Drinking in the best of the holiday season

Your bartender might be appreciative of a hand torch for a gift.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know that bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts often can be opinionated and, OK, downright prickly when it comes to the tools of the trade. That makes buying gifts for the ones in your life particularly difficult — you don’t want to get something they wouldn’t use in a million years, like, say, a bottle of schnozzberry vodka. We asked a few bar pros around the city what they wanted to find underneath the tree.

Colin Driscoll, bar manager at Saloon

“I would personally love a good cocktail book like ‘The PDT Cocktail’ or something I can learn from. I hate when people buy me the sets of cheap tools that come in a rack.”

Fanny Katz, beverage director at Belly Wine Bar

“Here is what I do want: A bottle of the Amaro Santa Maria al Monte for tonight and George Howell Terroir Coffee Beans for tomorrow’s hangover. I don’t want those silver ‘pretend ice cubes’ that you keep in the freezer. … They may be aesthetically pleasing, but they’re not practical.”

Kristina McSharry, assistant general manager at BOND at The Langham, Boston

“A hand torch to make warm cocktails with toasted garnishes as a fun alternative to the usual chilled drinks.”

Dan Jones, bartender at Estelle’s

“The only way to really know more about beer is to brew it yourself, and a gift from your local homebrew store could go down as the best gift you’ll ever give. I suggest checking out Modern Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge. … But the holy grail of beer gifts is without a doubt a kegerator. It’s not just for college kids anymore and you can find much sleeker versions of the chop-shopped refrigerator with a quick search online.”


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