I'm considering applying for PhD positions. I finished my MSc in 2021. Would it be OK to ask my supervisor for references? I feel a bit strange because I've barely seen him in person due to COVID and it's been 1.5 years. Do I just ask him for a letter/email that I can keep and use for several PhD applications in the near future or do I need to ask him for a letter for eq h individual application?
At the same time, when I graduated it was still COVID and everyone was working from home. I've been meaning to see him in person after I got my MSc and thank him for supervising me (and have a nice bottle of wine and other goodies for him). I avoided doing this before my MSc work was graded to avoid a conflict of interest and so it does not look like I am trying to bribe him. But now I feel if I go and see him and give him gifts, it looks like I'm bribing him for PhD recommendations.
Any wisdom on if I'm overthinking it or about to do a faux pas?