Best bar gifts to give for 2020


This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Living rooms all across the country sport bar carts these days, but the way you stock your home bar cart makes all the difference in the quality, originality and potency of your cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. You can find the perfect gift for the aspiring bartender in your life (or upgrade your own bar) without resorting to a set of beer mugs or an engraved flask; instead, why not try a personalized combination of tumblers and accessories or some distinctive bar decor? These cocktail-related bar gifts are perfect for every budget under $100. 


Spice things up with this small yet sturdy bamboo mortar and pestle set. This bar tool will eliminate the need for ground spices, pulverizing whole peppercorns and fennel seeds to ensure fresher flavor and stronger aromatics in your drink. In the process, you’ll also get a fun workout and stress relief. There’s a reason this ancient food processor has stood the test of time.


We love to serve a drink in these vintage-vibe, fancy but funky gold-patterned glasses. They’re the ideal tumbler for an Old Fashioned (or two) or any other cocktail. For recipients of bar gifts who might prefer a bit less flash, these crystal Old Fashioned glasses are classic and refined.

Basil Hayden’s

This intriguing blend of Kentucky rye whiskey, Canadian whiskey and port makes the perfect gift for anyone (except the strict whiskey purist). Everyone else will appreciate the complex oaky notes, caramel tones, dried fruit flavors and a bit of rye spice. Best of all, according to Sara Havens for The Alcohol Professor, this one offers a delicious finish that tastes like sugar cookie dough.


Scrappy’s bitters are handcrafted in small batches from organic ingredients with no artificial flavors, dyes or chemicals. This bartender bundle includes two boxes of sample size bottles featuring both their Classic Bitters set and Exotic Bitters set. All together, there are eight flavors in this gift box: chocolate, grapefruit, lavender, cardamom, celery, orange, Orleans (anise, citrus and cinnamon) and aromatic (with vanilla notes). Perfect for the home mixologist who likes to experiment with mixed drinks and unique ingredients.


Freeze them, pop them into a glass and add liquor. Presto — you’ve created a multilayered cocktail for happy hour. This unique gift comes in five flavors in total, including The Cooper (with blood orange and ginger), The Cecile (with cucumber, watermelon juice, clover honey and thyme), The Clyde (with peach, lemon juice, sage, rosemary, juniper and vanilla) and The Oliver (an updated Negroni with wormwood extract). Each box contains 24 cubes of your chosen flavor. They’re also great for nonimbibers, as they can be splashed with seltzer for a ready-made mocktail.

Sur la Table

A nice bottle of wine always makes a great gift. But you can make that bottle of wine even better by throwing in a beautiful wine decanter. This holder is pretty enough to use as a vase or art piece on the cart in between sessions. And if you really want to raise the stakes, pair the wine with creative gifts like a dark chocolate bar, a wine bottle opener, stoppers or this perfectly shaped bottle brush for cleaning its curvy interior.


Everyone needs an ice bucket. This one, made of stainless steel and featuring a copper or hammered brass exterior, is an attractive show stopper — and affordable. And it comes with tongs, so no one needs to reach their fingers into the communal ice chest to pull out a bottle. (Note: The brass model is currently out of stock, but you can still get your hands on the copper version.)


You can outfit your bestie’s entire bar cart for around $50 with this sleek black matte metallic Boston shaker set. It’s got all the essential tools: shaker, strainer, double jigger, muddler, bar spoon and tongs. It also comes in copper and silver to coordinate with any home bar decor.

Sur la Table

A beautiful solution for the cocktail enthusiast who prefers drinks stirred, not shaken. 


If you can’t swing a vintage cart on 1stdibs, this silver metal and classic glass version is a steal. With two tiers and built-in bottle holders, this home bar cart has plenty of storage space for bottles, glasses and bar tools of varying heights and sizes. (If you’re able to spend a little more on bar gifts, this gold bar cart with a midcentury modern vibe is also nice.)


For a more industrial style, this rustic oak and black metal cart is simple but striking. It includes a rack that can accommodate both wine bottles and wine glasses and two shelves for holding barware like tools and bottles.


This miniature cutting board is perfect for slicing limes, other citrus or small garnishes. Made of bamboo, it has a juice groove to keep it from flooding over the sides, and is naturally resistant to bacteria. Plus, it’s sleek and small enough not to interfere with the overall aesthetic of the cart. 

World Market

Marble is timeless and screams fancy. These geometric coasters are an easy, stylish and affordable way to say bye-bye to water rings. Perfect if you’re looking for unique ideas for corporate gifts. 

This story was written earlier by Dan Koday and updated by Chowhound Editors.  

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