Here at LSA, it’s fair to say we spend a good portion of the day thinking about Kenyan gin, Hong Kong’s best Martinis, and all manner of equally boozy esotera. Still, even by those standards, the holidays are an enthralling time. We get to go beyond what’s happening in the industry, and actually recommend ways in which you can share the joys of tippling with friends and loved ones. In that spirit, we’ve handpicked — off the proverbial vine, as it were — 8 of our favourite presents for the drinks enthusiast. No matter whether you’re buying for a seasoned wine snob or someone more akin to Shirley Temple, we think there’s something here for everyone.
Whiskey Cocktails by Brian Van Flandern
It feels disingenuous to call the 5th edition of Whiskey Cocktails — Assouline’s sumptuous mixological tome — a ‘coffee table book’. In concert with photographer Harald Gottschalk, Brian Van Flandern has immortalised a range of strong brown drinks — some classic, some original, all delicious — against the backdrop of a few legendary East Coast haunts. On the whole, recipes are succinct, precise, and easy to replicate at home, making this essential reading for anyone who has even a passing interest in cocktails.
Buy now from Amazon.
Berry Bros. & Rudd tote bag
Transport your Christmas bottles in serious style with one of BBR’s new sustainable, delightfully illustrated tote bags. Made for the legendary wine & spirit merchant by London-based social enterprise re-wrap, each one is fashioned from water-resistant cotton canvas. The interior features three bottle compartments and a large individual divider — giving space aplenty for reds, whites, sparkling. Oh, and your groceries.
Buy now from Berry Bros. & Rudd.
East Imperial ‘Old World’ tonic water
You wouldn’t put junkyard rims on a 250 GTO, and you wouldn’t mix mass market fizz with your favourite gin. That’s the essence behind East Imperial: purveyors of (in their words) “the champagne of tonic waters”. Made with less than half the sugar of industrially manufactured analogues, East Imperial’s ‘Old World’ formulation is a great way to instantly lift your G&T game. Showcasing complex notes of warm liquorice spice and black tea, it’s arguable this recipe is even better sans alcohol.
Buy now from HK Liquor Store.
While the vast majority of Kickstarter wine accessories are — how do we put this? — a hilarious sham, eto’s bleeding edge decanter is a design which lives up to the hype. Available in three finishes (i.e. gold, copper, steel), the eto is made with a unique patented ‘valve seal’, enabling wine that’s already in the decanter to be preserved for up to a fortnight.
Buy now from eto.
Riedel Amadeo ‘black tie’ decanter
Think of this as the alpha to eto’s omega. Blissfully devoid of any technobabble gimmickry, the Amadeo is a welcome addition to any wine enthusiast’s household. Akin to some sort of mid-century Scandi sculpture, the Amadeo’s unique U-shaped contours enable faster, more consistent decanting — something which comes across in even the most rapidly aerated glass. Not to mention — it looks damn good when you’re pouring.
Buy now from Lane Crawford.
Tiffany’s New York Bar whisky advent calendar
Stick it to The Twelve Days of Christmas with this 24-day advent calendar, curated by the team at Tiffany’s New York Bar. Aimed squarely at Scotch obsessives — the inclusion of inside-track producers like Couvreur and Glengoyne is a pretty big giveaway — this calendar is chock full of releases which nail the balance between rarity, age, and are never short of delicious. Complimentary Glencairn glass included.
Buy now from InterContinental Grand Stanford.
L’Atelier du Vin ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’
For nearly a century, Parisian specialist L’Atelier du Vin has been crafting a wide assortment of invaluable wine accessories. They’re dead-on with this ‘Wine lover’s Curiosities Cabinet’: a handmade walnut case which opens up to reveal a restaurant-worthy assortment of wine-tasting apparatuses. From seemingly 900 styles of corkscrew to variety-specific stoppers, there aren’t many gift sets that are quite so comprehensive (nor as advanced) as this. For your somm friends.
Buy now from Mr Porter.
The Wolseley crystal coupes (set of 6)
Even the glammest Christmas spread can be undercut by poor stemware, and since we’re not in the habit of letting the side down, these Wolseley coupes — great for Champagne, even better for Martinis — are a great option if you’re serious about festive entertaining. Identical to the glasses that are used in what is arguably Europe’s finest all-day restaurant, each is handblown by a master glassmaker and finished with intricate bevel detailing.
Buy now from The Rake.