Step up your gift-giving game this holiday season with a little booze-inspired magic. From bitters that travel well to a bar cart-sized cocktail recipe library, you can wrap up something spirited.
The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s Set
Whether over the river and through the woods or in flight, the embossed Bitter Truth tin is aimed at travelers. The five flavors of miniature bottles (celery, Creole, orange, old-time aromatic, Jerry Thomas decanter) will enhance airplane drinks and are a perfect addition to a home bar.
The Long Drink alcoholic soda
Introduce someone special to a legendary Finnish drink newly available in the U.S. The Long Drink was created for the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki as an efficient way to serve drinks to tourists. Gin-based, it is crisp, refreshing and a lot like a Fresca … with a kick.
$15.99 for a four-pack. thelongdrink.com.
Cuvée cask finished Virginia-Highland whisky
May the dram be with you this season with kindred spirits in bottled form: 100-percent malted barley whisky from Scotland combined with single malt made by Virginia Distillery and aged in cuvée wine casks chosen by photographer and “Star Wars” fan Scotch Trooper. Hints of baking spices add a dash of Christmas flavor.
Kimball House’s Evergreen Dream
We can’t always sit at the stunning Kimball House bar, but you can take a little bit of the 2018 James Beard Award finalist for outstanding bar program home with you. Manager Kiran Patel and partner Matt Christison created the proprietary scent that wafts through the beautiful bar and powder rooms with 100 percent organic soy wax and natural wicks. Sister restaurant Watchman’s is scented similarly.
$25. Kimball House. 303 E. Howard Ave., Decatur. 404-409-4477, kimball-house.com.
Watchman’s. 99 Krog St., Atlanta. 404-254-0141, watchmansatl.com.
Uncle Nearest 1856 whiskey salt
Golden-hued, with a smoky caramel bite, Jacobsen pure flake salt is hand-harvested, then infused with Uncle Nearest 1856 whiskey. Master distiller Nearest Green was the Tennessee slave who taught Jack Daniels how to distill whiskey. Sprinkle the flavor essence and aromas of whiskey on anything from meats to oatmeal cookies. The micro-batch 1.2-ounce containers are the perfect size for stockings, too.
St. Agrestis’ negroni by the bottle
What’s better than a bartender-made bittersweet cocktail that you easily can pop open at home? Simply pour the three-spirit drink over ice. Brooklyn-based St. Agrestis’ funky label is as soulful as the Italian-inspired cocktail is bold and smooth.
$25 for a four-pack. astorwines.com.
ASW Distillery cocktail classes
For the person who wants to hone their bartending skills, ASW has a complete experience planned. On Jan. 17, Ben Richardson, formerly of award-winning restaurant Staplehouse, will present the Auld Lang Rye class, where he will lead instruction on mixing four whiskey cocktails. Participants will enjoy a half-pour of each cocktail, samples of ASW spirits, a tour of the distillery and a cocktail kit to take home.
$38 per class; $79 includes bottle of Resurgens Rye. ASW Distillery. 199 Armour Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-590-2270, aswdistillery.com.
The Mini Bar: 100 essential cocktail recipes
This elf-sized slipcase is filled with eight books organized by base spirit. From modern takes to classic recipes, there are 100 recipes from the editors of Punch, with easy instructions and pretty illustrations. The last pages of each notebook are for jotting down favorite recipes. With its compact size, the collection is perfect for a cocktail nerd’s bar cart.