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“For vodka lovers, the gifting possibilities are endless since vodka is a blank canvas!” describes Josue Gonzalez, the beverage director at the award-winning Seven Reasons. Whether you’re gifting for a Martini lover or a Moscow Mule fan, there’s a globe of gifts perfect for vodka aficionados.
Marta De La Cruz Marrero, the food and beverage director at Burlock Coast in Fort Lauderdale, recommends getting creative. “I’d love what I call a vodka nomad gift: a shaker set, a bottle of their favorite vodka, a small portion of olives, a Martini glass and a small bottle of vermouth packed into a tote. You can take it everywhere: a park, the beach, or a friend’s house.”
Below are more ideas for the best gifts to get right now for the vodka lover in your life.
Best Book: Vodka Distilled
“Tony Abou-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist) takes you on an exploration and tasting journey of vodka in his book 'Vodka Distilled'—perfect for any vodka lovers in your life,” Dean Hurst, beverage director for Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa.
In this book, the award-winning, globe-trotting bartender dives deep into the history of vodka. The book acts as a companion to your recipient’s favorite clear spirit, covering everything from the vodka distillation process to how to apply the spirit in modern cocktails. The book also contains a rainbow of cocktails, from both the canon of cocktail history and Tony’s own creations.
For the true vodka fanatic, Abou-Ganim also covers how to host your own comparative vodka tasting, looking at flavor profiles, the difference between raw materials, and understanding different production techniques. (Plus, he makes a case for celebrating food pairings like caviar and vodka) Beautiful images by photographer Tim Turner put the finishing touches on this spirited tome.
Best Vermouth: Regal Rogue Daring Dry Vermouth
"I would suggest Regal Rogue Daring Dry Vermouth as a great gift for vodka lovers because it makes for a perfect pairing to a dirty Martini,” says Lex Valles-Armand, the lead bartender at Hampton + Hudson in Atlanta's Inman Park neighborhood.
This unique vermouth is made with sauvignon blanc grapes from Southern Australia, distilled with a bouquet of native herbs, including anise myrtle, quandong, thyme, olive leaf, gentian and juniper. “The herbaceousness of the vermouth along with the salinity works wonders,” says Valles-Armand. “If you want to elevate the experience, add blue cheese stuffed olives to the martini." While vodka lovers probably love the spirit’s flavors in a Martini, a unique dry vermouth like this makes a case to reverse the specs in a martini, letting the vermouth shine through.
Read Next: The Best Vermouths
Best Mix: Dirty Sue Olive Brine Martini Mix
While a good vodka will certainly upgrade a Martini, craft olive brine is one of the best-kept secrets to better drinks. Created by veteran bartender Eric “ET” Tecosky, Dirty Sue’s olive brine uses olives grown in the south of Spain, that are then brined and double-filtered.
Ian Campbell, the assistant general manager of food and beverage at the Gansevoort Hotel Group, has an avid martini-drinking brother. “I introduced him to Dirty Sue’s Olive Brine Martini Mix after I witnessed him accidentally dump an entire jar of olives into his glass while trying to squeeze out the last remnants of the juice. It was a game-changer for him, and now his bar is rarely not stocked with a bottle of Dirty Sue’s or two.” The clean, perfectly-briney filtered martini mix comes in a variety of sizes including a 750 ml bottle.
Read Next: The Best Martini Glasses
Best Cocktail Shaker: Cocktail Kingdom Leopold Shakers
"When it comes to a vodka-adjacent gift," shares Hernan Trujilo, head bartender at J.Bespoke, “Great shakers make the best gift because they allow you to get that real, cocktail bar-quality martini. A shaker will provide you with a perfectly cold martini and as an added bonus, a pair of muscles to go with it."
This set of Boston shakers are composed of two, 12- and 28-ounce 18/8 stainless steel mixing tins. The containers secure inside each other thanks to a tight natural seal caused by the chilly vodka.
Cocktail Kingdom’s versions are considered the industry-standard: they are dishwasher-safe and durable enough to last through shift after shift or Martini hour after Martini hour. Perfect for entertaining, the shaker set holds two drinks at a time.
Read Next: The Best Cocktail Shakers
Best Ice Cube Tray: Glacio Ice Cube Tray
Hanson, the vodka distiller and winemaker of Hanson of Sonoma says “This will keep the temperature and proof of the vodka a little more consistent while you drink, and will allow the qualities of the vodka to show in a clearer way. This is an easy way to set the stage of enjoying the quality of the vodka on its own, or for a freshly mixed cocktail.”
What’s the difference between a regular ice cube? Using a larger ice cube while shaking or stirring a drink will cause the ice to dilute slower, creating a colder, stronger cocktail. Glacio’s ice cube trays make eight giant ice cubes. The silicone siding enables users to pop out the cubes with ease.
Read Next: Best Ice Cube Trays
Best Pairing Knife: Dalstrong Paring Knife
“A good quality paring knife really makes your life easier when adding fruit garnishes from oranges, limes, lemons and kiwis to a variety of vodka-based seasonal cocktails,” Mark Simmonds, the master blender for Broken Shed Vodka, advises, “You will be able to make a twist for a Martini or even cut an orange slice for a vodka neat or vodka soda like a pro. I recommend experimenting and trying different fruit garnishes for various vodka classic cocktails.”
Dalstrong’s paring knife is razor-sharp, with a serrated edge that quickly cuts through tougher citrus peels (even slippery or wet ones). The blade is made with tempered high-carbon German steel while the handle is crafted from black Pakkawood, with a comfort grip for maximum maneuverability.
Best Mixing Glass: Piña Barware Cocktail Mixing Glass
“Piña Barware has a new line of hand blown recycled cocktail mixing glasses that are absolutely beautiful!” says Hope Ray, a bartender at The Holler in Bentonville, Arizona. “Having a large mixing glass at parties is the item you never knew you needed. This mixing glass is perfect for serving a batch cocktail or just stirring up the best Martini you have ever had when you get home from work.”
Each mixing glass is hand-blown from recycled glass made by artisans in Mexico.
The glass comes in two different sizes: a standard 18-ounces, or a larger 26-ounce option for entertaining a crowd. The shimmering recycled and seamless glass makes a statement-making addition to a home bar and a fun alternative to the standard Yarai glass. Though note, these mixing glasses do need to be hand washed.
Read Next: The Best Vodkas
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Kate Dingwall is an experienced wine and spirits writer and sommelier. Her first industry job was at a Martini bar, and she still makes a mean Tuxedo.