Holiday Gift Guide: The merry makerFor more gift ideas: The Baker, The Food Snob, The Home Cook and The Locavore
THE MERRY MAKER
’Tis the season for tippling. This year, our eyes are on stunning stemware, cool bar accessories that make stirring and shaking oh so merry, plus a potation or two to brighten your spirits even more.
1. The Essential Bar Collection by Schott Zwiesel
You’ll stir up some guest envy this holiday season when you bring out this exclusive stemware by German glassmaker Schott Zwiesel. This collection of break-resistant, dishwasher-safe barware features cocktail glasses and cups, classic and modern martini glasses, and tumblers of all sizes – including a 12-ounce whiskey tumbler that begs for one of Sur La Table’s whiskey stones resting at the bottom. $9.95 to $12.95 per glass. Sur La Table, 295 Plaza Frontenac, Frontenac, 314.993.0566.
2. Epic Spraytini Drink Enhancer
You can rinse a glass with expensive absinthe or vermouth, but why waste it? Fill this canister with your ingredient of choice, pump and spray. Making craft cocktails at home has never been more fun. $6.99. Lukas Liquor, 15921 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543.
3. Cocktail-lover’s gift basket
The 10-piece basket custom-created by The Wine Merchant’s cocktail guru Jason Main includes a Boston-style shaker, tempered bar glass, wide citrus peeler, lemon/lime peeler to make the perfect twist, a brilliant aluminum cube-shaped jigger that offers six different measuring pours, a bar spoon for stirring moments, a strainer, a bamboo muddler, and a pair of Riedel “Vinum” martini glasses. For cocktailians with exacting standards, this is the bar kit. $100. The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, 314.863.6282.
4. Apple brandy
We love the complex flavors of apple, honey, caramel and spice in this 16-year Calvados. This French brandy is perfect as a digestif and makes for the sweetest winter warmer when mixed with Vom Fass’ apricot brandy. Starting at $14.99 for 50 ml. Vom Fass, 7314 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.932.5262.
5. The Bitter Truth bitters
Every one of The Bitter Truth’s varieties of bitters deserves a place in your home bar. Just a dash of orange, lemon, chocolate, celery or grapefruit flavoring will do amazing things to your drink. Old Time Aromatic Bitters is perfect for whiskey- or rum-based beverages, and Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters wants to be in your winter drink. If you spot Creole bitters on the shelf, grab a bottle for some zesty Bloody Marys. $15.99 per 200-ml bottle. Randall’s Wine and Spirits, 1910 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.865.0199.