Not Just a Bottle of Booze: Make Them a Cocktail Kit

When I began stocking my home bar a couple years ago, I was on a tight budget, so I started by focusing on one cocktail at a time, buying just the components of that drink. If you have friends or relatives who are looking to expand their mixed drink horizons, use this strategy to give them a thoughtful gift they'll appreciate: make them a cocktail kit.

Instead of giving just a bottle of liquor, buy all the ingredients needed to make a specific cocktail and wrap them together, along with your favorite recipe for the drink. To dress up the gift, you can also include glassware specific to that drink, or a bar tool you know they don't have. I've been both the giver and recipient of these types of kits, and they are always appreciated.

Here are a few ideas for cocktail kits:

Old Fashioned: Rye or bourbon + Angustora bitters
Optional: Old fashioned glasses, homemade maraschino cherries

Moscow Mule: Vodka + premium ginger ale, such as Fever Tree or Q Tonic
Optional: Copper mugs

Gimlet: Gin + homemade raw lime cordial (must be kept refrigerated)
Optional: A cocktail shaker

Hot Buttered Rum: Rum + a jar of homemade hot buttered rum mix (must be kept refrigerated)
Optional: Mugs, a jar of pumpkin butter + recipe for hot pumpkin buttered rum

Hot Toddy: Bourbon + spices + local honey
Optional: Mugs, Meyer lemons

Do you have any ideas for cocktails that could be translated into kits?

Related: Cocktail Supplies for the Traveler: A Mini, Flight-Friendly Bitters Set

(Image: Nancy Mitchell)

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