piece, food-safe silicone mold is easy to fill. It's also effortless to extract the ice once it’s gone from liquid to solid, ensuring these frozen, killer Command Centers won’t explode but melt slowly into a drink.
A lovely splurge for any serious collector you might be feeling generous toward, this whiskey vault will bring both joy and an enhanced sense of security. It’s constructed from a solid steel plate and a door secured with three 25-millimeter locking bolts. It features a bulletproof front window, so one can gaze at the collection even while it’s still safely stored under the electronic lock system powered by a pin code. Certainly a conversation piece, the vault is big enough to accommodate 21 precious bottles, making it perfect for protecting even a substantial collection of high-end whiskies.
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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.