by Shaun Layton | It’s that time of year again and if you’re anything like me you still have a lot of shopping to get done! Should you have an home bartender in your life or you know someone in the trade who is hard to buy for, the five items listed below make for a fine and festive start. And who knows, since you’re so damn thoughtful, you might even score a well made drink or two in return.
Scrappy’s Bitters Gift Pack | There are so many unique bitters on the market, and so many producers! For a great gift consider this gift pack of four different mini bottles. The Seattle-based company produces very potent and flavourful cocktail bitters. A little goes a LONG way, so these should last a while. There is a classic pack (Orange, Aromatic, Orleans, and Celery) and an exotic pack (Lavender, Chocolate, Cardamom, and Grapefruit). Find them at Modern Bartender or Legacy Liquor Store for about $33.
Canon Cocktail Book | I’ve been waiting for this one to hit the shelves for a while! Former Vancouver bartender Jamie Boudreau opened acclaimed cocktail bar Canon in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood a few years back, and has been working on this beauty of a book for years. Alongside stunning photography, Boudreau shares many of his signature and classic cocktail recipes. My favourite part is “a day in the life of a bar owner” — it makes for a good laugh if you’re in the business. Buy on Amazon or at the Modern Bartender for about $31.
Yukiwa Gold Cobbler Shaker | Every bartender or home enthusiast needs a showpiece shaker, period. There are many cheaper shakers on the market for under fifty bucks, but the quality and precision aren’t there. Find yours at Atkinson’s in the South Cambie hood or go to their online barware store. Not only will these Japanese-made cobbler shakers last beyond the end of days but they’ll also look great on any home bar shelf. $135.
Search & Rescue Apron | Head down to see the East Van company’s brand new digs on Granville Island. These guys have exploded on the scene, both locally and all over the world. Custom designed aprons from the ground up, everything from material and pockets to straps and linings. Read more about their awesomeness here (we’ve been big fans since the start). Aprons start at around $120.
JT’s Hot buttered Rum Mix | Local barman Justin Taylor recently made the move from Boulevard to The Cascade on Main Street — a great addition to the roster. This Christmas, JT’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix is available at The Cascade family of restaurants for $12. Ten dollars from each sale will go to the Fawkes Academy (which provides individualized educational programs for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, other complex developmental disabilities, or different learning needs). This mix will instantly fill you with holiday cheer!