November 27, 2020
One of the saddest consequences of the pandemic is the fact that it keeps us far from our friends. We must admit, we really miss those long chats over a cool drink! If you’re looking for a gift idea for a friend you’ve had to stay distant from this year, why not build your own bar-themed gift box and drop it off at their place? It’s guaranteed to put a smile on their face and, what’s more, you can use it to enjoy a Zoom cocktail night together in the new year. The joy of a gift box is twofold: building it is a super fun activity for the giver and it’s a thoughtful and unique present for the receiver… so it’s basically the gift that keeps on giving! We’ve got some great ideas for a fun bar-themed gift box that’s sure to delight. Stop into your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store this holiday season for some great gift ideas.
Give the gift of cocktails!
First of all, you want to pick a theme, so that all the elements are cohesively linked together. You can make your theme related to a country: a Mexican themed box with some fabulous tequilas and some Tex-Mex snacks or a Scottish box for whiskey lovers. Or you can choose a couple of classic cocktails that your friend loves and build your box around that. One idea we love is a brunch cocktail box: include a bottle of bubbly, a carton of orange juice, plus a bottle of vodka and all the essential Bloody Mary ingredients. Either way, you want to include two or three bottles of liquor and with so many to choose from, you can have some real fun here. What about a flavoured local gin like Eau Claire’s offerings or a selection of rums? For someone with a sweet tooth, include some liqueurs for adding to hot cocoa and coffee, such as Bailey’s, Carolan’s and Peppermint Schnapps. This is where you can really let your imagination run wild!
Next, think about some other cocktail ingredients. Special salts and sugars for rimming the glasses of margaritas are a cute idea, or you can include some garnishes like maraschino cherries and olives. Gin and tonic lovers will go wild for some juniper berries or rose petals to sprinkle in their drink and add a heavenly aroma. Small bottles of specialty liquors or fruit syrups are a great addition, too. You can even buy some glass decanters with corks, pour your drinks into them and label each bottle with the contents.
You can also add in some glassware. Thrift shops are an awesome place to pick up some unique vintage glasses at very budget-friendly prices. Think about adding in some cocktail making equipment too: a shaker, a proper bar spoon or a shot glass with measurements on it. Throw in some cocktail napkins or coasters and a packet of toothpicks or swizzle sticks too, for olives and other garnishes.
Don’t forget to include some bar snacks in your box! Opt for classics, like salted peanuts, beef jerky and chips or try something different, like wasabi peas or chocolate-coated coffee beans. A quick stop at the grocery store should give you plenty of ideas, and watch for local sweets, snacks and offerings too.
Finally, why not write out or print some recipe cards for specialty cocktails (you could even invent your own!) or boozy desserts? We love cakes such as Guinness brownies, champagne cupcakes or sumptuous Italian desserts such as tiramisu. You can also include a recipe for a classic beer and gelato float: some real comfort food for a snowy winter afternoon! Check out warming winter recipes such as spiced rum cake with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum or a brandy-soaked Christmas pudding, which is set on fire before serving.
Building your gift box
Pick a nice, sturdy container such as a cardboard gift box or a hamper basket. You’ll want to line the bottom with some tissue paper to provide an extra layer of protection. Arrange the gift box so that the big items like bottles and glasses are at the back. You can wrap some of the individual pieces in coloured cellophane to add a more sophisticated look and don’t forget a label with a cute message or a card.
This gift box is going to bring some joy to that friend you’ve been missing this festive season. Simple, easy and customizable, this is a meaningful and special gift for any cocktail lover. What’s more, you can have lots of fun building it and enjoy a sip yourself while doing so!
Shop Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer for festive holiday gift ideas and supplies.
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