Host Guide: Holiday Spirits: Barware to Lift Your Spirits
If you prefer your martinis stirred, not shaken, the Martini Pitcher and Stirrer ($340) from William Yeoward (www.williamyeowardcrystal.com) is the appropriate accoutrement. Part of the prestigious London crystal maker’s celebrated Marcie collection, the crystal pitcher is tall, slender, and thoroughly modern while retaining a classic feel.
On the Road
If your travels take you away from the home bar, go fully prepared with the Bar Set ($210). Available from the English firm of Daines and Hathaway (+44.1922.621823, www.dainesandhathaway.com), the set consists of three individual flasks with polished chrome tops and caps that fit into a handsome tan bridle leather case.
A Dram and Its Castle
Whether a fiery Italian grappa or an aged añejo tequila, superpremium liquor looks brilliant on display in an exquisitely crafted decanter. The distinct motif featured on the Glamis Magnum Decanter ($560) was inspired by the Scottish castle of the same name. Intricately cut crystal facets accentuate whatever spirit resides within. The decanter is produced by Edinburgh Crystal glass company (+44.1968.675 128), Scotland’s oldest crystal brand.
Dry vermouth is an essential element to the martini—yet one best added sparingly. Tiffany & Co.’s (800.843.3269, www.tiffany.com) sterling silver Oilcan Vermouth Dispenser ($225) delivers a precise measure that is adjustable to individual tastes. This whimsical 4-inch bar tool, which resembles a vintage oil squirt can, will help ensure that every martini meets expectations.
Baccarat (www.baccarat.fr), another of the world’s most celebrated crystal manufacturers, also places a premium on barware. The company’s handmade, leaded crystal Equinoxe Cocktail Shaker ($720) stands 91⁄4 inches tall. Conceived by Baccarat’s principal designer, Thomas Bastide, the shaker is inspired by the celestial period when night and day achieve perfect balance—a quality also revered in the cocktail itself.
Modern single-malt glasses are designed specifically to enhance the distinct flavors and aromas of the finest Scotch. The limited edition lead-crystal Single Malt Scotch LE II Glass ($250 per pair) from NovaScotian Crystal (888.977.2797, www.novascotiancrystal.com) embodies this commitment to the spirit’s unique characteristics. The glass features a wide bowl and tapered body that gather aromas to form a heady bouquet, and its angled lip delivers the Scotch to the perfect spot on the tongue.
The quaich is a deep-bowled cup that has been part of Scottish culture since before the 16th century. The 160-mm Sterling Silver Quaich ($1,250) from Isle of Mull Silver Co. (+44.1688.302345, www.mullsilver.co.uk) features historic Celtic trimming and the clean lines of traditional Scottish silversmithing. (Click image to enlarge)
Any spirits glass will sit well on the exquisite Sterling Silver Coaster ($680 per pair) from England’s Harold Cox & Sons Jewellers (+44.1753.864497, www.haroldcox.com). The elaborate, handcrafted silver fretwork is a resplendent copy of a Georgian-era design by the famous 18th-century London silversmith Hester Bateman. The solid mahogany base provides a secure resting surface for your favored drink.
The crystal Ice Bucket ($887) from Val Saint Lambert (+32.4330.3800, www.val-saint-lambert.com) radiates with the brilliance of its 24-karat Aegean gold trim. The company’s master craftsmen have produced such creations since 1826.