Bartenders put up with a lot. Drunk patrons, boring stories, late hours, and too little sleep. A bartender is there when you need a drink after a long day, or a sympathetic ear to listen to your tales of woe. So when Christmas rolls around, a bartender has earned a very special present indeed. What present is that? Well, that’s kind of up to you. Need a gift for your favorite bartender at your local bar? Or a gift idea for a friend or family member who tends bar as a career? We’re here to help with our Christmas gift guide. We’ve compiled a bunch of great gift ideas that any bartender will love, including books, glasses, home goods, art, and much more. Our gifts will help them craft better cocktails, serve them in better glasses, and stay safe while imbibing their cocktail of choice.
Need more gift ideas for the rest of the people on your holiday shopping list? Consider something we’ve recommended in our guides to the best gifts for women and the best gifts for men.
1. ‘Forager’s Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients’
Foraging is a great way to take your cocktails to the next level. A foraged cocktail has unusual ingredients that you may not be able to pick up at your local liquor store or grocery store. This cocktail guidebook includes 40 new recipes featuring wild berries, herbs, and flowers. The book is divided into seasonal sections, and includes seasonal advice on how find the best raw ingredients in the forests and fields near you. If you want to help your favorite bartender incorporate new ingredients into their drinks, this book will definitely inspire them. If you want to give them more gifts in this vein, consider the related title Wild Cocktails From the Midnight Apothecary.
Price: $8.44 (44 percent off MSRP)
Buy Forager’s Cocktails: Botanical Mixology with Fresh, Natural Ingredients here.
2. ‘Whiskey is Barely Enough’ Print
Waterstone Creations takes vintage dictionaries in poor condition and upcycles them into works of art. This handmade print features a famous Mark Twain quote: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much whiskey is barely enough.” This print measures approximately 8×11 inches. This would look great in their home, or behind the bar where they work.
Buy the “Whiskey is Barely Enough” print here.
3. Black Lantern ‘Camping in the Woods’ Rocks Glasses
These beautiful rocks glasses are perfect for drinking whisky or bourbon. These glasses hold 11 ounces of liquid, and measure about 3.5 inches tall. Each glass features an original illustration of a forest landscape with a tent and campfire on it. The heavy bottom design makes these a pleasure to hold, and ideal for those who don’t like overly delicate glassware. If your favorite bartender likes to wind down at the end of the night with a wee dram, this is a great gift idea. If this style isn’t really to their taste, consider these Game of Thrones-inspired rocks glasses.
Buy the Black Lantern Rocks Glasses here.
4. BACtrack S80 Professional Breathalyzer
Not all breathalyzers are created equal. This model from BACtrack is one of the most well-reviewed and respected in the country. It’s backed by a one-year warranty, plus a 30-day money back guarantee. It uses the same technology as police-grade breathalyzers, and it’s backed by support from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s easy to use, making it ideal for testing inebriated people. Encourage safe drinking with this thoughtful, useful gift.
Looking for a cheaper alternative? Consider the BACtrack Vio, which retails for around $50. It’s more compact than the S80, and syncs with a wide variety of iOS and Android devices.
Buy the BACtrack S80 Professional Breathalyzer here.
5. Hortense B. Hewitt Raindrop Toasting Flutes
Champagne is more fun when you’re drinking it with a companion. This cool set of toasting flutes makes a lovely display when not in use. Simply fill the flutes with your favorite sparkling wine, and lift the glasses gently from the cradle. These glasses are perfect for a romantic night in, or for tasting two different sparkling wines. The glasses are suitable for engraving, if you’d like to make your gift seem more personal. If the bartender you’re shopping for already has too many Champagne flutes, consider this attractive lead-free crystal decanter instead.
Price: $34.20 (18 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Hortense B. Hewitt Raindrop Toasting Flutes here.
6. Handmade Swizzle Sticks
When you’re a bartender, you get a lot of glassware as gifts from well-meaning friends and relatives. After a while, your home has almost as many glasses as your bar. Enter these handmade swizzle sticks, which are much less likely to be a redundant gift than yet another set of highball glasses. This set of six swizzle sticks are great for mixing drinks, and they also make it easy to tell who is drinking from which glass, thanks to their distinctive colors. These little sticks are great for any bartender who likes to entertain at home. Trust us…nobody else will think to get your favorite bartender a set of handmade glass swizzle sticks.
Price: $24 for a set of six
Buy the Handmade Swizzle Sticks here.
7. Sauder North Avenue Bar Cart in Charter Oak
Does your favorite bartender resort to keeping their alcohol in a dusty kitchen cabinet? Elevate their entertaining game with a bar cart, which lets the bartender and their guests see everything that’s on offer. This classy bar cart has an oak finish, and wheels on casters for ease of movement. The top section is ideal for showcasing a bottle of wine, glasses, and some decanters, or you could use the whole top section for snacks and apps, and keep the booze on the bottom shelf. All sides of the bar cart are finished, so it looks good no matter which direction it is facing.
Not sure these options are fancy enough? Consider this antique gold finish bar cart from Silverwood, or this luxe rose gold bar cart instead.
Buy the Sauder North Avenue Bar Cart in Charter Oak here.
8. Natural Sliced Dyed Agate Coaster (Set of 4)
These agate coasters are an upscale way to decorate a space and keep your drinks from leaving rings on your coffee table. Because they’re made from a natural material, they do vary slightly in size and appearance. You can expect each coaster to measure between 3.5 and four inches. The coasters come with rubber bumpers to prevent the underside of the coaster scratching the surface of furniture. If you know a bartender who loves gems and geology, this will likely appeal to them. Looking for something with a little more personality? We’re also big fans of this someecards coaster set, which features the signature potty-mouth style that someecards is famous for.
Price: $32.99 (11 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Natural Sliced Dyed Agate Coaster here.
9. Peach Martini Soy Candle
This fun candle comes in a martini glass, making it perfect for the bartender who likes to take their work home with them. Each candle is clean burning, made from natural ingredients, and the warmed wax can also be used as a warm body lotion. These candles are handmade in Chicago, making them an especially nice gift for any Chicago native. If peach isn’t really their favorite scent, consider another martini candle option, such as chocolate and lavender, quince, or sweet vanilla cupcake.
Buy the Peach Martini Soy Candle here.
10. World’s Okayest Bartender T-Shirt
This funny shirt is perfect for your favorite bartender, but we especially like the ideal of giving this to a brother, sister, or best friend who tends bar. You know, the kind of person you have a close enough relationship with where this shirt wouldn’t offend them. This shirt is available in both men’s and women’s sizes, in colors like black, brown, blue, green, and dark heather grey. If they already own this shirt, an alternative we can recommend is this hilarious shirt that reads “If at first you don’t succeed, try doing what your bartender told you to do.”