Unconventional Booze-Themed Gifts
Unconventional Booze-Themed Gifts
From a gin-inspired boombox to a bike made with whisky casks, an unexpected take on liquor accoutrements
by Elva Ramirez
Inspired by the best liquor industry items we've come across this year, here's an unconventional boozy guide. From a gin-themed boombox to a bike made of old whisky casks, there's a mix of things you can absolutely buy, as well as some stuff that requires digging around for—or maybe even bartering. Many brands produce items that are solely promotional, and that doesn’t make them impossible to find but it certainly increases the difficulty. For those who care about what they drink, the following selections might just surprise and delight.
Absolut Elyx Copper Pineapples
Absolut Elyx has made the copper pineapple part of their brand identity. It's a worthy fit, as a pineapple is a historic symbol of hospitality. And while the vessel might now be at many tiki bars in major cities, they’ve not maxed out their welcome yet. The piece can be styled in two ways to serve drinks and copper helps your drink stay colder for longer. They can be purchased online, where one pineapple gift box costs $99 at the Elyx Boutique.
Absolut Elyx Cufflinks
Speaking of Absolut Elyx, if you want to match your look to your bar vessel, consider these chic Elyx pineapple cufflinks. Costing $59 at Elyx Boutique, where you can also pick up the sequin jackets and turbans that the brand ambassadors wear. There's something playful here that certainly applies to the world beyond alcohol-branded products.
Glenmorangie + Renovo Wooden Frame Bike
Glenmorangie's "Beyond the Cask" program finds new uses for old casks, and the first version of the venture resulted in limited edition Finlay & Co wooden sunglasses. This year, Glenmorangie tapped bike-maker Renovo to craft a stylish and lightweight hollow frame bicycle from their twice-used American oak casks. Handmade in Portland, each bike requires 15 cask staves and 20 hours to come to life. Sapele, a dark wood, is also added in smaller proportions, to create a color contrast. (No, the bike doesn't smell like whisky.) You can buy one online, but it will cost you at least $7,000 or around $12,000 if you want the prestige edition.
Hendrick's Gin BoomCase
The BoomCase turns vintage suitcases into portable sound systems. For Hendrick's Gin, BoomCase created a leather and tweed suitcase that opens up to reveal a Hendrick's tea set plus a nook for a 750 ml bottle. The suitcase is outfitted with a rechargeable battery that plays for over 18 hours; you can play music via an auxiliary cable or a Bluetooth connection. Sound specs include a 100-watt amplifier, two subwoofers, one midrange speakers and four dome tweeters. This thing is basically an instant party.Only 15 are available for $775 each.
Hendrick's Gin Pocket Square
If you ever spy a dashing Hendrick's Gin ambassador, look for their pocket square. Scrunched up in a pocket, it appears to be an elegant pop of silk. Take it out, however, the fabric unfurls into a blindfold—for impromptu "blind tastings." Unfortunately, they've been produced just for Hendrick's brand ambassadors—but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying to find one.
Pisco El Gobernador Leather Bag
Made in Chile from leather, this sturdy bag was created by Pisco El Gobernador with liquor professionals in mind. There are four compartments: three that are bottle-sized and one wider pocket that fits most laptops. The inside flap reveals leather straps that holds bar tools safely in place. This holiday season, Pisco El Gobernador reps gave the branded bags to their favorite bartenders across New York. The bags are made by Milla Arbol, who has an Instagram account but no online store at the moment.
Various Brand Lapel Pins
St-Germain, D'Usse, Bombay Sapphire and Bacardi have all produced lapel pins. The little hummingbird drinking a daiquiri was created in honor of National Daiquiri Day; the others are regular brand pins. These are almost always created for and worn by brand representatives. That said, pins are occasionally gifted to consumers, media and bartenders and might just turn up online.
Jagermeister Antler Shot Glasses
Jägermeister, which is popularly consumed in shots, nods to that heritage with these Hubertus stag shot glasses. You won't see them on Jäger's social media or their official website, but the shot glasses pop up at private parties and industry events. Shot culture aside, they're quite elegant and definitely worth seeking if you're a fan of the brand.
Cynar, an amaro, commissioned these shoes for this year's Tales of the Cocktail industry convention. A nod to sneaker culture, this was the first time Cynar created branded shoes, which caused a minor sensation on social media. The shoes are promotional, and were gifted to Cynar brand ambassadors and employees who worked this year's event. Given the reaction, expect to see more brand ambassadors sporting these shoes in 2018 and keep your eyes out for any popping up secondhand online.
"Vodka Soda" and "Rum + Cola” Caps
Absolut created the "Vodka Soda" hat for this summer's Tales of the Cocktail convention. Bacardi commissioned these "Rum + Cola" hats for their National Rum Day celebration in New York. A second run of the caps later went to Bacardi sales teams. Both hats were given out at their respective events for media and bartenders but a Bacardi rep notes that it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for a Bacardi rum bus.
CH favorite and contributor Gastronomista (aka cocktail writer Emily Arden Wells) offers a range of playful drink-themed jewelry, including Negroni, Martini, and Daiquiri. Our personal favorite happens to be the daiquiri, but browse all the necklaces online, where they range in price from $75 to $100.
Glenmorangie image courtesy of Glenmorangie, all other images by Elva Ramirez