5 DIY Cocktail Kits For Everyone On Your Gift List



2Whether holiday shopping is getting a little too overwhelming (we're talking about you, crazy lines), or you simply find yourself running out of time, don't throw in the towel just yet. A nice bottle of wine or a strong case of spirits can go a long way — especially if it's shared with friends (hint, hint!).

But, don't take our word for it. Shebnem Ince, sommelier at Henri & The Gage, suggests personalizing an otherwise ordinary gift so it doesn't appear to be an afterthought — you know you've been there. "The typical bottle of generic wine in a bag purchased off the rack right next to the register five minutes before a party is almost an insult at this point," says Ince, so he's put together five awesome ideas for cocktail kits (complete with custom recipes or tips), perfect for everyone on your list looking to get a buzz— seriously. The only place you'll have to stop? The liquor store.



1. The Domestic Diva: Settantacinque Italiono (Italian 75)

What You Need:
1 bottle of Death's Door Gin
1 bottle of Paolo Saracco Moscato d'Asti
Lemons, limes, orange juice

How To Make It:
Fill a shaker with ice and 1.5 ounces of gin. Squeeze in one lime and half of one lemon, plus .25 cup of orange juice and finish with 4 ounces of Moscato. Stir and strain into a tall glass with ice, and garnish with lemon or lime.

2. Home Spa Girl: The Anti-Oxidant Champagne Cocktail

What You Need:
Laurent-Perrier 187 Mini Bottle
Pomegranate molasses (avail on Amazon if you can't find at the liquor or gourmet grocery store)
1 ripe pomegranate

How To Make It:
Start with 1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses at the bottom of a large wine glass. Fill the glass with the Laurent-Perrier mini bottle (well chilled) and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Next, take a hot bath and use the rest of the pomegranate seeds on your face as a scrub. The juice works as an antioxidant mask and the seeds exfoliate your skin.

3. All The Single Ladies

What You Need:
1 bottle of Côtes du Rhône
1 deck of cards

Tips:
The 2009 vintage is a hot one with many clocking in at a whopping 14.5%. Blue Bicycle Playing Cards and Domaine de la Solitude Côtes du Rhône Rouge work well in this scenario. Next step: Drink the bottle of wine while playing every version of solitare your grandmother taught you.

4. Hedonist Baker Hostess:

What You Need:
1 bottle of Icewine
1 bottle of quality vanilla extract

How To Make It:
The Inniskillin Vidal Icewine from VQA Niagra Peninsula in Canada and a big jar of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract is recommended. The Icewine is something that enhances any non-chocolate dessert. As donuts seem to be a new trend, dunking a beignet in this thick, golden elixir for extra holiday morning pleasure is a special treat.

5. Magnum PI.

For any holiday party or gathering, make a splash with a magnum, which at 1.5 liters holds double the wine. Ince's picks are the Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet (Loire Valley, Fance), Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose (Champagne NV), or the Fontodi Flaccianello (Sangiovese,Tuscany, Italy).


Photo: Courtesy of Anthony Tahlier