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10 Gifts Under $25 for the Mixologist

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From small-batch bottles of booze to specialty bar tools, the accoutrement of fancy cocktails has made its way from the bar to the home. Aspiring mixologists will raise a glass to these 10 festive gifts under $25.

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"Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to 'Professor' Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar," by David Wondrich, belongs on every drink enthusiast's shelf. Considered the definitive guide to classic American cocktails, this book (starting at $18 from Target) features historical facts behind many bar favorites, as well as more than 100 recipes ("the original formulae") for everything from sours to slings.

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When it comes to craft cocktails, tea is trending. New York-based Owl's Brew makes four flavors of tea crafted for cocktails, including Coco-Lada, made of fresh-brewed black tea, chai spices, coconut, and pineapple. The products ($7 to $16) pair well with beer, wine, or liquor. The chic matte-black bottles look hip on any bar.

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The Essential Abode cocktail shaker ($20) comes with a built-in strainer, a jigger with ounce and half-ounce measures, and a classic stainless-steel design that evokes James Bond. The shaker's 24-ounce body means more time sipping and less time mixing drink after drink. Dozens of buyers have unanimously given it 5 stars on Amazon.

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This boozy garnish is a tasty addition to any bar cart. A collaboration between Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. and Art in the Age Craft Spirits, root-soaked cherries ($16) add a boost to a bourbon or rye whiskey cocktail. Root liquor is based on an 18th-century recipe for "root tea," the alcoholic precursor to root beer.

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"Sake Confidential: A Beyond-the-Basics Guide to Understanding, Tasting, Selection, and Enjoyment" ($11 on Amazon) is a must-have for any mixologist interested in the ongoing sake (and now craft sake) craze. Author John Gauntner is the only non-Japanese certified Master of Sake Tasting.

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Ever wonder how bartenders make those fancy layered drinks? It takes a steady hand, an assortment of booze, and this nifty tool from Zevro ($13). Simply measure the liquid, then press to release perfect layers into a glass or shaker. Cheers!

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Whether they prefer bourbon, vodka, whiskey, or tequila, mixologists can show off their favorite spirit with these fun statement socks from Gumball Poodle ($12). Seen on the feet of Beyoncé, Madonna, and Snoop Dogg, the 75 percent-cotton-blend socks can be bought online or at retailers around the country.

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Not just for hot toddies and Champagne cocktails, these sugar cubes from Vena's Fizz House ($8) add a spicy, smoky twist to cocktails. Infused with bitters, these small-batch treats step up the flavor game of tequila or bourbon cocktails. Who wants an old-fashioned?

Travel-Size Bitters
Courtesy of the-bitter-truth.com


The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set (starting at $21) contains bottles small enough to be allowed through airport security in carry-on luggage, making it an ideal companion for a globetrotting mixologist. The set includes five flavors -- original aromatic, celery, orange, Jerry Thomas', and Creole -- in a handsome box.

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Good for old-fashioneds, caipirissimas, mojitos, mint juleps, or experimenting with herbs, spices, and citrus, these muddlers ($24) from the AHeirloom shop on Etsy come in maple or walnut and can be personalized with initials.