A “place where you might find architectural chicken coops, tea parties, decanters, bespoke knives or donut art,” the NYC-based blog Gastronomista is the work of Emily Arden Wells, an architect by day, and a writer and drinks aficionado by night. Wells’ background in art and design lends itself to a refreshing take on the spirits industry, and through her eyes readers learn everything from the history of Domaine de Canton—a French cognac-based ginger liqueur originally produced for Qing Dynasty rulers—to the nuances of Japanese whisky, the latest news from annual events like Manhattan Cocktail Classic or Tales of the Cocktail, as well as several compelling books on bartending, food pairings and more.
With such a wealth of knowledge and discerning taste, we asked Wells to pick some of her favorite bottles of booze and bar accoutrement for our perennial gift guide. From Josh Owen’s clever Cube Jigger to the Complete Shaken Cocktail Set Up, her selections will have you sipping pretty and your bar well-stocked in no time. See some of the highlights below.
Sequence Glasses and Decanter
Hand-blown and hand-etched, the Sequence glass and decanter set by Czech artist Natalia Ognevia for Artel is designed in homage to Viennese glass legend Josef Hoffmann.
Mississippi Croc Triple Bar Set
Take your bar (or at least part of it) with you! Daines and Hathaway’s Mississippi Croc Triple Bar Set, complete with three stainless steel flasks, is a classy way to mix up a martini or a Negroni on the go.
Hibiki 12 Yr
The only blended whisky in the Suntory portfolio, the Hibiki 12 Yr is a gorgeously smooth and supple whisky, expertly produced in a nearly century-old distillery in Osaka.
Normann Copenhagen Block Table
Clean lines and minimal materials make up the Normann Copenhagen Block Table, which also doubles as a handy bar cart.
Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses
No need to salt the rim when your glass is hand-carved from a single piece of pink Himalayan salt. Just add lime and enjoy!
Cynthia Rowley Flask Bangle
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” sums up Cynthia Rowley on her stainless steel flask bangle; a stylish and subtle solution for keeping your spirit of choice on hand.
Constitutions of Classic Cocktails
An infographic guide to 68 cocktails and their constituent part, “Constitutions of Classic Cocktails” will help even novice bartenders shake up perfect libations. Created by Pop Chart Lab, each poster measures 27″ x 39″ and is pressed in Flatlands, Brooklyn with vegetable-based inks.
Geoff McFetridge Bushmills Decanter
Get your hands on one of 75 limited edition Bushmills decanters designed by artist Geoff McFetridge and created by the talented glassmakers at Portland-based studio Esque.
Inspired by traditional Japanese sake boxes, designer Josh Owen’s Cube Jigger for Kikkerland cleverly combines six common liquid measurements into one small, useful tool.
Black Rubber Cocktail Shaker
Avoid chilly hands and slippery surfaces with Nuance’s rubber cocktail shaker. The Danish design studio adds a handy modern twist to the classic shaker with silicone seals to help it open easily, as well as an integrated measuring cup in the lid.