Updated: Sep 10, 2021
It's getting to be that time of year when we're getting geared up for holiday season ... and that means showing appreciation to colleagues, clients, employees & customers. I wanted to share some of my top gift ideas for 2021.
BOOK: Art of the Japanese Cocktail by Masahiro Urushido
When I heard that Masa was coming out with a book earlier this year, I couldn't wait. He owns and operates a Japanese-American cocktail bar "Katana Kitten" in the West Village in NYC. He is masterful at combining Japanese culture and techniques in a fun, non-intimidating way that make it both delicious and exciting.
He was at the last AZ Cocktail Weekend and was featured at Top Bars as a Katana Kitten pop-up. His relatively simple drink was unforgettable and that is part of the magic of his creations and approach. If you haven't had a chance to visit his bar, it's a must-do for any NYC trip and if you have been ... then you know.
Click here to amazon link.
Mini Portable Blenders
I gotta say ... for someone that travels ... I LOVE this little blender. I take it with me on almost every overnight trip I have. I will make by Bulletproof coffees (coconut oil, grass-fed butter + coffee) in them every morning. But, I've also made smoothies and even in-room Margaritas with them. They are convenient, portable and work like a charm. (Granted ... no, it's not as powerful as your Vitamix at home, but hey ... it works. And, Vitamix, if you're reading this ... hint, hint.)
Trade Coffee Co
If you are any kind of coffee nerd ... they will LOVE this gift. They send you a new bag of coffee (every week / month / etc.,) from a roaster from around the country. The recipient fills out a detailed questionnaire asking them how they usually drink their coffee, how they make it, roast preference, etc. Based upon all these preferences, they ship you a 12oz bag of just-roasted coffee from a different roaster every month!
I've discovered some amazing coffees and roasters that I've become huge fans and followers of. They also have instructional and educational content & videos on their website including cocktails! I have a coffee journal where I've taken coffee tasting notes and collected the bag labels. I might be a little obsessed. Click here. and get a discount on your first order.
High Camp Flasks
As a regular family-camper, these are awesome! They are durable, stainless steel, double-walled all in one flask. Keeps cold and hot temperatures for up to 24 hours. The one I really like is the Highball shaker, which also includes the cup and a built in filter.
This is especially great for the outdoors or events like BBQ's, picnics and camping. So durable and feels good in your hands. You can also get them custom engraved and some come with a nifty leather carrying case. Click here.
Wintersmith Ice Chest
I'm pretty particular about my ice in that I like it super clear or clear enough to include a flower or pretty herb inside it. You can't really get that kind of clarity in the silicone molds, no matter what you do to the water or where you got it. One can go through the arduous process of freezing water in a cooler and taking advantage of the directional freezing which pushes the impurities to one end of the block. But, then you're left to harvesting and cutting it yourself.
The Wintersmith ice chest uses the same concept, but in nice neat molds. They also have a bigger one which one can make a variety of different sized cubes from squares to spheres to collins cubes. (The big ones are currently on back-order.) But, the smaller 2-4 cube ice chest works fantastically. We implemented the use of this ice chest for the PF Changs re-brand program.
One Pt Infusions
I was first introduced to these pre-Covid, but I think they are more relevant than
ever. They have a variety of dried infusion packs (think a little bigger than a tea bag) that one infuses with various spirits. They are super easy to use and doesn't rely on having to use fresh, seasonal produce to make some pretty delicious flavors.
Rosso Americano (Mediterranean bitter citrus blend)
Barrel Old Fashioned Blend (rooibos tea, vanilla, clove, etc.)
Citropolitan (lemongrass, ginger, marigold, etc.)
These infusion packets also come as gift packs that include a nice glass infuser that are geared towards particular spirits, like tequila, gin, bourbon, etc.
Mini Cornhole ... for fun
Nothing says the outdoors, friends and fun than playing a game of Cornhole. While many play this game with a drink in their hands, you can still do the same with this mini tabletop version. The American Cornhole Association (yes, there is such a thing) created a mini cornhole version complete with scoring pins, rubber feet (slip resistant), 8 mini bags, a
built-in launcher that can launch the bag up to 4 feet and an under-carriage bag storage compartment.
And, you can get the customized and branded!
Over the pandemic, there are several companies that have specialized in creating virtual experiences and tasting kits, from Kapow to Hungry to reElivate and more. We've been working solo as well as with a number of these companies to provide some fun, unique tasting experiences.
(Click here for post on the BeeKeeper's Notebook, a virtual experience we created around the Bee's Knees and honey varietals as an example.)
We have the capability of creating customized kits and experiences, whether it's a live experience, virtual or DIY, let us know if we can help - in everything from the Development to the Build-outs and Shipping. These can be part of your company holiday party / happy hour or even as a gift. Below are a few starter ideas.
Chai Rye Old Fashioned Kit
Holiday Cosmos 'n Cookies
Bourbon Boards (charcuterie & cheese pairings)
Marshmallows & Mexican Coffee
DIY Bellini Bar
Vodka 'n Soda elevated
Happy Hour Highball