Gift guide: For the spirited cocktail lover


Cocktail fever is sweeping San Diego, with bars popping up in every neighborhood and burgeoning mixologists perfecting the art at home. Shopping for a cocktail lover might seem like a daunting task, but with a variety of choices both locally and online, gift-hunting is now a breeze.

If starting from scratch, try one of the suggestions from Instagram sensation Efren Augustin, who PACIFIC interviewed about starting a bar cart at home. For more shopping ideas, one of the following options will have you looking like you poured your heart into the perfect gift.

Vintage cocktail supplies

Collins & Coupe

Recyclers, upcyclers, vintage buffs and cocktail lovers alike will swoon receiving a gift from this unique local shop, recently opened in North Park. Stocked with strainers, stirrers, bitters, branded cutting boards, and a bevy of vintage glassware, the locale has everything necessary to stock a proper home bar. Even ice cubes are covered with the freezer which stocks bar quality cubes for that perfect holiday party. Add one of their educational classes to up the ante on gift-giving.

2876 El Cajon Blvd. #100, 619.727.4971,

Alcohol kits

Man Crates

According to masculine-to-the-maxwebsite Man Crates, “no man has ever gotten an artful arrangement of fruit and said “Holy moley that’s just what I wanted!’” The website has an impressive collection of choices, including the Gin Fusion Kit (complete with botanicals), Home Brewing Kit (1- and 5-gallon options), and the Whiskey Connoisseur Crate featuring two Glencairn glasses, a hand-made and personalized whiskey decanter, whiskey aerator, slate coasters, and whiskey drinking journal. Munchies are included with salted pistachios, cranberry pecans and peppercorn peanuts ($169). Head over to the Stocking Stuffers section for whiskey stones, ice molds and the “Perfect Drink Scale.”

Cocktail Grow Kit + Old Fashioned Whiskey Infusion Kit

Uncommon Goods

With San Diego weather, it’s possible to grow herbs year round, making the kit the perfect complement to a cocktail lover’s arsenal. Six seed packets include lavender, mint, Thai basil, thyme, blue borage, and lemon balm along with growing instructions, starter soil, and plant stakes to be born in a handy recycled egg carton ($12). Or try the Old Fashioned Whiskey Infusion Kit, which includes a glass bottle, funnel, filter and 100% organic botanicals coriander, cardamom, anise, and orange. Just add whiskey or rye, and Old Fashioneds await ($35).

Cocktail Bitters Sample Set


Get novices experimenting at home with this kit by Berg & Hauck’s, with aromatic, orange, celery, lemon, and creole flavors to take drink-making to the next level ($24).

The Drunken Botanist


Lovers of the shake, stir and swizzle will adore a look at the history of booze in this popular tome by Amy Stewart. Subtitled The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks, it’s sure to up anyone’s party knowledge and mixology skills ($18).


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