Introduction to boozy gadgets
It's the festive season, the time of year when even the most abstemious of us can enjoy a small sherry. But just as important as the booze you drink is the kit you use to store, chill, prepare and dispense it. We've put in some exhaustive research to bring you the finest drinking gear to help your Christmas go smoothly. Chin chin!
Authentic Models Polo Club Bar
If you're having a Christmas gathering, stick this in the middle of the room and watch people marvel. It's styled like a classic Englishman abroad's travel trunk of the like you'd see David Niven or Harry Flashman lugging around on their holidays (or rather, one of their man-servants would do all the lugging – they'd probably sit waiting, nursing a G&T). But open it up and there's a world of booze inside, including plenty of glass holders and space for bottles of wine and spirits. It's built in canvascovered wood with leather accents, bronze hardware and varnished wood slats for protection. Come on old bean, open it up and get Christmas started.
£995 | Authentic Models
Alessi Cocktail Shaker
You're the host, you're expected to knock together a decent Martini or two. This stainless steel shaker will help you work on your skills – purely as preparation, of course *hic* – and will be quite a show stealer come the main event. Ours is a dry Manhattan, barkeep.
£77 | Selfridges
SubZero ICBWS30/S/TH/LH Wine Cabinet
Admittedly it's less classic than the Polo Club Bar, and less portable, but it will keep your wine in better condition. It holds 147 bottles – should last until Christmas – in three zones whose temperatures you can change individually using a touchpad. Because of its optimum humidity, the corks won't dry out, and it lets you know when it needs a service. Crucially, you can also lock the door. Like a wino's Fort Knox.
£11,250 | John Lewis
Le Creuset LMG10
Still using that corkscrew you got as a student? Bin it and invest in this. Remove the foil by twisting the separate four-wheeled foil cutter, then place the G10 over the neck of the bottle. Then it's a simple case of pulling the lever towards you once, then pushing it away. And that's it, the cork just pops out.
£149 | lecreuset.co.uk
L'Atelier Du Vin Bubble Indicator
The bottle of bubbly is open, but how long before it goes flat? This keeps the pressure inside the bottle, so it'll always taste like it was freshly opened. The colour ring acts as a pressure level, so when it starts to disappear you'd better drink up. Though if it lasts that long you're doing it wrong.
£37 | Selfridges
OXO Good Grips Measure Jug Mini Angle
Christmas cocktails aren't the same made with a shot glass you got free with a bottle of Aftershock. This is a much better bet. As well as looking a lot classier, it shows the measurements when you look down into it, so you don't have to do the usual 'pour a bit, check, pour a bit'. Just leave the Aftershock out of it.
£3.95 | Amazon
Culinary Concepts Leather Handle Wine Cooler
This features a delicate hammered design, which is fitting, as you could find yourself delicately hammered after using it. It holds two bottles of wine or champagne and will keep them perfectly chilled. It also promises to sparkle in the evening sun. Not sure if you will too.
£104.95 | Culinary Concepts
Vinturi Spirit Aerator
If you pour your spirits straight from the bottle (or, indeed, drink them straight from the bottle), you're not getting the full flavour. This aerator sucks in air, oxygenating the spirit, to bring out the true aromas and flavours. It doubles as a dispenser, with a builtin jigger that pours an exact shot at the press of a button. The thinking man's booze machine.
Dunhill Chassis Hip Flask
Christmas isn't all about sitting in front of the telly – you might have to go to a carol service at some point. Thankfully you can make it go a little more swimmingly with this classy hip flask. It features the Dunhill embossed logo, with textured edges and a metal hinged cap. Slip it in your pocket and it'll see you through.
£135 | Dunhill
Johnnie Walker speaker glasses
Bone conduction technology in this glass transmits a bespoke track via vibrations to your lower jaw and inner ear. The idea is that certain sounds enhance flavours, so sip a Johnnie Walker Red Label and ginger ale while the song plays, and you'll get a more pronounced taste. You can try it for yourself in various bars around London.
Not for sale | johnniewalker.com