The wine, beer, or spirits lover in your life has hung up their stocking with care, and now you have to fill it. First thought—miniature liquor bottles and single-serving wine bottles (they come in convenient four-packs!). Tempting, and super convenient, though that may be, there’s no reason to stop there. Or start there. In fact, save the airplane minis for your next flight.
There are actually plenty of booze-pertinent gifts—some functional, some just delightful—that can fit into stockings and leave plenty of room for chocolates, gift cards, gum, scratch-offs, and whatever else your stocking traditions dictate.
Whether you’re going for practical or whimsical, or a fun mixture of both (see: Dinosaur Wine Stopper below), here are some size-appropriate, generally affordable gifts to pack out that big red sock.
It’s nearly 2016. The fact that there aren’t temperature sensors built into wine bottles already is a mild disappointment. But no fear, we can usher the future along ourselves. Just slap the gauge around your bottle and revel in the temperature-appropriate taste of the technology.
To be fair (to people who actually make legit barrel-aged spirits), this is more of a lark, a fun experiment that may—or may not—yield good booze. But those are charred American oak barrel staves, which is pretty neat. And who doesn’t like a project after the holidays?
‘Cuz why hide your dual love of whiskey and knee socks any longer?
Perfect for the outdoorsy beer lover in your life. Because once you’ve mountain-biked to your destination, you may realize there’s not a hell of a lot going on in the woods.
Bring a little green indoors over winter, and then muddle that green into some liquor. Seasonal win.
If anyone asks you why you would buy something like this, they don’t deserve it, and you have our full permission to snatch it from them and run. Come on, that dinosaur is climbing out of your wine bottle! (Some portion of the profits probably goes to the budget for Jurassic World 2, in which Chris Pratt successfully coaches a velociraptor dance troupe all the way to State Finals.)
The holidays should probably just be called “Soap Swap Season,” since ladies tend to give and receive a whole lot of soap this time of year. Up the ABV, metaphorically (the soap won’t give you a buzz, no matter how many times you rinse and repeat).
If there’s someone in your life just getting into wine, this is a good way to go. Monogram it with anything, for instance,“Remember who gave you this when you’re pouring wine for us tonight.”
Harder to fit into one stocking, so maybe distribute among your (closest) friends. Nothing like a little nip to take the edge off busted seasonal expectations.
Will Ferrell fans will be excited about this one. Not quite as awesome as a Samurai sword autographed by Randy Jackson, but close.
Sure, the ultimate guide to food and wine pairing is your palate, blah, blah, blah. And while we’d all like to be able to use the force when pairing, sometimes it’s nice to have a handy magnetized cheat sheet.
A classic, easy to find gift for the amateur mixologist in your life. Bonus points, Angostura bitters can help with holiday hangovers.
This’ll take up a lot of room in the stocking, but if you’ve got an IPA lover in your holiday home, this glass—the joint effort of three breweries—was literally made for them. Engineered to showcase “hop-forward” American IPAs, and earn you some craft beer brownie points.
If you were thinking about those whiskey stones, go for this instead. The stones don’t have a great rep in terms of actually chilling, and some folks say they smell weird. Yes, these will dilute the whiskey (or spirit of your chilled choice), but the basic hugeness of the ice ball slows the melt down. Plus, they’re just impressive-looking.
Not only can you keep the flavor of your favorite Founders beer on your lips all day long, but you’ll get SPF 15 sun protection. And people will probably want to kiss you, a lot.
Chances are the wine lover in your life has also been a wine spiller. This stuff supposedly cleans it up whether the stain’s fresh or old. It also takes care of blood, fruit punch, and “pet accidents,” which should cover almost every possible stain issue of the traditional holiday season.