Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

Some may say this guide is a bit late, but those same people have probably started or finished their shopping, unlike one lazy Kaiser Penguin I know.

Sippin' Safari

Sippin’ Safari

If for some reason I haven’t convinced you to pick up this book yet, it’s probably your first time visiting Kaiser Penguin. Sippin’ Safari is a tiki tome like no other. Packed with exotic syrup and tale, each page offers something exciting and new.

many tiki-goers sipping out of red straws

Forbidden Island Gift Certificate

For those of you who haven’t made it to one of the coolest places on the planet, I suggest you buy plane tickets immediately (one for Kaiser Penguin too) and make the trip. And for those of you who are lucky enough to visit FI weekly, why not buy a gift certificate for a fellow tiki lover?

How's Your Drink

How’s Your Drink

Eric Felten’s new cocktail guide takes you on a fantastic journey through the history of cocktails. Every page draws you into the tale, and more importantly, the recipes are delightful. There is even a new one or two that I had never heard of.

Tales of the Cocktail - New Orleans

Tales of the Cocktail Tickets

There is absolutely no reason for you not to attend Tales this year! Every moment was more intense than the last and I can’t see myself ever not attending such a fine event. Plus, the more people who come and post about it, the less I have to live-blog! Note: I don’t think tickets are available yet.

julep strainer

Bar Tools

I was in Williams-Sonoma a few weeks ago and saw a boston shaker for, get this, $40. Finding good mixing glasses, julep strainers, and the like can be quite the challenge. I’ve always been happy with Webtender, and though they sell lots of stuff I’m sure you’d never want, their selection of mixing tools is quite robust.


Pimento Dram

For those of you not brave enough to make your own, there is finally a reliable source for Wray and Nephew pimento liqueur. Buy this for any cocktail lover and you will surely get a big hug. They also have a few other interesting hard-to-find spirits available.

Craft of the Cocktail deck

Craft of the Cocktail Deck

Random House was kind enough to send along a few of their cookbook decks, and I was pleased to find my first ever cocktail book in a form that could withstand the stains its predecessor had. I still dig into Dale’s book every once in a while, and the deck would be a great gift to a newcomer to the cocktail world.

Zen green tea liqueur

Zen Green Tea Liqueur

There were a few interesting new spirits released this year, and this is one of them. A bit sweet on its own, Zen gives you another tool in your arsenal of drink creation.

Do a search for Zen recipes and you’ll find vodka drink after vodka drink. Could the flavor of green tea work with anything else? I wanted to use it as a secondary ingredient instead of the main punch, and I got to work in a little St. Germain too.

Too Much Vodka

  • 1/4oz Zen green tea liqueur
  • 1/4oz St. Germain
  • 1 1/2oz cognac
  • 1oz Cointreau
  • 3/4oz lemon juice

Sugared rim optional. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

absinthe spoon


My experience with absinthe is limited to 6 drops in a tiki drink, so I enlisted some insight from Erik over at Underhill-Lounge kindly offered up some expertise on recent happenings. “Lucid and Kubler are now available, with the Hangar One product coming on the 21st of December. First absinthe made legally in America since 1912.” Check out the best source on the net for more information, The Wormwood Society.

St. Germain

St. Germain

Another fun spirit to come out this year, St. Germain has found its way into many a cocktail lately. Jamie Boudreau has posted about it and so has Paul Clarke.

KP Question

  1. What did I miss?

12 Responses to “Holiday Gift Guide”

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12 Comments to “ Holiday Gift Guide”
  1. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    What did you miss? Crediting me for my suggestions, for one thing….

  2. RickNo Gravatar says:

    Indeed! Adam gently suggested the FI gift certificate. Perhaps he didn’t get credit since I’m so jealous that he gets to imbibe from there weekly.

  3. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    I also highly recommend just about anything (thought the Qi tea liquers are an… acquired… taste) from St. George’s Spirits/Hangar One. They made a vodka that is delicious, and if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.

  4. RowenNo Gravatar says:

    From the Wormwood Society’s pages, you can navigate to Liqueurs de France, from whom I have ordered terrific absinthe by Jade Liqueurs. I particularly like Absinthe Edouard and the delicately complex Nouvelle-OrlĂ©ans. (With the current exchange rate, these are special occasion gifts, indeed.) In addition to Monkey Glands with fresh oj and cognac Sazeracs, I’ve done the absinthe ritual over a couple of evenings and invited some friends. We dripped refrigerated spring water very slowly through a speed pourer. You should taste it when it doubles in volume to make sure you don’t drown it. You might as well dispense with the sugar with the good stuff, but fwiw, we improvised a spoon-type device with an inverted strainer from a cocktail shaker in the top of the glass to hold the sugar cube. Drip very slowly.

  5. Hey Adam! Were you at FI on Saturday or Sunday this week? I thought about asking Martin Cate if he knew you and if you were there, but failed.

  6. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    Mahalo Rick & Adam for the kind mention!

    May I also suggest for gift giving the remarkable Imbibe! by Dr. Wondrich.

  7. I love absinthe! So nice to hear it’s making its way back into the States.

  8. AdamNo Gravatar says:


    Nope… haven’t been to Island this week due to illness and being out of town. We should meet up at some point! I try to get out on Wednesdays for TikiCentral night, but always welcome an excuse to head over there! And now they have new winter drink specials… >.

  9. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    It’s 6am, and I’m up spicing the cider, making the ginger syrup, plumping the raisins with applejack, and more for the drink specials. If you swing by tonight (Tuesday) around 7:30pm, you’ll run into my ol’ chum Blair aka Trader Tiki and you can talk blog.

  10. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    “Some may say this guide is a bit late, but those same people have probably started or finished their shopping, unlike one lazy Kaiser Penguin I know.” Haha, I know what you mean! This is a very good gift guide!

  11. Dr. BambooNo Gravatar says:

    I just noticed that Haus Alpenz is also selling an allspice/Pimento dram:

    Anyone tried it?

  12. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    I have had some of the prototypes of the Alpenz, but not the finished product. Met with the manufacturer a few weeks ago and talked about improvements he’s made to it- I think it will be excellent.

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.