Gift Guide: This is What to Buy for Your Favorite Cocktail Geek

From the unexpected to the entirely useful.

If you’re looking for something to get your favorite drink-loving Angeleno, other than the standard bottle of booze which, let’s face it, is still a great gift for any occasion, here’s a list of five L.A.-centric cocktail ideas. Celebrate their love of drink as well as their pride in their city.

“Drinkify Me!” Personalized Cocktail Illustration by Dave Stolte: Your cocktail fiend will never expect this: Turn them into their favorite cocktail, and a cute one to boot. They’ll be in good company with world renowned cocktailians David Wondrich (author of Imbibe), Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club), and Erick Castro (Polite Provisions) who all have cocktail caricatures. Just send Home Bar Basics cocktail author/illustrator Dave Stolte a picture of your pal and the cocktail of choice and within seven to 10 days you’ll have a 6.5-by-6.5-inch fine art print as well as a digital image for your Facebooking purposes. It’s $150 (not bad for original artwork), but if you’re looking for a Christmas gift, get your order in by December 13.

Bar Keeper’s Barrel Aged Manhattan Gift Basket: For those crazy DIY drinkers who have the time, Joe Keeper of Bar Keeper in Silver Lake put together a gift basket for you to barrel-age your own Manhattan. For $150, you get a bottle of rye, Vermouth, Angostura bitters, a jar of Luxardo Cherries, an orange, two coupe glasses and a 1-liter toasted barrel. Naturally there are instructions on how to cure the barrel, on how to age the batch, and how to make the cocktail.

Cook’s Garden’s Mixologist-in-a-Box Planter: For that fan of farm-to-glass cocktailing, there’s the “Mixologist-in-a-Box” mini counter top raised beds. They’re a mini version of Cook’s Garden’s garden boxes, one of which mixologist Matthew Biancaniello actually rents for his gourmet cocktails. The boxes are meant to grow on a sunny kitchen counter. The boxes are available in a variety of sizes: small (17.5 inches long, 3.5 inches wide and 3 inches deep for $27.50); medium (11 inches long, 6.5 inches wide and 5.25 inches for $37.50); and large (22 inches long, 6 inches wide and 5.25 inches deep for $47.50).

Compartes Boozy Chocolate Gourmet Gift Set: For something truly decadent, what about a box of boozy designer chocolates? Compartes truffles are already one of Oprah’s favorite things, but here they’re made even better with Macallan 18 scotch. The gift set ($70) also includes Guinness Beer-infused dark chocolate bon bons and a whiskey-infused NightCap chocolate bar.   

Uber Designated Driver: As Angelenos know, it’s tough being a drinker in a sprawl. So any cocktail geek would be thrilled to get an Uber gift card in their virtual stocking and touched that you care enough to get them an instant designated driver. Hey, if it’s good enough for the NFL, it’s good enough for your friends.