Bartenders Reveal Their Holiday Wish Lists
Bartenders have one of the hardest jobs in the world. They put up with our whining, poor ordering skills and general rudeness. They make us drinks way faster and tastier than we deserve, and they do it all with a smile (usually). They’ve given us the gift of booze all year long, and for all that hard work, they deserve something special in return this holiday season. Here’s what our favorite bartenders are wishing for this winter.
A Next-Level Bar Cart“My dream would be to have a vintage bar cart from the ‘60s, complete with real sterling silver barware, diamond cut coupe glasses and pre-made Martinis sitting in a perfectly chilled mini fridge. This would allow me to have the perfect Martini in the comfort of my own home. Sounds like a great holiday present to me.” — Cody Goldstein of The Horny Ram & The Flying Cock, New York, NY
“Restoration Hardware Shagreen 3-Drawer Console Table ($1,795): This would be purely for home entertainment and is something I have dreamed of for a long, long time. Now that I own a house, the dream is quickly becoming a reality, and I can’t wait to have something like this in my living room and serve up my guests. This table offers enough drawer space to lay out your tools, and plenty of room for bottles and making drinks. (I know, I know, a bit extravagant, but this is a wish list, isn’t it?)” — Eirikur Hallsson of Gloria, New York, NY
Glassware With Panache“These new gold rim coupes ($6) from Urban Bar are beautiful and would be a great gift.” — Jeremy Oertel of Donna and Death & Co., New York, NY
A Bar-Approved Centrifuge“For those not familiar, a Spinzall ($800) is a centrifuge that was designed for bar and restaurant use as opposed to lab use. Using centrifugal force, the Spinzall spins out all solids in a liquid that might cause clouding, leaving the final product crystal clear. It works great on things like pineapple, watermelon and tomato juice!” — Jessica Weinstein of Hank's Cocktail Bar, Washington, D.C.
“If my bosses happen to be reading this, a Spinzall sure would be nice, because who doesn't want a centrifuge?” — Tim Garso of Smallman Galley, Pittsburgh, PA
Books to Outfit a Cocktail Library“Jim Meehan’s Bartender Manual ($26) is great for both experienced and at-home bartenders.” — Oertel
“The Louisiana Atlas and Gazetteer ($12): A local atlas is any bartender's best tool for inspiration. It includes every back road of the state and can help discover new cocktail ideas, from ingredients to produce to people.” — Alan Walter of Loa Bar, New Orleans, LA
“I would love to carve out some time to read By The Smoke and the Smell ($19) by Thad Vogler.” — Garso
A Draft Tap System"I would love a draft tap system and kegs—I wrote santa for that! I love playing around with recipes for cocktails on tap and infusing different flavors at home to try and find what I am looking for. It would make it so much easier to accomplish everything if I was able to do the full recipes at home. Also, I think it would be pretty sweet to have draft cocktails at your house, I mean I don’t know anyone who has that." — Sean Potter of Stoke, Charlotte, NC
Blinged-Out Barware“The new Gunmetal Black series from Cocktail Kingdom—all of the jiggers ($16), spoons ($23) and strainers ($20).” — Dayton
I just like the elegance of this Bitters bottle ($20). The simple, smooth shape is really eye-catching, and the copper would look so nice on my console table. Also, the “La Pharmacie” Aromatic Bitters Dasher Bottle ($18) because I can’t have enough bitters bottles on my bar.” — Hallsson
“The new-ish Bulu pineapple bar spoons ($25) would make for the perfect stocking stuffer for my islander heart.” — Garso
Bottles on Bottles“A year’s supply of reposado tequila and bubbly rosé.” — Weinstein
“Hamilton 151 Demerara Rum ($24), J. Rieger & Co. Caffe Amaro ($32) and Arton armagnacs (all expressions) ($58-75).” — Jon and Lindsay Yeager of PourTaste, Nashville, TN
“Cappelletti Pasubio Vino Amaro ($20): This stuff is just absolutely incredible. It’s amazingly cheap for the quality of product. It’s deep and embracing, herbaceous and smoky, yet so incredibly light, refreshing and absolutely quaffable. This is the kind of stuff you drink slightly warm by a fire in the Alps, or chilled out in the warm sun in the summer. It’s outstanding.
Piedra Luenga Organic Pedro Ximenez Sherry ($18): This sherry is the absolute bee’s knees. It is succulent, warm and jam-packed with golden raisin flavor and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re about to have a diabetic episode. Goes for about $18 retail, although I’m not sure where it is available—MFW distributes it wholesale in the States.
Brennivin 80th Anniversary Blend ($51): Being from Iceland, I couldn’t not have this on my wishlist. This is a blend of three different agings of the traditional Brennivin (an aquavit, which is a neutral grain spirit distilled with caraway), individually aged in American new oak bourbon barrels, and Islay whiskey barrels before blending them all together. The result is a delightfully complex, creamy, slightly smoky, slightly sweet, smooth spirit that is unlike anything else I have ever tasted. Every time I drink it, I taste something new. A must-have for any spirit appreciator.” — Hallsson