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The best bar gifts for a home mixologist

From the cocktail-curious to a seasoned spirit slinger, these are the best bar gifts for every drinking buddy on your list.

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This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

If your looking for a great gift for a home bartender, there are loads of foolproof bar gifts perfect for an at-home shaker and pourer will appreciate, no matter their skill level. Good barware is always a hit, for instance, like retro cocktail coupes or handsome highballs. These days you can find a host of mixology subscription boxes and online classes to take things to another level. And even a well-placed bottle of mixable spirit with some craft bitters can be a real gifting win for the amateur bartender. (If you're looking for a bottle suggestion, Kastra Elion Greek olive vodka was the best new thing I tasted this year, followed closely by this spicy Willet four-year rye.)

Like any other practice, the more you slip into the world of cocktail making the more fun stuff you'll discover. Those include ingredients, gadgets, barware and boards. There's a very wide world of mixology and bar gifts waiting for the budding bartender on your list, so if you're buying for someone's who is cocktail-curious, count your blessings -- you've got options. 

This list features a range of giftable home bar accessories from the pretty to the practical, all of which will make happy hour, well, happier. Plus, there are cocktail-related bar gifts for every budget, from stocking stuffers to splurges. So whether you fancy yourself the cosmopolitan type or it's something more old-fashioned you're after, these are some of the best bar and cocktail gifts to give this holiday season.

Read moreThe best kitchen gifts for a home cook or foodie

High Camp

It's rare that a cocktail shaker excited me all that much anymore but the High Camp shaker is special. It's loosely designed with camping or outdoor drinking in mind since you can either shake and pour or leave it and the shaker transforms into an easy-drinking highball. 

It also looks great available in copper, stainless steel or gunmetal and it all fits together securely and compactly. You can (and should) get it engraved for $20 more. 

Smoke Boards

Smoked cocktails are definitely a thing. They're easy to make at home if you don't care to spend $18 for one out at the latest speakeasy. Smokeboards send all you'll need -- a torch, wood chips, board and jar to capture the smoke. All you'll need to buy is the butane at a local hardware shop. The real fun is you're making the smoke yourself and there are three flavors to mess around with and try with your favorite whisky, tequila and rum drinks.

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