40 Cool 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

Updated
They’ve got a license to drink and you’ve got our guide to the perfect 21st birthday gifts.

Many people consider their 21st birthday the best birthday they’ll ever have. What could be better than finally being an official adult and being able to legally drink…and find work, an apartment, and friends, etc. Turning 21 can be oodles of fun but also a new beginning into unknown territory.

What can you give to the fresh 21-year-old you know that will entertain them, touch them deeply, and be useful in their life? We’ve got all kinds of gifts below that will keep them laughing, thinking, learning (and drinking). Check out these cool 21st birthday gifts here.


40 Unique 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

Get festive with these special 21st birthday gifts for adults just out of the gate.

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21st Birthday Set

  • Drinking Care Package

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Set, Funny

This fun gift set for her is a frolicking good time in a box for any woman turning 21. The pink-themed box includes a stainless steel wine tumbler, two coasters, a shot glass, a bottle opener shaped like a key, a wine stopper that looks like a heart, and of course, some funny wine lover socks. All the gear is packed neatly in an attractive gift box, complete with a greeting card.


George Foreman Quesadilla Maker

  • Press Into Delicious

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Kitchen, Unique

Perfect for a 21-year-old’s first apartment, the George Foreman quesadilla maker will easily create delicious quesadillas before they can hit the delivery button on their phone. The quesadilla maker includes multiple pockets for any topping their heart desires and it will come in handy after a night of fully legal drinking.


Novelty Beer Hat

  • His First Men’s Gift

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Cool, Drinking

He’s 21 years old, so isn’t it time he receives his first manly gag gift? This novelty beer hat is everything he ever dreamed it would be. The helmet holds two cans of beer and includes the usual straw that extends to his mouth. He can recreate his favorite fraternity or college party as a grown up (warning: beer helmet will not protect him from a hangover).


21-year-old Necklace

  • Wearing Her Keepsake

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Keepsake, Unique

Give 21st birthday gifts that leave an indelible impression on the birthday girl with this pretty sterling silver necklace. The pendant is made up of two interlocking circles, one for each decade of her life, plus a crystal for her 21st birthday. The necklace includes a heartfelt 21st birthday greeting that will become one of those keepsakes she treasures for a long time.


Prohibition Glasses Set

  • Some Drinking History

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Set, Cool

Bring a little historical humor into the life of your favorite 21-year-old with this set of two whiskey glasses. They share a unique Prohibition design that commemorates both the 18th amendment prohibiting drinking and the 21st amendment that reinstated drinking so they can toast to both in grand, old-fashioned style.


21st Birthday T-Shirt

  • Officially 21

  • $$$$$
  • Cool, Funny, Keepsake

Every 21-year-old guy needs a funny t-shirt that lets the world know he is of legal drinking age. This cheeky shirt has a bold design with hands that point back to its owner with the message “This Guy is Officially 21 Years Old.” He will love to wear this shirt as a cute memory of his very special coming-of-age birthday.


Cake In A Jar Set

  • Cake Every Place

  • $$$$$
  • Unique, Set, Cool

What could be better than a birthday cake on their 21st? The answer is four birthday cakes that go anywhere with them. This cute birthday cake care package includes an assortment of four flavors of cake in a jar, including red velvet cake and rich chocolate cake. They can celebrate with friends or just save each little cake for her own special celebrations as she settles into new adulthood.


Beer Socks

  • Beer Feet

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Unique, Drinking

Every young adult turning 21 needs a pair of socks with beer on them. These fun socks for him make the perfect cheap but awesome gift for boyfriends, friends, or men who are still boys. They’ll love the playful design and keep these beauties for many more birthdays to come.


Drink-A-Palooza Board Game

  • The Pinnacle Of Drinking Games

  • $$$$$
  • Unique, Funny, Drinking

Newly legal drinkers tend to gravitate towards items and games that are fun and centered around the art of drinking. This board game is jam-packed with drinking game fun, including a combination of beer pong and flip cup with classic games like high/low; The mixture of party games meant for 2-12 players will keep them awake and entertained all night.


Cuisinart Soft-Serve Ice Cream Maker

  • Soft-Serve For Adults

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Kitchen, DIY

What better way to give a special gift for a 21-year-old living in their first “real” apartment than this cooler-than-anything soft-serve ice cream maker? The ice cream maker is super easy to use by simply adding ingredients and includes functions for sprinkles and other toppings, which will make their new home the most popular place to be.

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21st Birthday Wine Glass

  • She’s Legal

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Drinking, Funny

21st birthday gift ideas for the female birthday girl you know can still be fun and outrageous. This stemless wine glass reading “Adios Fake ID” is hilarious and wonderful to look at. The bright design and easy to hold glass makes her first legal go at sipping wine more than a success. She’ll have a great time and a great sense of humor.


21st Birthday Flask Gift Set

  • For The Stylish Drinker

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Cool, Set

Just because you’re buying a drinking-themed gift for your favorite new 21-year-old doesn’t mean the gift can’t be stylish and adult in nature. This flask gift set is everything that class has to offer with a vintage-style round flask, two shot glasses, and a funnel (for emergencies!). They will appreciate the style and look of this special birthday gift.


21st Birthday Journal

  • Thoughts On Adulthood

  • $$$$$
  • Keepsake, Unique, Home

A creative way to add some meaning to your friend’s 21st birthday can be found with this 21st birthday themed journal. Marking the special event, in addition to providing many blank pages to reflect, dream, and inspire themselves for the future, is an invaluable part of the best birthday gifts out there.


Happy Birthday Beer Basket

  • Birthday Beer Bliss

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Funny, Set

Give the beer lover in your life a special treat on their 21st birthday. This collection of 12 craft beers made by microbreweries guaranteeing unique flavors and brews comes in a happy birthday beer box with a personalized message that they will cherish almost as much as they cherish their favorite beers being delivered to their door.


DIY Whiskey Making Kit

  • Whiskey Apprentice

  • $$$$$
  • DIY, Drinking, Set

Even if a newly minted 21-year-old loves whiskey, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn to appreciate the more intricate levels of flavor and appreciate the tasting notes, right? You can help them achieve a degree in whiskey making with this fun DIY kit. The kit includes 12 different wood chips and botanicals with which they can create their own blends, along with some whiskey stones to keep things nice and cold.


21st Birthday Wish Jar

  • 21 Wishes

  • $$$$$
  • Keepsake, Home, DIY

Get the birthday man or woman a great start on fulfilling all of their wishes for their 20’s with this whimsical wish jar. The jar is specially themed for a 21st birthday and includes 100 personalized wish tickets on which you can add some starter wishes, but make sure to leave plenty for them to keep wishing themselves into happy adulthood.


Coffee Gift Basket

  • Coffee In A Crate

  • $$$$$
  • Set, Kitchen, Unique

21 is a good year to start to get really serious about coffee. Give the coolest coffee crate around to the birthday reveler with this well-packed coffee gift basket (in a crate). The set includes all sorts of coffee companion treats like cookies and stroopwafels and two bags of high-quality ground coffee. Whatever they do when they stay up late, they’ll be all set to greet the day with java and delicious treats.


Spa Party Gift Set

  • Spa And Sweet

  • $$$$$
  • Set, For Her, Home

Give some spa-level relaxation to girls and women celebrating their 21st birthday with this next-level spa party gift set. She’ll have everything she needs to relax: soap, bath salts, a tub truffle, and a loofah. In addition, she can spruce up with a manicure set, enjoy great home vibes with a lemon lavender candle, and pop a special sweet treat to celebrate her home spa day.


21st Birthday Makeup Mirror

  • Inspiration In A Reflection

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Unique, Keepsake

Offer her something she can keep close to herself and use every day that holds a special meaning for her 21st birthday. This makeup mirror is durable, travels well whenever needed, and contains the meaningful 21st birthday message “You Are Braver Than You Believe Stronger Than You Seem And Smarter Than You Think.” She’ll be ready for anything that comes her way.


Chemistry Shot Glasses Set

  • A Drinking Experiment

  • $$$$$
  • Funny, Drinking, Set

Add to the surely already burgeoning collection of drinking paraphernalia that the young adult you know has amassed by their 21st birthday. This set of four shot glasses are shaped and designed to look like chemistry beakers, each a little different than the other. They can gather the other scientists, brew up some liquid experiments, and taste their creations while having a lot of fun doing it.

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Absinthe Making Kit

  • Find The Green Fairy

  • $$$$$
  • DIY, Drinking, Set

Absinthe remains one of the most storied ways of having a cocktail. You can bring this legendary cocktail into the 21st birthday guy or girl you know with this DIY absinthe making kit. The set includes a special blend of handcrafted botanicals, the tools needed to create the concoction, and a green bottle to use and display. Your bohemian-in-training will be on their way to green fairyland!


21st Birthday Keepsake Decor

  • Never Forget a 21st Birthday Party

  • $$$$$
  • Keepsake, Home, Unique

Whether you and your friends can’t be there for a treasured 21-year-old’s birthday or you all attend a festive gathering to celebrate, you can have friends and loved ones personalize this 21st birthday wall print. The print includes a colorful happy birthday greeting and plenty of space for funny, thoughtful, loving birthday messages.


Mini Waffle Maker

  • Adults Eat Waffles

  • $$$$$
  • Kitchen, Home, Cool

Waffles after a night out are a treasure to a 21-year-old, so make it easy on them with this mini waffle maker for their home. It plugs in, lets them know when it’s preheated, and makes delicious golden waffles for one morning, night, or anytime they are craving a sweet, hearty meal.


Bloody Mary Art Print

  • Brunch Recipe Artwork

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Drinking, Cool

Art is subjective, but a 21-year-old will appreciate some birthday art for their private space that features a gorgeous design of a Bloody Mary cocktail. The art print also includes a recipe for Bloody Mary, just in case they wake up one late morning and forgot how to make one. Art and brunch collide and they couldn’t be happier about it.


Herb Garden Kit

  • Herb Garden For The Indoor Type

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Kitchen, DIY

Now that they’ve settled into adulthood, give them hands-on 21st birthday gifts that they will use for a long time. This DIY herb garden kit is ideal for a 21-year-old who doesn’t have an outdoor space and needs quick and easy. The kit uses LED light and has three pods that grow herbs or salad leaves in water, so they can quickly turn into the culinary geniuses they’ve been waiting to become.


Finally Legal Gift Set

  • Wine And Scents

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Set, Drinking

Can’t decide whether to get the young woman you know who is turning 21 a scented candle keepsake or a wine glass keepsake? You can give her this dynamic duo gift set that includes both a soy candle with sandalwood scents and a stemless wine glass, which proudly declares that she is 21 and “Finally Legal.” She can drink up in celebration and relax with calming scents at the same time.


Wine Dispenser Spout

  • Wine Snob In Training

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Home, Cool

Not every 21-year-old guzzles alcohol just because it is legal to do so. They’ll be set for the finest wine drinking possible with this wine dispenser spout. The easy-to-use spout also aerates the wine in a precise way that works similarly to a decanter. Additionally, the spout makes sure the wine falls strategically and neatly into their glass. They will be hosting wine tastings before you know it.


21st Birthday Women's T-Shirt

  • Cool Tee Time

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Cool, Funny

The stylish gal who is celebrating her 21st birthday will come of age just fine when she has this cool-looking t-shirt that tells the world simply that she is 21. The tiny touch of a mini heart adds a little extra flair and she can wear the lightweight cotton t-shirt anywhere and likes and feel great doing it.


Personal Reel Viewer

  • A View Of 21 Years

  • $$$$$
  • Unique, Cool, Keepsake

Though 21-year-olds are too young to remember personal viewers, they often crave a taste of the past and can have it with this retro reel master. You can personalize the birthday experience even more by adding a selection of treasured photographs, which will become reels for their viewer and transport them into vintage memory keeping. A great gift for a best friend, the reel viewer will stay with them like good memories.


21st Birthday Keychain

  • Birthday Trinket Fun

  • $$$$$
  • Keepsake, Unique

This adorable keychain is an easy way to bring a little birthday cheer into the everyday life of your favorite 21-year-old. The stainless steel keychain wishes them a happy birthday and contains another engraved message: “Behind you, all your memories. Before you. all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.” They’ll remember this thoughtful birthday wish wherever they go.


Cuisinart Sandwich Grill

  • Deep Pockets Of Delicious

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Kitchen, DIY

21-year-olds love their sandwiches and snack foods, so you can ease your birthday guy or girl into adulthood with this impressive Cuisinart sandwich grill. They can add all the ingredients they like and create any closed, panini-like sandwich they desire. The grill also preps omelets and french toast. Who can say breakfast at their place?


Bluetooth Transmitter

  • Tech On The Go

  • $$$$$
  • Unique, Cool

A great tech ready gift for the young person who knows it all, this bluetooth transmitter is a lightning fast way to up the technology in whatever vehicle they are driving at 21. The practical transmitter works so they can easily stream music or media, charge their smartphone, or drive and talk hands free, which will ensure a smooth and safe drive no matter where they are headed.


21st Birthday Recovery Mug

  • The Day After 21

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Funny, Drinking

After a legendary 21st birthday party blowout, they will all need a little tenderness the next morning. This 21st birthday recovery mug is a funny novelty piece for their kitchen that will bring humor and self care into their morning routine. Everyone will know to speak softly and keep the curtains closed. The ceramic mug will surely produce smiles and good memories.


Hangover Survival Kit

  • Survival Of The Fittest

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Funny, Set

This hilarious novelty gift is perfect for the day after a 21st birthday. A funny yet practical way to recover after a birthday party or night out for a 21-year-old, the set includes loads of remedies, from headache relief and Alka-Seltzer for a bad tummy to mints for fresh breath, tea to regenerate, and lip balm for dry lips. They’ll be all set to face each day, at least until their 22nd birthday.


21st Birthday Memory Book

  • Memories at 21

  • $$$$$
  • Keepsake, Home, Unique

Show the person having a 21st birthday how much you and others in their life care about them. Celebrate shared experiences and tender memories with this meaningful 21st birthday memory book. The book is a brilliant birthday keepsake that includes a lot of blank space for notes, letters from friends and family, memories, and stories, along with plenty of space for photos that will remind them where they’ve been and how they got there.


Single Serve Coffee Maker

  • Coffee For One

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Kitchen, Cool

When 21-year-olds come home late, all they can think about is having coffee the next morning. Keep them safe and satisfied at home with this well-built single-serve coffee maker. They can make delicious coffee at the touch of a button and have their home remedy in three minutes flat. The machine works with any single-serve cups, so they can stay in after being out all night.


Hangover Recipes Book

  • Morning After Meals

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Kitchen, Funny

Touch the heart and fill the belly of a good friend who spent their 21st birthday out drinking (or any night out drinking) with this awesome cookbook containing 101 recipes made for the morning after. From comfort food staples, filling breakfasts, and healthy alternatives to kicking a hangover to the curb, they’ll have fun with the easy-to-make, entertaining recipes that can heal their wounds and get them ready to do it all over again.


Shot Glass Darts Game Set

  • Drinking Game With Dart Play

  • $$$$$
  • Home, Drinking, Funny

This awesome combination of a drinking game and darts makes a fun-loving gift for guys who have finally made it to their 21st birthday. A group of four can have far too much fun playing darts and seeing who has to take a shot, a half shot, or pass to a buddy. At least there will be no worries about driving home tipsy…these guys aren’t going anywhere!


Cordial Shot Dispenser

  • One Pour, Many Shots

  • $$$$$
  • Drinking, Home, Set

When they find themselves in the middle of a group wanting to celebrate their 21st birthday with shots, this cordial shot dispenser that you so thoughtfully gave them will come in handy double time. The stylish-looking set allows for up to six shot glasses to be filled with one pour into a clear central compartment, so everyone can watch the waterfall of liquor flow like, well, liquor.


Finally 21 Makeup Bag

  • Birthday Accessory For Her

  • $$$$$
  • For Her, Keepsake, Cool

Give the gal in your life who is finally turning 21 an everyday keepsake that she can both enjoy and appreciate with this artfully designed makeup bag. The soft cotton linen combo will hold any makeup she needs during her travels and its “Finally 21” design will honor her unique style, as well.


21st Birthday Gift FAQs

What is Special About Turning 21?

When you turn 21, you’re no longer a teenager and definitely an adult. The most obvious change is that you can legally drink alcohol (in the USA). You might want to take advantage of that every chance you get. But, take it slow, you’ve got your whole adult life ahead of you. In addition to dealing with being broke too often, you feel as if your twenties are just getting started. Enjoy what’s to come (1)!

What is Your 21st Birthday Called?

Your 21st birthday is referred to as your “coming of age.” It is literally and symbolically the birthday when you become the legal drinking age, are unofficially and officially an adult, and have reached the first (and some say the most exciting) milestone of adulthood. Use it wisely, but enjoy yourself as much as you want to. You finally did it.

What is a Traditional Gift for a 21st Birthday?

Turning 21 doesn’t have a traditional symbol attached to it like many anniversaries do, i.e., diamond or paper. It is the ultimate time for 21st birthday gifts that celebrate the joy and freedom associated with finally becoming an adult. Being able to drink legally is a huge deal and there are a ton of gifts that center around drinking, home bars, DIY kits, and even hangover remedies. Your gift can be joyful, practical, or funny, just as long as it entertains the youthful yet newly minted adult spirit of the 21-year-old in your life.

What to Get a 21-year-old Who Doesn’t Drink?

There are plenty of 21st birthday gift ideas that don’t center around alcohol. Thoughtful gifts like keepsakes that help cherish new and old memories are always appreciated, as are cooking gifts, treats that they will enjoy, and any sort of fun activity or outing where the birthday gal or guy can spend valuable time with good friends and be both challenged and charmed in order to celebrate the milestone of their 21st birthday (2).

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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.