The gift card often gets a bad rap when it comes to gift-giving. Nothing says “I barely know you” like $50 to spend at Amazon. This year, however, a gift card to a favorite bar or restaurant takes on new meaning. In an effort to shore up revenue in the wake of restrictions and closings, bars across the country have built online stores full of bespoke merch, from blankets to bottled cocktails, sweatshirts to koozies.
So this year, why not put your holiday dollars toward supporting your local? If we can’t go out to bars, we may as well bring the bar home. Here are just a few of our favorite drinking destinations that offer nationwide shipping and, at the time of publishing, were well-stocked. We encourage you to visit the website of whatever cocktail bar you consider yours, and see what they have on offer.
Attaboy | New York City and Nashville
In collaboration with California-based clothing brand ambsn, Attaboy is offering a tropically inspired shirt in a Penicillin motif, depicting the most famous modern classic to come out of the storied Lower East Side bar. After all, the next best thing to drinking a Penicillin is wearing 50 of them.
The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club | Nashville
At The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club in Nashville, the signature fox head logo adorns everything from face coverings to bandanas and enamel pins. But perhaps the most poignant item available is the simple black T-shirt with a silhouetted fox hovering above the words: “SMALL BAR UPSET ABOUT BEING CLOSED.”
Death & Co. | New York City, Denver and Los Angeles
Since branching out from their original Lower East Side location with outposts in Denver and Los Angeles, Death & Co. has grown from a singular, discreet cocktail den to a bona fide lifestyle brand. Naturally, they offer a selection of apparel, from crew-neck sweatshirts to leather boots, as well as a series of signature mugs, nail polish, and the gift that keeps on giving—the bar’s renowned cocktail books.
Nightmoves | New York City
In addition to merch staples, like logo tees and sweatshirts (and our personal favorite, a tee advertising The Great Disco Nap of 2020) the team behind Brooklyn’s Four Horsemen and the adjacent bar Nightmoves is offering a selection of five limited-edition long-sleeve shirts made in collaboration with artist Matt Shaw. According to their site, their hope is that the collection “captures our experience of Nightmoves—recurring, exciting, but different each time. Unexpected, various and hopefully beautiful, like so many nights at the club have been.”
Portland Hunt & Alpine Club | Portland, Maine
Over the past few months, Portland Hunt & Alpine Club has been transforming their patio into an outdoor drinking destination they’re calling “Base Camp.” In keeping with the theme, the cocktail bar is selling cozy merino throws emblazoned with the bar’s logo in the corner and, naturally, an insulated Yeti mug to keep hot drinks hot all winter long.
The Interval | San Francisco
At the Bay Area’s The Interval, donations made to the bar in the amount of $100 to $200 will be acknowledged with a custom stainless steel flask or challenge coin, while donations of $1,500 will be met with an exclusive bottle of gin, bourbon or single malt whiskey crafted by St. George Spirits exclusively for supporters of The Interval; the latter gift is inspired by the tradition of “bottle reserves” in Japan.
Lost Lake | Chicago
Channeling all the tropical fun of the Logan Square destination, Lost Lake is offering illustrated rocks glasses featuring a quartet of bananas in bikinis, as well as what is sure to become your at-home drinking uniform: matching joggers and hoodies depicting the bar’s signature banana dolphin. For Chicago area residents, they’re also offering cocktail and rum club subscriptions highlighting rare and one-of-a-kind releases from the bar’s extensive collection.
Nickel City | Austin
Hoodies, bandanas, tank tops and snapbacks are just a few of the branded apparel items currently available from Austin’s beloved Nickel City. Drinking from their range of custom glassware—from Zombie to Mai Tai glasses, featuring playful neon graphics—is the next best thing to actually drinking at the East Austin bar.
Sunny's | New York City
With more than a hundred years of history under its belt, Sunny’s in Red Hook, Brooklyn, has seen its fair share of ups and downs. But just like every other bar on this list, the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the waterfront haunt, so they’re offering a limited selection of merchandise—a sweatshirt, T-shirt, beanie and tote—to help stay afloat.
Trick Dog | San Francisco
Under Quik Dog, its newly assumed moniker, Trick Dog, the star of San Francisco’s cocktail scene is offering koozies, pins, mugs and more, alongside hard copies of some of the bar’s most iconic menus. Additionally, $1,000 gets you membership to the BV Bottle Club, which offers 10 privately selected single barrel bottlings. The first three come courtesy of Maker’s Mark, Larceny and Mellow Corn.