SAVEUR Gift Guides: How to Upgrade Your Home Bar

Essential tools and bottles from veteran bartender and tequila smuggler Ivy Mix

Ivy Mix knows her way around bars. The 11-year industry veteran, formerly of Fort Defiance and Clover Club in Brooklyn, first got into drinks in Guatemala, where she lived off-and-on for four years. That's also where she learned about tequila and mezcal, and may or may not have helped smuggle it across the border. These days she's the co-owner of Leyenda, where she runs an impressive bar menu with her mentor Julie Reiner, who has a decade of bartending experience of her own.

So when Mix recommends a bottle or mixing glass, it's one you can trust. Here are her picks for anyone looking to improve their home bar.

Cocktail Kingdom Stirred Set
Even if you have the best ingredients, drinks can suffer if you're not making them with the best tools, and this set, ideal for spirit-forward drinks, has everything you need to make classy drinks at home. Cocktail Kingdom Stirred Set, $86.75 from Cocktail KingdomCocktail Kingdom
Cocktail Kingdom Shaken Set
Prefer your martini shaken? This kit comes with a Boston shaker for the frothiest flips and brightest margaritas. Cocktail Kingdom Shaken Set, $64.70 from Cocktail KingdomCocktail Kingdom
The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion
This book is great for complete beginners to seasoned vets. I love it because Julie gives great ideas for each season and occasion, and because she's my mentor! Craft Cocktail Party, around $17 from AmazonAmazon
The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
Another great all-encompassing book by Jeff Morgenthaler. He is a fantastic writer and this is a must-read. The Bar Book, around $20 from AmazonAmazon
Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl
Give this book to a friend who loves antiquing and punch bowls. Dave's book is full of punch bowl history and ideas. Punch, around $17 from AmazonAmazon
Campo de Encanto Pisco
This is my favorite pisco on the market. It's just delicious, and reasonably priced. Campo de Encanto Pisco, $36 from K&L WinesK&L Wines
Ilegal Reposado Mezcal
My favorite mezcal for winter sipping and smokey old fashioneds. Ilegal Reposado Mezcal, $65 from CaskersCaskers
Fortazela Anejo Tequila
A spicy lowland tequila that's great for the winter months. Fortazela Anejo Tequila, $75 from K&L WinesTequila Fortazela
Mezcal Vago Elote
Excellent small-batch mezcal, and they make great single varietal mezcals like this one. This is for the farm-to-table person in your life. Mezcal Vago Elote, $53 from Astor WinesAstor Wines
Wüsthof Classic 5.5" Serrated Utility Knife
A serrated paring knife is a bartender's best friend, and the money for a good one pays of with better cut fruit. Wüsthof Classic 5.5" Serrated Utility Knife, $50 from Kitchen and CompanyKitchen and Company
Vitamix TurboBlend Two Speed
The Vitamix is simply the best way to blend any drink. It's worth the splurge for anyone who wants to up their game. Vitamix TurboBlend Two Speed, $399 from VitamixVitamix