When the good folk at Don Julio pop you a line asking, “Dear Mr Boilermaker, would you mind terribly putting together a design-tastic Christmas Gift Guide for us?” it’s hard not to be both flattered and a little enthused. What kind of modern gent, after all, doesn’t enjoy a retail splurge with a bottomless (even if it is virtual) budget?
Hence, here’s our list of things that we – and therefore, one’s logic follows, you – really deserve to be seeing in your mantlepiece stocking.
Because, how else are you going to make the best, darn Tommy’s this Christmas? Made up in New Hampshire by a small family-owned company, Best Made offer up a pretty glowing commendation: “when North Family sent the first sample of their pure maple syrup we didn’t gingerly apply it to our flapjacks, we guzzled it down like pirates.” Beat that. Plus the half gallon demi-john, with its svelte Best Made ‘X’ on the front will cut a pretty fine figure on any kitchen counter.
Joel Bukiewicz’s artisanal knives should be right up there on the wishlist of any home barkeep, chef, or aesthete. Handmade in Gowanus, Brooklyn, they are things of finely-ground beauty and mouth-watering efficacy. The above pair of his Prospect 240’s are made from AEB-L and Knauertown black walnut, with elegant pins made by Oregon-based Sally Martin and their own sayas. The knives also pair pretty tastily with the Brooklyn Butcher Blocks from Joel’s old assistant, Nils.
Even more than CB I Hate Perfume, D.S. & Durga remain one of our favourite perfumers in the whole, wide, beautiful-smelling world. Take our personal favourite – Burning Barbershop – for which their ever-entertaining notes read, romantically: “A fire broke out in the Curling Bros. barbershop in Westlake, N.Y. in 1891. All the shaving tonics with their spearmint, lime, vanilla & lavender burned. A charred bottle was found half-full. It smelled like this.” We defy you not to fall in leathery, smokey love…
Standing at 30 inches tall and handmade from reclaimed wood flooring and steel with a gorgeous vintage-industrial feel, this cart from Brackish Design has home bar (or even professional, for that matter) written all over it. With a rail at one end for hanging your bar towel, folded menu and favourite cocktail-making equipment (from butchers hooks), a huge lower shelf for your racks of auxiliary stock, and plenty of space on top for margarita mixing and service. Plus, it looks quite the business. Particularly if you’re partial to sporting Labour and Wait’s classic cotton duck bib apron while you stir or shake away.
It’s hard to explain quite what’s so magical about sipping a smooth, quality spirit over a perfect sphere of ice. Perhaps it’s the way the rounded, crystal-clear ball swirls amidst the undulating tides of golden-brown alcohol. Perhaps it’s the speed at which the liquor chills. Perhaps it’s just the break from the boring old angled ice cubes of yore. Who knows. But grand it is, for sure. So, yes, you could opt for those silicone two-piece moulds to yield your perfect frozen sphere. Yes, you could hone your ice-pick skills to hand-carve the ultimate ball. Or you could instead treat yourself to this seductive slab of gold-anodized aluminium, capable of turning any of your favourite ice cubes into a sumptuous 55 millimetres of solid, spherical perfection.
For more inspiration and to add your own gift ideas, head over to Don Julio’s Elevate Your Holiday mosaic.