What Does Dale DeGroff Want for Christmas?

"King Cocktail," David Wondrich, Katie Parla and Arianna Occhipinti share their holiday wish lists.

Here at PUNCH, we’ve made a habit of sharing the wines, spirits, glassware and more that have caught our attention each and every month. But around this time of year, when the annual crescendo of holiday gift guides begins to shape what we’ll buy—for ourselves and for others—we begin to wonder: How do our favorite drink professionals go about their holiday gifting?

That’s why this year, we’ve asked the godfather of the modern cocktail movement, Dale DeGroff; food and beverage writer, Katie Parla; author and cocktail historian, David Wondrich and winemaker Arianna Occhipinti to weigh in on what they’d like to give and receive at every price point, as well as the best gift they’ve ever gotten.

Dale DeGroff

Under $50
A food-grade cedar plank for smoking Old-Fashioneds.

Worth the Splurge
Angel’s Envy Rye Finished in Rum Barrels.

Your Go-To
Gaz Regan’s new edition of The Joy of Mixology.

All-Time Favorite
The Norman Bel Geddes Skyscraper cocktail shaker with the tray. Gifted to me many years ago by collector Stephen Visakay at a Rainbow Room holiday cocktail dinner.

Katie Parla

Under $50
A sturdy insulated wine tote. Or nice coasters.

Worth the Splurge
I’m waiting for the right occasion to gift myself a set of Gabriel-Glas mouth-blown Austrian crystal wine glasses.

Your Go-To
After a trip up to the Carso region of Friuli where I stocked up on bottles from the source, I’ll be gifting mags of Vitovska from Zidarich and Skerk.

All-Time Favorite
My dad gave me a Laguiole wine key engraved with my initials when I completed my wine studies in Italy.

David Wondrich

Under $50
The new Old Overholt Bonded rye is a welcome revival of a venerable brand and I can’t get enough of it.

Worth the Splurge
I still want an airplane drinks cart, for the Pavlovian power of it. If I trot it out and push it slowly across the floor, I’ll have my guests positively drooling for whatever weird drink I want to serve them.

Your Go-To
I make a hell of a lot of punch this time of year. Of course, you have to drink it with me, but nothing is free in this world.

All-Time Favorite 
My dear, if cantankerous, friend Del Pedro handed me an envelope labeled “David—Fuck You.” In it was a typewritten, and very old, copy of the original bar book kept by the bartenders at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Baller.

Arianna Occhipinti

Under $50
Mauro Vergano Americano, perfect aperitif during the holidays.

Worth the Splurge
Wines?… too many so I better change to: a 1950 Faema coffee machine.

Your Go-To
To some of my friends I really love, I’d like to give and receive a moment together, drinking a bottle of wine we love and spending time as we can when we are in the right mood.

All-Time Favorite 
One of the best was a camping mess tin, both to drink and eat. Given to me by Marco de Bartoli one evening when he came to visit me in Vittoria, together with an old and special bottle of Vecchio Samperi (he told me that he bought seven for seven special friends.)

Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.

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