If you have a friend who frequently plays bartender, choosing a gift for them can be fun. There's always the option of giving a great bottle of vodka or gin, but bar tools and barware can also make festive gifts. Most home bar owners will already have a shaker and some measuring jiggers, but they may not have some of these specialty items.
Copper Moscow Mule Mugs: The classic Moscow Mule has made a comeback, and home cocktail makers are putting fun twists on the drink, like this Pistachio Ginger Mule. The traditional way to serve a Mule is in a copper mug. These seem to be a popular gift this year, and I've seen them in discount home good stores for about $7 or $8 a mug, making this a great gift option for anyone on a budget.
Champagne and Wine Sealer: A regular triangular-ish wine stopper doesn't work very well to close a bottle of Champagne, or any sparkling wine for that matter. The pressure can build up in the bottle and the stopper can be pushed out while the bottle is in the refrigerator. If you don't notice it right away, you'll have bubble-less sparkling wine in a matter of hours. But this stopper solves that problem. It stays in really well because once you have it in the bottle, you twist the top and the stopper expands in the bottle making such a tight fit that the bubbles stay in for a day or two, making your bottle drinkable as is or for champagne cocktails.
Mixology Dice: I would love a pair of these dice since I play around with creating cocktails. A set of eight carved dice can lead you to create more than 1.5 million drink combinations. The included booklet has instructions about which dice to roll to make different types of traditional drinks along with the ratios of ingredients to use. Complete the gift by purchasing blank drink recipe cards. That way, when a winning combination is created, your friend will write it down (and create it again, maybe when you're over!)
Wall Mounted Bottle Opener with Cap Catcher: No one will need to search for the bottle opener with this wall mounted bottle opener. The cap catcher underneath guarantees that bottle caps won't end up all over the floor. This bottle opener can be personalized with the home bar owner's name for a special touch, and there are other designs to choose from in case someone you know has a home bar with pub aspirations.
Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide: There are hundreds of cocktail books to choose from, but this is the classic. It has recipes for hundreds of drinks and doesn't suggest brand names — just ratios and mixing instructions. If the person you're buying for already owns this definitive guide to recipes, another book to add to their bar library is "The Bar Book" by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. I suggested it last year when I rounded up some gifts for the cocktail lover. It's a great book to help further the understanding of cocktail creation and technique.