Have you been around the malls looking for unique gifts for your special someone who loves cocktails and anything related to mixology? Chances are, you’ll find stuff that is common and not as special as the person you’ll be giving it to. We’ve compiled the best Christmas gift list that even we at DrinkManila want to buy for ourselves.

Find unique bar tools, craft spirits, vintage books, and other mixology tools with these cocktail enthusiasts’ most covetable gifts.

1. Unique jiggers, ice tools, bar spoons, and strainers

People who are serious about mixology collect basic bar tools to practice and hone their craft. In Manila, you can find these tools in department stores, Gourdo’s, Crate & Barrel, True Value Home department, or even in restaurant supply stores in Palanca Street in Escolta, but chances are your beloved cocktail enthusiast probably owns these basic tools already because they know where to get it. Otherwise, you have to buy from online shops in other countries like CocktailKingdom.com, which will take longer for delivery and will eat your time and money for shipping.

That’s where The Spirits Library comes in. Founded by local mixologist Lee Watson, The Spirits Library is a purveyor of rare bottles, books, and other bar paraphernalia. Here you can order unique mixology tools and items curated from Lee’s travels around the globe and sourced from different suppliers locally and internationally.

We visited their showroom to source a few unique jiggers, ice tools, bar spoons, and strainers that we’re adding to our gift list:

(1) Jigger Cube – ₱1,500, (2) Urban Bar Coley Jigger – ₱1,200, (3) Birdy Jigger (by Erik Lorincz) – ₱4,500, (4) Yukiwa Smart Jigger – ₱3,500, (5) Match Pewter Jigger – ₱5,000, (6) Yukiwa Dance Jigger – ₱2600, (7) Knuckle Jigger – ₱950, (8A) Japanese Pistol Grip Ice Saw – ₱7500, (8B) Japanese Keyhole Saw – ₱1800, (9) RSVP Endurance Long Handled Bar Spoon – ₱450, (10) Urban Bar Pearson Paw – ₱800, (11) Uber LuxPik Ice Pick – ₱2400, (12) Yamachu Anvil Ice Pick – ₱2600, (13) Yamachu Diamond Pick 3-Prong – ₱2800, (14) Birdy Barspoon – ₱3600, (15) Swizzle Stick w/ Gold Balls, (16) Lindley-Pick Hawthorne Strainer – ₱2500, (17) Wilkinson Scalloped Julep Strainer – ₱2100, (18) Birdy Strainer – ₱3800, (19) Hauck Julep Strainer – ₱2300, (20) Calabrese Julep Barspoon – ₱1700, (21) Gaz Regan Negroni Finger Stirrer – ₱1600, (22) RSVP Endurance Vintage Cocktail Strainer and Barspoon – ₱1300, (23) Botessi Lono Strainer – ₱2500, (24) Uber BarRay Strainer – ₱1100, (25) Yukiwa Square Strainer – ₱1600, and (26) Yukiwa Julep Strainer – ₱1100

Where to buy: Visit The Spirits Library’s Facebook Page and send a direct mail or contact (0998) 988-9963

If you want to know what items to choose when setting up your home bar, read about it here

2. Copper Shaker Tin Bundle

There’s also another local site formerly called bevtools.com (link to old article http://drinkmanila.com/2016/07/07/bevtools-com-tools-of-the-trade/)—now called drinkka.com—that delivers bar tools and houses shiny sets of tin shakers, jiggers, strainers, and other tools of the trade. Here’s a shiny copper shaker tin bundle that would look great in a home bar:

Bundle: Copper Belle Jigger (Banded), Copper Shaker Tin Set, Copper Hawthorne Strainer – ₱3,958.00 regular price

Where to buy: drinkka.com. Visit the site to buy the items or call (0917) 857-5702 for more information.

3-4 Shakers and Mixing Glass

Do you like your drinks shaken or stirred? This list of shakers and mixing glasses will help you make cocktails with style:

Shakers: (1) Yukiwa Boston Shaker with Base – ₱4,800, (2) M-Taka Spiral Glass Shaker – ₱4,500, (3) Yukiwa Baron Shaker Matte with Gold Ring – ₱4,200, (4) Birdy Shaker (by Erik Lorincz) – ₱6,800
Mixing Glass: (1) Birdy Mixing Tin (by Erik Lorincz) – ₱5,600, (2) Otsuka Maru-T Angle Mixing Glass – ₱2,700, (3) Cocktail Kingdom Reserve Haru Stemmed Mixing Glass – ₱5,500, (4) WMF Tall German Mixing Glass – ₱2,400

Where to buy: The Spirits Library 

5. Craft Spirits and Bitters

Good bottled spirits make the difference between a great cocktail and one that makes you curse the gods with a hangover the next day. Cocktails reflect the quality of ingredients you put in your glass, and since spirits are the main star of a drink, it’s always best to upgrade the liquor cabinet with good quality booze for better tasting mixes. This list of items will make a great gift to anyone who loves to make Negronis or martinis at home.

(1) Mancino Vermouth Chinato – ₱1,360 (500ml / 17.5% ABV) Hybrid of three vermouths (Secco, Bianco, Rosso) centered on Erede di Chiaponne Armando Barbera d’Asti DOCG with added pure quinine bark Calissaja. Deep, rich, red, and bitter wine pallet, tailoring the Chinato a notable digestive aperitif; (2) Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin – ₱3,506 (45% ABV) 2016 Best Contemporary Style Gin, World Gin Awards, from the most awarded gin brand of the last 10 Years; (3) Martin Miller’s Gin The Original – ₱2,234 (40% ABV) 2016 Overall Winner, Good Housekeeping Institute; (4) Scrappy’s Bitters Aromatic – ₱1139 (40% ABV); (5) Scrappy’s Bitters Orange – ₱1,139 (40% ABV); (6) Mancino Vermouth Secco – ₱1,295 (750ml / 18% ABV / 19 Botanicals) Trebbiano di Romagna base, clear, pale yellow, full nose of Mediterranean herbs, sage, marjoram, and oregano, with delicate aromas of lemongrass, dog rose, and iris. The palate presents flavors of crisp white wine, pimento, and nutmeg with subtle citrus finish; (7) Mancino Vermouth Bianco Ambrato – ₱1,295 (750ml / 16% ABV / 37 Botanicals) Trebbiano di Romagna base, slightly amber hue, the floral alpine nose of angelica, chamomile, elderflower, genziana and mint. Sweet orange, ginger, pink grapefruit peal, finishing on cardamom and licorice with a very rich quinine presence; (8) Mancino Vermouth Rosso Amaranto – ₱1,395 (750ml / 16% ABV / 38 Botanicals) Trebbiano di Romagna base, dark imperial amaranth red with a glint of caramel. Vanilla, rhubarb, juniper, toasted wood, myrrh, chiretta, Christmas spices (cloves, cinnamon bark, dried orange).

Where to buy: Apotheke Craft Spirits Corp under Wine Warehouse. Order online at www.winedepot.com.ph. Orders within Metro Manila and above ₱2,500 are free of delivery charge. Delivery takes two to four working days for Metro Manila, five to seven working days for provincial orders. For more information follow @winedepotph @apothekecraftspirits on Facebook and Instagram. You may also buy directly from any Wine Depot stores in Makati, Greenhills, Alabang, SM Aura Premier, Cyberzone Cebu City

6. Homemade Infused Spirits

Infusing spirits makes drinking experience a little more interesting. If you are in the habit of making DIY gifts for Christmas, then these bottled treats would make any cocktail lover smile (especially after a glass or two). There are no rules in experimenting with infusions because the taste will depend on your preferences. Use a mid-range spirit for your infusions. Infusing top-shelf liquor is impractical and would be a waste of money, since you will ruin the taste that is basically what you are paying for. The key is to choose a decent spirit that will allow the flavors to shine. To get you started, you may follow DrinkManila.coms recipe here, or follow these ideas on what to bottle for your Christmas gifts:

Orange-infused bourbon, lemon, and basil-infused vodka, chili jam calamansi-infused gin (click for recipe), Grapefruit-infused gin, Kiamoy infused Brandy (click for recipe)

Where to buy: Ingredients can be purchased at local grocery stores. Bottles can be sourced from the department store home section or Dapitan Arcade. Liquors may be purchased at grocery stores. No time to shop? Have your booze delivered via online stores boozy.ph, boozeshop.ph, www.winedepot.com.ph, www.manila-premiere-wines.com, www.liquorexpress.ph, manila-wine.com, or drinkka.com.

If you would like to skip the hassle of sourcing all the ingredients yourself, contact DrinkManila for inquiries about custom bundles. We’ll help you put together a package with all the ingredients you need.

7. Ready to drink bottled cocktail

For the spirit forward drinker, these bottled goodies will make for a good personalized gift. The key is to stick to pure alcohol and bitter mixes as pre-bottled drinks containing fruits will easily stale. We recommend recipes for Manhattan (whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters), Boulevardier (whisky, Campari, and vermouth), Negroni (gin, Campari, and vermouth), and Old Fashioned (whisky, sugar, and bitters).

Manhattan, Boulevardier, Negroni, and Old Fashioned (whisky, sugar, and bitters)

Where to buy: Ingredients can be bought at local grocery stores. Source bottles from the department store home section or Dapitan Arcade. Buy liquors at different grocery stores or have your booze delivered via online stores boozy.ph, boozeshop.ph, www.winedepot.com.ph, www.manila-premiere-wines.com, www.liquorexpress.ph, manila-wine.com, or drinkka.com.

If you would like to skip the hassle of sourcing all the ingredients yourself, contact DrinkManila for inquiries about custom bundles.

8. Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit

For the Don Draper in your life who loves a classic Old Fashioned for a nightcap, get him (or her) this cocktail kit that makes mixing like a Mad Man easy.

Price: ₱3,950.00. Kit inclusion: muddler bar spoon, 750ml Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, 2 rock glasses, Japanese jigger 1 oz./2 oz., 2 Mini Angostura bitters

Where to buy: drinkka.com.

  1. Collectible Spirits

For the person who has everything, these collectible spirits are covetable gifts for the serious drinker’s top shelf.

(1) Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Years – ₱100,000; (2) Booker’s Rye “Big Time Batch” 13 Years (Jim Murray Whisky of the Year 2017) – ₱150,000; (3) Fernet Branca 1970s – ₱18,000; (4) Pernod Fils 1900s – ₱500,000; (5) Chartreuse 1960s – ₱16,000

Where to buy: The Spirits Library or contact (0998) 988-9963

9. Rare Vintage Books

Toys for the big boys of mixology. These items are for mixology geeks who owns just about all the modern classic cocktail manuals and are ready to dip into some serious vintage finds.

(1) The Gentleman’s Companion, by Charles H Baker, 1946 Edition (2 Volume boxed set) – ₱6,200; (2) Mr. Boston’s 1940 Edition – ₱5,000; (3) Bottoms Up, by Ted Saucier, 1962 Edition – ₱4,600; (4) The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, by David A. Embury, 1958 Edition – ₱7,800; (5) Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide 1948 Edition – ₱3,800; (6) Jerry Thomas Bartender’s Guide 1887 Edition – ₱200,000
  1. Waxed Canvas and Leather Apron and leather bar roll

These items make any home bartender look like a pro! If you know someone getting serious about mixology, this waxed canvas and leather apron and bar roll will definitely make a perfect Christmas gift.

Waxed Canvas and Leather Apron ₱3,450; Leather bar roll ₱2,950

Where to buy: drinkka.com

  1. RevitaWater

The Christmas season is in full swing, and most of your loved ones, including you, are probably enjoying a number of alcoholic drinks at parties. We predict RevitaWater will be a hit Christmas gift this season. Marketed as an anti-hangover drink, it’s formulated with a blend of milk thistle, prickly pear, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. We tried it ourselves during a night of endless spirit tasting and we can say that we didn’t wake up feeling like dehydrated zombies.

Where to buy: RevitaWater six-pack (6 x 250 ml bottles) can be bought directly at revitawater.com for ₱700 or buy at shopee.ph for ₱120 a bottle.

Styling by Tatum Ancheta • Assisted by Chiin Gandia • Photos by Star Sabroso • Assisted by Marvin de Guia

A publishing industry veteran who is the former creative director of PeopleAsia magazine and former lifestyle editor of The Standard newspaper. She was introduced to the wonderful world of spirits during her stint as executive creative director of digital agency DigitalFCB, where she led a team that created campaigns for some of the biggest liquor brands in the country. A lover of scotch and a curious spirit who is obsessed with the colorful world of mixology, she directs DrinkManila’s overall editorial content.

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