If you're still shopping for Christmas gifts, it's time to get on it. We've already shared a few ideas for lovers of beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, and tea, but in case you're still stumped, here are a couple of additional presents to tuck under the tree.
The Art of the Shim
Dinah Sanders of Bibulous recently published this lovely little book focused on lower-alcohol cocktails. It's "a celebration of being able to fit more drinks into an evening without getting stupid, sad, or sick," she says, and it's right on trend: more and more bars are adding a lower-proof section to their cocktail list, featuring drinks the lean heavily on cool amari, liqueurs, and vermouths rather than long pours of the harder stuff.
Recipes in The Art of the Shim run from The Adonis (made with nutty Oloroso sherry and rich Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, plus orange bitters) through the alphabet to the Teresa (a tart and bittersweet mix of Campari, fresh lime, and creme de cassis.) I'd love to drink my way through this book, and I'm betting your favorite cocktail geek would, too.
Owl Espresso Mugs
I always have my eye out for cute espresso cups, and these white-glazed stoneware owls are awfully adorable.
Buy Now: $6 at West Elm
Electric kettles are much quicker and more energy-efficient than putting a teakettle on the stove, and some of them (like the Adagio kettle I've been using for years) heat water to varying temperatures so you can steep your tea just right.
Fun Cocktail Glasses
Cocktail lovers are always on the hunt for fun vintage glasses, and you can pick cool ones up for cheap at your best local flea market. If that fails, head to eBay for finds like these and these. Or pick up a set of new Nick and Nora glasses; they work really well for all sorts of cocktails.
Bitters Class at Astor Wines in NYC
Taught by the team behind Hella Bitter, this January 10th class will introduce attendees to the wonderful world of vermouths, amaros, apertivos and non-potables (ie. aromatic & citrus bitters), how they taste, the history behind them, and how to use them in cocktails.
Bitters They Don't Have Yet
Collecting bitters is an expensive hobby, so cocktail fans are always excited to receive a gift of new bottles to try. Scope out your loved one's bar to see if they already have Scrappy's—we particularly like the cardamom flavor, but you can get a whole gift box with mini-bottles of lime, chocolate, cardamom, and grapefruit.
Coffee & Chocolate Gift Subscriptions from The LAB
One of the best parts of receiving a gift is the happy surprise, and you can extend that feeling by signing your loved one up for a gift subscription that'll bring monthly surprises to their door. The LAB's coffee subscriptions are a good choice for coffee lovers who live in places without a million micro-roasters, but even if you're in coffee-flooded cities, you'll discover new coffees this way, since the roster includes 40 roasters from the Pacific Northwest to Kentucky, California and the East Coast. There's a coffee subscription that includes two different 8-oz. bags of whole bean coffee each month, and then there's 'The Bean Ritual', which has an added treat: the monthly package includes two bags of different single-origin coffees (recent selections included Verve in Santa Cruz and Sunergos Coffee in Louisville) as well as two bean-to-bar chocolates from American chocolate makers (such as Portland's Woodblock and Missouri's Askinosie.) They're offering a 15% discount on The Bean Ritual to Serious Eats readers this week!