Holiday Buying Guide: Spirited Host Gifts That Don't Suck

I'll admit it; I used to be the guy that showed up to holiday parties bearing a bottle of vino frantically grabbed from the corner store — often with the price tag still stuck on — and stuffed into a shiny mylar bag. But not this year!

I've stocked up on the gifts that I'm certain my booze-loving friends will like and that I'll be proud to present.

  1. For the friend who has everything and craves the latest gadget: create perfect spheres of ice with the Japanese Ice Maker, $200 at Williams-Sonoma.
  2. Encourage artistic rebellion while mixing the perfect drink: a cocktail shaker disguised as a spray paint can. The Graffiti Cocktail Shaker is $19.95 at CB2.
  3. Natural soapstone keeps whiskey chilled longer than regular ice and won't water it down. Pair six stones with two stylish glasses and you've got a gift that will impress the scroogiest on your list: Whiskey Lover's Set is $59.95 at Red Envelope.
  4. For the style-conscious friend who's wine also requires a chic outfit, choose a lux carrier from Gräf & Lantz. This felt and leather beauty goes for $129.
  5. This season, several companies are offering limited edition spirits - great gifts for friends who appreciate exclusivity and only imbibe the best. Absolut Vodka's Glimmer Bottle is shaped like cut crystal.
  6. Designer Thom Browne collaborated with Dewar's to produce a stylish holiday tote for their aged whisky.
  7. Photographer Nick Veasey designed signature x-ray boxes for The Macallan's 12 year-old whisky.
  8. Create a personal holiday message with Medea Vodka's customizable LED bottle.
  9. You may start feeling a little buzzed just by looking at this blurry handblown barware crafted by Simon Moore and starting at £50 at Vessel.

Images: Shutterstock and as linked above.