Make Your Own Personalized Cocktail Gift Basket

  • 01 of 09

    Give the Gift of a Great Cocktail

    A gift basket filled with cocktail fixings is a great gift for any occasion.
    Don Farrall / Photodisc / Getty Images

    A cocktail gift basket is a fun idea for anyone who enjoys a great drink. They're easy to put together and can be customized to the recipient's personal taste, whether it be gin martinis or tiki cocktails. The basket can also have a theme, like a Mexican-themed basket centered around tequila, or one that introduces the recipient to new cocktails that you discovered recently.

    Baskets filled with liquor, finger foods, and bartending accessories are great for the holidays, birthdays,...MORE anniversaries, weddings, or any special occasion. The possibilities are endless and we're going to explore a few ideas to get you started.

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  • 02 of 09

    Building Your Basket

    Christmas hamper containing various items of homemade food in boxes, jars, bags and bottles, decorated with mistletoe leaves
    Peter Anderson / Getty Images

    To begin, select two or three signature cocktails that use the same base liquor, whether it be brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey. You will then include all the necessary liquors and mixers (e.g., juices, syrups, etc.) for those recipes. If you need ideas to get you started, we'll run through seven easy and fun baskets that anyone will enjoy.

    Things to Add to the Basket

    You can also add any of these items for a complete cocktail experience:

    • Recipe cards or a cocktail book, because you...MORE can't assume they know what to do with all of this stuff. For recipe cards, write them out by hand or print them out in a cute design that matches the occasion.
    • Rimming sugars or salts are a festive addition, particularly for sweet drinks and margaritas.
    • Garnishes like olives, maraschino cherries, and uncut citrus fruits.
    • Cocktail picks are great because something has to skewer those olives and other garnishes.
    • Cocktail napkins, coasters with funky designs or ones that match their home decor.
    • Cocktail shakers are always fun, whether it is your favorite new shaker style or a funky novelty shaker.
    • Other essential bar tools they may not have, such as a proper bar spoon, Hawthorne strainer, or jigger. Any non-essential tools are fun and can be very useful as well.
    • Glassware completes the basket and remains after the last cocktail is shaken.
    • Munchies to go along with the basket theme or standard bar foods like peanuts, mixed nuts, crackers, cheese, or popcorn. You can even include homemade cookies or desserts.

    Putting It All Together

    Creating these custom gifts can be just as much fun for the giver as it is for the recipient. It's a chance to put all your creative talents into, well, one basket.

    • Look for juices and mixers in cool bottles and avoid things in cartons to prevent leaks or spills. Also avoid anything that needs refrigeration.
    • Use corked decanters for juices whose packaging is not as attractive as you like.
    • Wrap goodies in colored plastic wrap or choose from the variety of holiday containers that are stocked on store shelves.
    • Go to a specialty shop to find distinct and unique glasses. Thrift stores are another hot spot for great glassware with vintage style.
    • Use baskets with handles for easy transport and fill the bottom with tissue paper. Avoid confetti because it's too easy for it to get scattered throughout their house.
    • Include things you make at home: homemade simple syrupgrenadinesour mix, Bloody Mary mix, etc.
    • Top it off with a big bow and a smile!
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  • 03 of 09

    The Marvelous Martinis Basket

    Classic Gin Martini with Olives
    Cappi Thompson/Moment/Getty Images

    Our first basket theme is for those drinkers who enjoy a good dry martini. Whether their taste leans toward vodka or gin, you create a simple and elegant basket with just a few items.

    Also, explore other martini recipes and include a bottle of the distinguishing ingredient. For example, a bottle of maraschino liqueur can be used to create the classic Martinez, while a smaller bottle of Irish whiskey gives the option for an Irish martini.

    What to Include

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  • 04 of 09

    The Crazy for Cosmos Basket

    Rosy Rum Cosmo
    Ray Kachatorian / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    If you're giving the basket to someone who prefers the sweeter martini-like cocktails, there are even more possibilities. Cocktail recipes like the Cosmopolitan and Kamikaze are perfect places to begin, and offer your friends one cranberry-based and one lime-based recipe experience.

    Don't stop here, though. Choose the fun and fruity vodka martinis you think they'll like best. Your options include almost any flavor imaginable, from pomegranate to melon and blueberry to peach. There are...MORE also fun twists you can add with the help of a single ingredient. For example, a homemade lavender syrup can bring in a sweet, floral flavor to the average lemon drop martini.

    What to Include

    • Cosmopolitan and Kamikaze recipes
    • One bottle of your favorite vodka, maybe something new they've never tasted before.
    • One bottle of Cointreau or triple sec: though do your friend a favor and avoid those $5 orange liqueurs.
    • One bottle of cranberry juice: an essential ingredient for the Cosmo and vodka cranberry (aka Cape Codder).
    • One bottle of lime juice: the key to a great kamikaze. Avoid that green bottle that's in everyone's refrigerator and look for an option with a little more style and natural ingredients.
    • Oranges and limes, along with a new pairing knife for cutting garnishes.
    • Cranberry-flavored or plain rimming sugar 
    • Green grapes and mixed nuts for snacking.
    • Two cocktail glasses
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  • 05 of 09

    The Brunch Beverage Basket

    Brunch Cocktails and Mocktails are Easy
    David Madison / Getty Images

    Two of our favorite brunch cocktails are the Bloody Mary and the Screwdriver. Not only are they perfect drinks for the morning, they also provide some much-needed vitamins if your friend tends to suffer from the occasional hangover.

    The best part of these two drinks is that they both rely on vodka. It's the only liquor needed for the basket and from there it's just a matter of scouring the grocery aisles for a few signature ingredients.

    What to Include

    • Bloody Mary and Screwdriver recipes
    • One...MORE bottle of your favorite vodka. There's no need to go fancy here. Instead, look for an inexpensive vodka they may not have tasted before. There are great options available and you may be introducing them to a new budget-friendly favorite.
    • One bottle of tomato juice, preferably one with all natural ingredients.
    • One bottle of orange juice, but stay away from cartons as these can puncture in the basket. Also, try to find one that doesn't need to be refrigerated, or add it to the basket at the last minute.
    • One bottle each of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce or some other funky hot sauce.
    • A small container of celery salt and ground pepper mix for seasoning that Bloody Mary.
    • Celery stalk, limes, and lemons for garnishing
    • "Just add water" pancake mix and maple syrup to complete a quick, easy brunch.
    • Two highball glasses
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  • 06 of 09

    The Boldly Brandy Basket

    The Classic Metropolitan Cocktail
    S&C Design Studios

    Maybe the person you're building a basket for prefers brandy. If that is the case, a few simple ingredients are all you need. In addition to the Metropolitan and Brandy Manhattan, consider adding a bottle of Benedictine, which will allow them to mix up the iconic B&B cocktail.

    What to Include

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  • 07 of 09

    The Rusty Robs Basket

    Rob Roy Classic Brandy Cocktail
    MIXA Co. Ltd./Getty Images

    Scotch is a favorite for many whiskey aficionados and this can be a high-end basket with a lot of style. You'll probably spend more on the scotch than any other liquor, but special occasions call for something special and nothing beats scotch.

    If you're looking to really impress someone, seek out a single malt scotch. To save a little money, a blended scotch is often the way to go. Either way, there are great options available, so be sure to scour the liquor store for one that fits their...MORE style and your budget.

    What to Include

    • Rusty Nail and Rob Roy recipes
    • One bottle of your favorite scotch.
    • One bottle of Drambuie
    • One bottle of sweet vermouth
    • One bottle of Angostura Bitters
    • Maraschino cherries and lemons for garnishing, along with a cannelle knife or paring knife for cutting lemon zests.
    • Popcorn and peanuts for snacking
    • Two old-fashioned glasses
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  • 08 of 09

    The Mix up the Margs Basket

    Cadillac Margarita Easy Tequila Cocktail Recipe
    Jonelle Weaver / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    There may just be a fan of margaritas on your gift list and creating a great basket for them is very easy. Also, you have many different flavored margaritas to choose from so you can get as standard or exotic as you like.

    The suggestions here will make up the original margarita from scratch as well as the tamarind margarita, so it has a nice variety. They're also much tastier than any of those bottled margarita mixes and your friend will love how easy they are to mix up.

    What to Include

    • Margarit...MOREa and Tamarind Margarita recipes
    • One bottle of your favorite tequila. Consider upgrading from a blanco (silver) tequila to a reposado. It's aged and puts a high-class spin on any margarita. In general, you'll spend about $10 extra and it's worth it.
    • One bottle of triple sec or another orange liqueur.
    • One bottle of lime juice
    • One can of tamarind nectar, which can be found in most grocery stores near the juices.
    • One bottle simple syrup
    • Limes for garnishing
    • Lime-flavored sugar, margarita salt or chili powder for rimming.
    • Tortilla chips and salsa for snacks.
    • Two margarita glasses
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  • 09 of 09

    The Righteous Rummy Basket

    Classic Rum Daiquiri Cocktail
    S&C Design Studios

    What can you do with a bottle of rum? Mix up a great variety of cocktails with a tropical flare. This basket will create three simple favorites and they all have that super fresh taste we expect from a great made-from-scratch drink.

    While this basket is designed for the daiquiri lover, think about putting one together with a tiki theme instead. Many of the best tiki cocktails share similar ingredients, most of which are fruit juices. It's a basket will be just as easy to put together.

    What to...MORE Include

    • DaiquiriEl Presidente and Bacardi cocktail recipes
    • One bottle of your favorite light rum.
    • One bottle of grenadine
    • One bottle of lime juice
    • One bottle of pineapple juice, preferably something that can be resealed. An alternative is a package of small cans of juice, which will prevent wasting it once it's open.
    • One bottle of simple syrup
    • Limes for garnishing
    • Lime-flavored rimming sugar
    • Mixed nuts for snacks
    • Two cocktail glasses