The “Tony” package from Bestowal, a destination for curated gifts. (photo courtesy of the brand)

Frustrated by cookie-cutter gift bundling services (flowergrams, candygrams, PajamaGrams, etc.), commercial real estate veteran and native Chicagoan Chloe Reaumond channeled her extensive gifting experience to form Bestowal Gifts in 2018. With a focus on corporate gifting, Bestowal’s gifts span many interests—but what caught our eye were the packages oriented toward cocktail aficionados.

The site features high-quality gear, without question, and most of the “packages” are named after someone special in Chloe’s life, a nod to her personalized gifting philosophy. When asked how she selects the components for Bestowals gifts, she is crystal clear. “I thought about the people I know, and what they would want in a gift.” Artfully packaged, including a personalized note on Bestowal’s classy white linen stationery, the gifts are shipped discreetly, or hand-delivered.

As a bar-hound myself, I always look for unique items, but I’m not easily impressed. Two of Bestowal’s gift packs grabbed my attention. The first, labeled “Tony” (named after her husband’s bachelor friend) consists of several well-matched cocktail components, including a Viski pro-grade gunmetal Martini shaker, its matching strainer, and a double-sided jigger, coupled with entertainment-guru Mark Anderson’s award-winning drink guide “Cocktail Chameleon.” Would I consider these “unique and memorable?” You bet. Anderson’s book was featured in Esquire, Vogue, and Forbes, and made plenty of the “Best Of” lists, and Viski, designed and manufactured by B2C powerhouse True Brands of Seattle, Washington, supplies upscale bars, restaurants, and bon vivants around the globe.

Even more impressive is the “Tyler” package (named for her brother-in-law) featuring the Bartesian, a “Keurig-on-steroids” drink maker that mixes single-serve cocktails on command. It works much like a K-cup coffee maker; pop the top, slip in a drink cartridge, and boom: one perfect Margarita (or any of 35 cocktails). The machine holds tequila, whiskey, and vodka, plus your choice of gin or rum. The cartridges contain mixer ingredients and the controller code. The Bartesian identifies the drink, indicates the proper glass, and after receiving input for drink strength (from mock-tail to double), it feeds the correct ratio of liquor and water. The Bestowal package includes four drink cartridge sets: Spiked Coffee, Negroni, Margarita, and Old Fashioned.

If you want to go bigger or in a different drinky direction, Bestowal’s Chicago based team offers gift concierge services and custom gift sourcing. They also provide party favors for weddings, corporate activities, and other events. Gift giving can be hard, and Bestowal helps you avoid gift-option paralysis, boringly thoughtless gifts, and even bad taste. And we’ll drink to that.