I don’t know if this is a real term but I call myself a “bevvie”. It’s like a foodie only I’m way more interested in what beverages are served at a restaurant than the entree menu. I’m one of those people who always has a beverage in-hand. Whether it’s morning and I’m clutching my coffee cup for dear life or I’m winding down the day with a warm herbal blend, you won’t ever see me without a liquid.
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This round of Gift Guides is dedicated to those people in your life who keep their throats coated and their souls happy. These are the tools, serve ware, and beverage services I use and love. They make my entire year that much more pleasant.
FOR WINE LOVERS
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Christine owned this wine opener when we moved in together and I am in love. Opening a bottle of wine with a traditional corkscrew is a little challenging some days (thanks, Rheumatoid Arthritis!). This opener has saved the day. Literally five seconds and I’ve got the bottle open and ready to go! It may not be the prettiest tool, but it’s my absolute favorite gadget!
Speaking of wine openers, I bought this one for my mother-in-law’s house and she loves it. She doesn’t drink wine very often but she entertains a lot. This was the perfect budget opener for her. It’s easy to use and makes opening an occasional bottle a snap! Plus it’s pretty fancy high-tech, no?
Under $25, this set is amazing! I’ve owned them for five years and they still look brand new. I don’t even hand wash them. I put them in the dishwasher every night because I genuinely use at least one of these every single day. Even for cocktails or water, they’re absolute perfection. This is my go-to gift for new homeowners or established wine drinkers alike. Everyone loves them!
Same idea only for Champagne glasses, I prefer not to go stemless. Here’s why: Champagne needs to be extra cold. Your hand is warm. So when you hold the stem, you’re keeping your body heat from affecting the temperature and subsequently, taste of the the champagne. There. I’m a neurotic.
Speaking of Champagne, this is one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received. Christine’s best friend gave me this bottle + jacket set for my birthday a few years ago. The jacket keeps my bottles cool and features a handle by which you can pour! No ice bucket necessary!
I love Champagne but I’m not a fan of Mimosas. If I’m going to have a champagne drink, I don’t want it diluted in juice. I do, however, love Champagne when mixed with elderflower flavor. My favorite is St. Germain Liqueur. Throw a splash in your Champagne for a real treat. At night, I like a good spritzer cocktail and these tonic waters mix so well with Champagne that I like to keep them in my fridge all the time. For a fun hostess gift, combine a bottle of sparkling wine, a set of four of these tonic waters, and a fresh lemon in a basket. Tie with a bow. Instant festivities!
Ever red wine needs to breathe. Even the best bottles require some aeration to get the tannins eh I don’t really know the science behind it but I will say – let it breathe and it tastes better. This decanter has saved so many boxes of wine from looking and tasting like garbage. I’m cheap, you guys. I’ve been known to empty a boxed wine (here’s my favorite) into this decanter and serve it to a crowd. No one is the wiser.
Sometimes we don’t want to open an entire bottle or box into a decanter. For those nights when it’s just me, I use this portable aerator that I can pour directly into a single glass. It’s an inexpensive gift that will change your wine lover’s drinking habits.
The same company that makes the portable aerator I love also makes this vacuum bottle sealer that I use pretty regularly. Again, it’s under $10 and saves my good bottles from going bad before I can finish them. Because even the lushiest wine drinker can’t down a bottle a night.
So I could always preserve my reds but I’ve thrown out so many bottles of good Champagne because they went flat. Then I found this simple mechanism this year and it’s really improved my bubbly habit. Great stocking stuffer!
Admittedly, this is a weird gift. But I’m a lush who loves red wine and is married to a neurotic launderer. This is in her stocking every year. The absolute best stain remover we’ve ever found. We go through about one of these a month.
While Christine is a neurotic clothing and upholstery stain remover, I’m a neurotic about my teeth. I drink a lot of red wine, tea, coffee.. all those things that will make your teeth look awful. To combat the stains, I use these twice a year. The kits aren’t cheap, so I always ask for them for Christmas. They make a good under $50 Christmas Exchange gift.
FOR THE TEA / COFEE LOVER
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Good honey is a luxury for me. I have a cup of tea almost every night with an infusion of honey and even make “special coffee” with honey on the weekends. This is one of those simple pleasures that just makes me life feel abundant. These are my current favorite ways to enjoy honey. I give the bottles as gifts with a bow while I break open the spoon packs and give friends a single one with a bag of tea and a nice mug.
The honey combs make stunning displays on a cheese board or dessert tray and a little goes a long way! I cut off a couple of tiny sections and add a honey dipper for ease of serving.
I like my coffee like I like my women; strong and full of opinions. These are my current favorites. You’ll notice that two of these are local because HELLO NASHVILLE! we’ve got some awesome roasters here. I also recommend you search for local roasters in your own township. You may be surprised to find that the small gals and guys are doing it best. Regardless, these are all available online.
These gadgets are all under $20 and allow me to get my gourmet coffee fix right at home.
This is my current favorite loose leaf tea. I think it would be a great hostess gift when combined with this awesome kettle (that’s a newer version of the one I own) and these glass mugs that we use to serve warm beverages at all of our gatherings.
FOR THE HOME MIXOLOGIST
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A few years ago, I realized I didn’t have a true ice bucket. To remedy, I went a little overboard and bought a handful of them. So now we have a collection. Most are vintage but this one is actually my favorite. It’s simple enough to fit any decor and is so easy to open and use (a legit problem for me is that I can’t always get the lid off half of mine).
So I actually don’t own this one. Our cocktail shaker is an inexpensive blue glass one that I got at the Target Dollar Spot years ago and it’s perfectly functional so I don’t feel the need to replace it. HOWEVER I WANT THIS ONE SO BAD. I always have loved it. So, you know, if you’re looking for a gift for your favorite lushy DIY Home Improvement Blogger…
Two of my closest friends have gone through big break-ups this year which have required them to completely start over in their home furnishings. It’s a weird place to be; mid-30s and realizing you don’t have a set of glasses.
They both have very different styles but I stumbled across these inexpensive drinking tumblers and realized they worked for both of them equally because they’re so simple and classy. Plus, they function as everyday water glasses but also work very well for upscale cocktail drink ware. I want a couple of sets for myself now.
These glasses were one of my very first adult purchases. They lived with me from the time I was 18 until I “lost” them in a divorce at 26. We had some good times and I really do miss them.
Books are my favorite gifts to give and receive. Most notably, I enjoy giving cocktail books because they have such beautiful photos and can be displayed in the kitchen or dining room, where books are often forgotten. These are the ones I’ve been passing out recently.
FOR EVERY OTHER BEVERAGE TYPE
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This stuff is my jam. Perfectly adorable to serve at a brunch or hoard all to yourself. Or tie a ribbon on it, and take it as a hostess gift to your book club.
For when you really want a cocktail but it’s 8:00 am. This. This. This.
These things were all the rage a few years ago and then they kind of fizzled out. (ha!) Christine is a huge fan of soda and received one for Christmas one year. I actually ended up using it more than she did because I like sparkling water. These are the best syrups on the market too.
Christine comes by her soda obsession pretty honestly. My mother-in-law drinks a 12 pack a day of Diet Coke. Seriously. The first three years I was married to her daughter, I don’t remember ever seeing her eat. She just drank Diet Coke all day. Unhealthy habit, FYI. But I still tease her with a new Diet Coke ornament every year.
To see my other 2018 Gift Guides, click here.
And Happy Holidays!
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