Mother’s Day is quickly approaching so that means you need to get that gift ASAP! Not sure what to get for your cocktail lover? I’ve got you covered!! No more guessing and no need to keep any receipts to return because she will LOVE it!
One of my favorite ways to give a gift is in the form of a basket. There is no gift wrap needed and the basket can be easily repurposed for anywhere in the house that needs a little bit of storage. I love picking an idea or theme and building a gift around that idea. In this case, let’s start building a cocktail lovers basket that will be fit for any special lady in your life!
STEP 1: PICK A BASKET
Let’s start with the basket itself and then we’ll build from there! The first thing you are going to want to do is choose either a medium or large-sized basket. The size of the items in your basket determines how big of a basket you’ll need. Give some thought about the items you’d like to include prior to choosing a basket size so everything fits nicely! I would suggest purchasing your basket on either Amazon or shop in stores like Walmart, At Home, Home Sense, Michael’s, Target, etc.
Natural basket, Soft-side basket, Braided Basket
STEP 2: CHOOSE A COCKTAIL TO BUILD
Next, decide on the cocktail that you know she’ll love so you can build the ingredients for the cocktail inside of the basket. For this mom, we are going to build her a classic Old Fashioned- but of course, it will be smoked! For an Old Fashioned, you’ll need just a few ingredients: bourbon, simple syrup, orange peel or dried orange, and Angostura bitters.
Start with the bourbon- decide whether she enjoys a Rye Old Fashioned or a Bourbon Old Fashioned. If she likes a sweeter Old Fashioned, go with a classic bourbon like Bulleit Frontier Whiskey or Jim Beam Original Whiskey as a budget-friendly option. If you think she’ll enjoy a spicier Old Fashioned, stick with rye like Bulleit Rye Frontier Whiskey or Old Forester Rye. Of course, there are so many options for your cocktail lover, so pick your favorite! You can also opt to choose an airplane-size bottle too and make a single-serve version of the cocktail.
Next, we’ll add a bottle of simple syrup. Of course, you can make your own and place it into a sealable jar or you can purchase a pre-made simple syrup. To make your own simple syrup, combine 1 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of water in a pot over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, take it off of the heat and transfer it into a heat-safe container with an air-tight lid. If you would prefer to purchase a simple syrup, here are some options: Jordan’s Skinny Syrup, Favorite Day Simple Syrup, or Rose’s Simple Syrup.
Another important addition to an Old Fashioned is the orange! You can either purchase a good ol’ orange from the grocery store and she can peel it and add it in, or, you can mix it up and purchase dried orange peel/slices which can be used in different cocktails, too!
Finally, we have reached the bitters section! A classic Old Fashioned calls for Angostura bitters. Angostura bitters is a concentrated flavoring made from a blend of botanicals, herbs, spices, and alcohol. It was created in the early 19th century as a stomach tonic but became popular as a cocktail ingredient. The recipe is a secret, but it’s known to include ingredients like gentian and cinchona bark. It has a complex and intense flavor, and is widely used in cocktails and cooking. You can get those here if you don’t already have them in your home: Bitters.
STEP 3: CHOOSE A GLASS
Once you have nailed down the type of cocktail you are building for your cocktail lover, pick a glass that will complement that cocktail. For example, if you chose a Moscow Mule, you’d want to purchase a mule glass. Since we have built an Old Fashioned, we’re going to want to search for a rocks glass. A rocks glass, also known as an Old Fashioned glass or a tumbler, is a short and wide glass commonly used for serving alcoholic beverages over ice, such as whiskey or cocktails. It typically has a capacity of 6 to 10 ounces and a thick bottom, which makes it perfect for muddling ingredients like sugar, bitters, and fruit in cocktails.
These can be purchased in sets or individually. Here are some options below with different styles! Think about your cocktail lover’s style on whether you choose to go simplistic or out of the box with the style of glass. I would suggest searching Amazon, Target, a local home store, or even Walmart for a budget-friendly glass!
STEP 4: PURCHASE A SMOKER
If only there was a store that sold high-quality walnut wood smokers…oh wait…that’s us!! If you have chosen to build her an Old Fashioned basket, odds are she has not tried a smoked Old Fashioned. Be ready to blow her mind! If you chose another cocktail, smoke would go great, too! I have created TONS of different recipes with other spirits, so give those a look after you finish reading through this blog to find a cocktail she’ll enjoy!
We have plenty of options for your cocktail lover depending on the items you already own in your home. If you don’t have a torch or butane, I would purchase the full Smokeshow Starter Bundle. This bundle comes with the smoker, torch, butane, and 4 types of wood dust available in Apple, Bourbon Barrel, Cherry, and Hickory. If you already own a torch/butane, you can purchase a smoker and choose the smoke dust you’d like to add. You can add 1 to 4 types or you can even purchase smoke dust from our Herbs and Spices line which includes Cinnamon, Lemon Peel, Rosemary, and Thyme.
STEP 5: “WRAP” IT
Once everything has arrived/been purchased, it’s time to assemble the items inside of your basket! I suggest putting the taller items in the back and then arranging from there! See the example below! I always like to put some sort of plant or flowers in a gift basket, so if you have room, add something small for her to use on the bar cart as decoration.
Feel free to play around with the basket, add a custom recipe card, book, etc. If you already own some of the items, feel free to leave those out and supplement with extras such as a bar spoon, cocktail shaker, ice mold, etc. Add a heartfelt card or note and she’ll remember this Mother’s Day for years to come!