Most home bartenders aren’t sitting around drinking alone on a Friday night – they’re getting all their friends around to appreciate their crazy cocktail skills! So, today, we’re talking cocktail gift ideas for the avid entertainer.
Once you get a good amount of people over, it’s hard to keep shaking and stirring for everyone all the time. The key to successfully entertaining en masse is having a large format drink on the go. Obviously, the punch bowl is perfect for this. It also brings an element of conviviality with everyone sharing a drink out of the same bowl. And beyond the practical aspects of it, punch bowls are just pretty.
The good thing about gifting punch bowls is there is a really large range in price, so you can go small or all out. They’re also something you can buy used without looking like a cheapo – it’s vintage! My current bowl is a sturdy glass 70’s style piece that I got for 20 bucks online. However, my dream bowel is a Dorothy Thorpe like the one shown here. (Be careful buying Thorpe because there are a whole lotta counterfeits out there claiming to be the real thing.)
Where to find them? I prefer to shop eBay or flea markets for bowls, but you can find them pretty much anywhere.
Cost: 20 – 200+ Euros
Another way to keep the multitudes in mixed drinks without too much stress is to batch and bottle your cocktails ahead of time. It’s convenient, cute and guests get a kick out of having their own drink in a bottle. So offer up your entertaining friend a bottle capper. (This capper will also come in handy for one of the suggestions on tomorrow’s gift guide!)
And if they already have a bottle capper, then get them some fun caps that go beyond just the boring green –something with bright colors or designs.
Where to find them? Amazon in both the US or France. Any home beer brewing shop. (“capsuleuse” if you’re searching online in French)
Cost: 15 – 50 Euros (mine is a really basic one and it works fine)
Entertaining is also a little bit about putting on a show…which is why it’s cool to have your own soda siphon. It not only looks nifty, but it’s also great for when lots of bubbly water is needed for party purposes. Your hostess with the mostesst doesn’t have to lug around cases of sparkling water – instead she can just whip it up on order!
Plus there are a lot of other cool cocktail tricks and techniques you can do with a siphon.
While you can find a range of prices and quality, I use and recommend the iSi siphon (pictured above)
Where to find them? Amazon in both the US and France or home/barware shops.
Cost: 40 Euros and up
Cocktails need bar snacks because all booze and no food makes for some very wobbly partygoers. A regular party planner probably has a few stocked away in the pantry at all times, but will always appreciate a few more goodies. Get something they might not splurge on all the time, like some saucisson from the excellent butcher and meat maestro Alexendre Polmard. Interesting olives, something indulgent with truffles, pates, exotic nuts…all nice ideas to add to a party platter or serve unexpected guests who drop in around cocktail hour. Try and focus on things that have a longer shelf life and don’t need to be served right away.
Where to find them? Well…everywhere. But for the Polmard charcuterie, you’ll have to visit their shop.
Cost: 2 Euros and up
A great home entertainer expends a lot of thought, time and effort making sure other people are enjoying themselves – and making it all look easy. Every once in awhile it’s nice to remind them to slow down, relax and indulge themselves the same way they indulge others. So, think about a nice spa day, massage or some other treat that will help your party planner get some much needed down time!
Check in tomorrow for our Gift Guide for the Renaissance Cocktaillian.