Gear that won’t break the bank

Pocket Change

How to Affordably Trick Out Your Home Bar

5 easy ways to upgrade your living room drinking experience

With a quality bottle opener, mixing spoon, recipe book, and ice tray, making cocktails at home is easy. (Adam Jaime / Unsplash)

5 easy ways to upgrade your living room drinking experience

Presents in the form of alcohol are great but eventually run out. That's why we like gifting home bar gear instead. Here are five sure-fire gifts under $40 that any drinking buddy will love, all of which come recommended from our favorite bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.


Imbibe by David Wondrich ($15)

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(Courtesy of TarcherPerigee Publishing)

You can find the recipe for any cocktail on your smartphone, but Imbibe gives you the recipe for your favorite classic cocktails and puts them in historical context with fascinating stories about the individuals who carved out the bar scene in the United States.

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Whiskey Ball Svere Ice Tray ($20)

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(Courtesy of The Whiskey Ball )

Round ice melts slower than square ice, and quite frankly, looks better in a glass. The Whiskey Ball Sveres mold creates six, 2.5-inch diameter balls of ice.

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Neighborwoods City Coasters ($36)

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(Courtesy of Neighborwoods)

Made from naturally aromatic cedar, these coasters are laser etched with maps of hipster havens like Brooklyn, Austin, and San Francisco.

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Standard Spoon Mixing Glass ($35)

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(Courtesy of Standard Spoon)

Most classic cocktails are actually stirred, not shaken, so every home bar should be equipped with a mixing glass. The hammered texture on this glass from Standard Spoon is stunning and holds 24 ounces so you can whip up two martinis at the same time. Pair it with the Aero cocktail spoon ($35).

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Machine Era Godwin Bottle Opener ($30)

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(Courtesy of Machine Era)

You can open a bottle with just about anything, but this beauty is a conversation piece. Handmade from steel and leather in Virginia, it’s a heavy, timeless tool that’s pretty enough to hang on the wall.

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