Finding the best gifts for serious food people is no joke. You’ve got shops, catalogues, websites, and a half-dozen other ways to track down what you’re looking for, and time and money are sadly not infinite. Fortunately, you’ve got us working on your behalf. Here we present more than 100 different items for any price range, from “a little something” to “wow, I really do love you,” all with eating, drinking, and entertaining in mind and most with a serious Minnesota twist.
All capsule gift reviews written by Amy Rea and James Norton; beer and spirits capsules by Paige Latham Didora. This guide is presented by our underwriting sponsors: Afton Alps Ski & Golf, El Burrito Mercado, Crapola Granola, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Golden Fig Fine Foods, Indeed Brewing Company, Lift Bridge Brewing, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Mississippi Market, Nordic Ware, Northern Clay Center, Running Aces, Sociable Cider Werks, Tattersall Distilling, Velvet Bees Honey Butter, Vision Wine and Spirits, The Wedge and Linden Hills Co-op, and Wisco Pop!.
The Appetizers: Gifts Under $10
Bizzy Coffee Shots | $2.50 each 2-ounce bottle | Lakewinds Co-op
A stocking stuffer that packs a punch. Brewed in St. Paul, each bottle has a double shot of organic cold brew with your choice of sweet flavors, like vanilla or caramel, or just plain black coffee.
Sweet Jules Minneapolis Pub Crawl Caramels | $4.50 for 4 caramels | France 44 Cheese Shop
Sweet Jules is based in Minnetonka and now offers caramels blended with local ales. Flavors included are Town Hall’s Gold; Surly’s Furious; Indeed’s Midnight Ryder; and Lift Bridge’s Chestnut Hill Ale. Additional ingredients include pretzels, chills, and popped quinoa, all well paired with the sweet, creamy caramels.
Sweet Pea Ricotta Dip | $6 for 7.2 ounces | France 44 Cheese Shop
Ricotta, mint, peas, basil–what a lovely, springlike dip or spread. It’s bright and fresh and would be great tossed with pasta. Serve it with crudites to lighten up your holiday table.
Chip Magnet Salsa | $6 for 16 ounces | Lakewinds Co-op
Made in Eau Claire, Wis., Chip Magnet not only has a cheeky name, it offers salsas in a range of flavors from Mildly Delicious to Garlicious to its bestseller, Cilantro Lime. While cilantro is a noticeable presence in the customer favorite, it doesn’t overwhelm the tomatoes but complements them in a mild but flavorful salsa.
Isabel Street Heat Fermented Hot Sauces | $6-$7.50 per 5-ounce bottle | Linden Hills Co-op
We’ve talked before about our love for St. Paul’s Isabel Street hot sauces, and our opinion hasn’t changed. Each hot sauce is an entity unto itself, with entirely different flavors and levels of heat from its siblings. Put out a series of these with chips for dipping, or use them for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. There’s something for everyone here.
Belvoir Elderflower & Rose Lemonade or Ginger Beer | $6.50 for 25.4 ounces | Wedge Community Co-op
These grown-up organic sodas offer tasteful, sophisticated alternatives to regular carbonated beverages and stand alone well or can be paired up in cocktails. The Elderflower & Rose Lemonade is a gentle, sweet beverage, while the Ginger Beer offers up a punchy ginger kick. The latter would be an especially good base for a Moscow mule.
Sponsored by the Nordic Ware Factory Store: This would be a great gift for the waffle lovers in your life. This stovetop waffle iron makes beautiful Belgian-style heart-shaped waffles for special morning meals. The waffles made in this pan have extra deep pockets to capture butter, syrup, fruit, whipped cream, and more. Find more holiday gifts and ideas at the Nordic Ware Factory Store, a family-owned, American manufacturer of quality cookware, bakeware, microwave and grilling products and specialty kitchenware, now in its 71st year. The Factory Store in St. Louis Park is frequented by home cooks, chefs, and restaurant owners and hosts twice-monthly evening cooking classes. 4925 County Road 25/Highway 7, St. Louis Park; 952.924.9672.
Double Take Hot Sauces | $6.50 each 5-ounce bottle | Lakewinds Co-op
Minnesota-based Double Take Salsa produces a line of hot sauces, each marked with the encouraging phrase, “Flavor first, heat second.” But make no mistake — these are indeed hot sauces. The Ghost Pepper Pineapple has a sweetness to it, but in the end, you can’t miss the ghost pepper, while the Scotch Bonnet Mustard is searing. Perfect for the hot sauce aficionado.
Stranger Things Thunder Lizard Mug | $7 | Science Museum of Minnesota
If getting a copy of the hoodie Dustin wore in the first episode of Stranger Things’ second season isn’t enough for you, the Science Museum also has the now-beloved logo on a mug. A purple mug, of course, to match the hoodie.
Noteworthy Dive Bar Guides by William Lindeke | $7 | TCSidewalks Online Store
Join writer Bill Lindeke for a series of street-level cultural and historical tours of prominent dive bars throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul — everything from the Hexagon (in Noteworthy Dive Bars of South Minneapolis) to Porky’s (Payne and Arcade) to Dusty’s (Outer Northeast). Perfect for a fan of Minnesota folk history and/or old-fashioned drinkin’.
Antler Napkin Holders | $7 (napkins not included) | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. Fold your dinner napkins into these cheerful gold antlers, and voila, your table is immediately more gladsome.
Mama Doha’s Egyptian Jam | $8 | Lakewinds Co-op
The recipes sold under the Mama Doha come from family in Egypt and are produced in a kitchen in St. Paul. The pumpkin ginger is mildly sweet, with just a touch of ginger and lemon juice and would be delicious on a sturdy bread, especially something with grains or seeds.
Chemical Formula for Caffeine Mug | $7.50 | Science Museum of Minnesota
This will allow the fortunate giftee to come alive in the morning and feel erudite at the same time. Always good to know what’s in the cup.
Speculoos Cookies | $8 for 4.8 ounces | France 44 Cheese Shop
These cookies are so charming to look at that you might just want to leave them on display. But go ahead — try them. They’re delicate and crispy, with a mildly sweet taste that just begs to be dunked in milk, coffee, or cocoa. They’d also make a wonderful stocking stuffer.
Sponsored by Afton Alps Ski & Golf: Pictured above: the Epic Burger at Paul’s Pub, Afton Alps Ski & Golf, 6600 Peller Ave S, Hastings; 651.436.5245. A towering creation with an alpine twist on the classic bacon and cheddar burger; rooted in an American tradition and crafted to rival the glories of perfectly etched turns, exhilarating descents, and big air. Yep, you read that right. Pair it with a beer. Transform a boring day into a snow day. Give yourself permission to have fun. This is your winter … Afton Alps is your new backyard, leave the grilling to us. Keep your focus on enjoying our 300 skiable acres and 47 runs.
Animal Holiday Mug | $8 | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
There’s nothing wrong with a little cuteness at the holidays, and this series of mugs sold at the Arboretum manages to be cute in a restrained way. Each mug has a woodland creature of some sort with a cheery holiday greeting inside the mug. They’re sturdy and large enough to hold as much caffeine or hot cocoa (or hot toddy) as you need to get through December.
Jalama Valley Christmas Lima Beans | $8 for 1 pound | France 44 Cheese Shop
Produced by a third-generation family farm in California, Jalama Valley’s beans are grown without pesticides. They’re also dry-farmed, a technique that relies on the residual moisture in the ground from winter rains rather than summer irrigation — a risky proposition in drought-stricken California. But the end result is a flavorful, healthy bean that’s grown and harvested by the family farmer himself, sorted by his kids, and put into packaging designed by his wife, making it truly a family affair.
Uncle Simon’s Colombian Picante | $8 for 6 ounces | Lakewinds Co-op
The recipe is from Barranquilla, Colombia, but the picante is produced in Eden Prairie by immigrant family members who love their Uncle Simon’s dishes. The picante line includes mild, medium, and spicy. The spicy version contains habanero chiles, and they’re slow to kick in, but once they do, have some water ready. All are lively and full of flavor.
Keep the Faye Minnesota Hot Pads | $8.50 each | Linden Hills Co-op
Twin Cities artist Faye Passow created the designs for the tongue-in-cheek representations of Minnesota. A map based on hot dish? You betcha. A listing of Minnesota’s many marvels, including Paul Bunyan, Babe, and the Greyhound Museum? That’s … different.
Sponsored by Vision Wine and Spirits: Since 2006, The Bitter Truth forged the way for the re-emergence of cocktail bitters in our modern age with its range of all-natural cocktail bitters. Acting as the spice rack for your bar, The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Travelers Set and Bar Packs are perfect for the home mixologist, providing varieties of classic- and modern-flavored bitters to enhance your cocktails with 2-3 dashes. To purchase, please stop by Ace Spirits at 4 Shady Oak Rd, Hopkins, MN 55343 or shop online at www.acespirits.com.
Martha’s Pimento Cheese with Jalapeños | $8.50 for 8 ounces | Lakewinds Co-op
Martha’s comes from Milwaukee and was created by a Texan transplant who came to love Wisconsin’s cheese scene but missed this classic Southern staple. This year, Martha’s specialty took a bronze medal in the Cheese-Based Spread category of the United States Championship Cheese Contest. And no wonder — the high-quality aged cheddar laced with pimentos and jalapeños is full of complex, complementary flavors. A version without jalapeños is also available.
Double Take Salsa Co. Salsas | $9 for 12 ounces | Linden Hills Co-op
Based in the Twin Cities, Double Take prides itself on salsas that focus on flavor first, heat second. That’s how we like it; heat without flavor isn’t worth the tears. But if heat isn’t your style, Double Take also has milder salsas. For a full flavor spectrum, try the Aces & Eights, a sweet corn salsa that has both sweet and spicy notes.
Nonna’s Best Antipasto | $9 for 16 ounces | Lakewinds Co-op
That’s not a stock photo on the label — that’s the mother of Nonna’s Best’s founder, and the inspiration for this Italian favorite. Made in Maple Grove, Nonna’s Best is a lovely collection of pickled vegetables, mild in spice but full of flavor. It’s great on a toasted baguette, but honestly, it’s pretty darned delicious eaten straight out of the jar.
Small Plates: Gifts $10-$25
Eden Apples | $10 for a 5 ounce bag | Golden Fig Fine Foods
These thin, crunchy dried apple slices make a surprisingly addictive addition to a holiday snack platter .They’re both sweet and tart, and they have just enough cinnamon flavor to compel constant noshing. The fact that they’re made in Eden Prairie makes them doubly punny.
Isadore Nut Co. | $10 per 4-ounce package | France 44 Cheese Shop
These flavored nuts are made by hand in small batches in Minneapolis. The Cayenne Kick is as advertised, with a wake-you-up punch that follows the crunch of the nut. The Lemon Rosemary goes more for flavor than heat. Isadore also makes sweet versions: Cinnamon Spice and Cocoa Kiss.
Sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society Press: Lake Fish: Modern Cooking with Freshwater Fish by Keane Amdahl. Paperback, 256 pages, full color, 8 by 10 inches, $24.95.
“The next time some coastal dunderhead tells me that the Midwest is landlocked, I will hold up this book as sacred proof to dispel that myth. Freshwater fishing is a tradition, an institution, and a way of life around here, and this book is full of creative recipes for preparing the juiciest, most pearly-fleshed fish you will ever eat.” — Amy Thielen, author of The New Midwestern Table
Oiled Olivewood Egg Cups | $10 each | The Foundry Home Goods
The gorgeous, richly textured grain in the olive wood makes these tiny egg cups eye catching despite their small size. But they are meant to be used: Each holds one perfectly boiled egg. A perfectly sophisticated start to anyone’s morning.
Maazah Chutney | $10 for a 12 ounce jar | Lakewinds Co-op
“Maazah” means “flavor” in Farsi, and this chutney has plenty of it. It’s produced in Minneapolis by two sisters working from their mother’s no-recipe approach. The Cilantro Ginger chutney is bright and fresh, with the ginger nicely balancing the cilantro. It would work with so many things: meats, eggs, cheese, sandwiches, even pizza.
Holiday Cookie Box | $10-$16 per dozen | Cookie Cart
Don’t have time to bake? Want to give something that has a worthy cause behind it? You’re in luck. North Minneapolis’ Cookie Cart sells its cookies by the dozen in festive holiday packaging. Besides giving (or getting!) delicious, fresh cookies, you’re supporting an organization that hires, trains, and provides leadership skills to teens ages 15-18. Besides teaching great baking skills, Cookie Cart also provides customer service, financial literacy, and digital literacy skills to these teens as well. Great cookies for the present, great skills development for the future.
Jakeeno’s Pasta Sauce | $10 for a 32 ounce jar | Golden Fig Fine Foods
For more than 40 years, Jakeeno’s has been serving up pizza and pasta in South Minneapolis. Its secret is keeping things simple while always keeping an eye on flavor. Jakeeno’s makes food that’s balanced, simple, and classically Italian-American. This jar of Jakeeno’s sauce is a way to share the neighborhood with friends and family from other parts of the country, state, or even city.
Tala Sifter, Cocoa Shaker, and Recipe Box | $8-11 each | Lakewinds Co-op
These charming, retro tin boxes ($11) and sifters ($11) hearken back to an earlier time when people traded recipes on cards specially designed for that purpose and took care to properly sift their dry ingredients when baking. Here’s a connection to the past we don’t get with pre-sifted flour and recipes stored in the cloud. Also charming: a bright-red tin cocoa shaker ($8) that makes decorating holiday food and drink even more fun. You may just have to make additional tiramisu or truffles as an excuse to keep using it.
Sponsored by Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op: At Mississippi Market Co-op, Rush Creek Reserve farmstead cheese from Uplands Cheese Co. in southern Wisconsin is one of the best cheeses of the year. Rush Creek Reserve is made only in the autumn as the cows move from summer pasture to winter hay, which produces a richer milk. It is a soft ripened cheese wrapped in a strip of spruce bark that imparts a sweet, woodsy flavor. Pair it with one of the Wood from the Hood charcuterie boards for an extra special gift – available at all three Mississippi Market St. Paul locations.
Poinsettia Dishes | $11 for the bowl, $19 for the plate | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
It’s fitting that the Arboretum gift shop is selling poinsettia dishware, as most years the centerpiece of the Arboretum’s holiday display is an enormous tree made out of poinsettia plants. Put these on white or dark green table linens, and watch them light up the table.
Santa and Christmas Tree Chocolate Sculptures | $11 for Santa; $15 for trees | St. Croix Chocolate Company
The seasonal chocolate sculptures of St. Croix Chocolate Company are some of our favorite local works for art (just check out this pumpkin!). They’re highly detailed, beautifully painted (with edible colors) and made from delicious chocolate to boot. Santa and/or Christmas trees would look lovely as centerpieces and taste delicious as dessert.
Mademoiselle Miel Candy Bars | $12 each | Minneapolis Institute of Art
The St. Paul beekeeper/chocolatier Mademoiselle Miel is now offering seasonal chocolates including Dark Milk with Isadore Nut Co.’s Cayenne Kick mixed nuts, and White Chocolate with pine nuts and fresh rosemary. Don’t let the cayenne scare you off — the dark milk more than compensates for the heat and provides a lightly sweet taste. The white chocolate bar is a lovely mix of savory and sweet.
Spiced Pomegranate Syrup | $12 for 16 ounces | Golden Fig Fine Foods
Golden Fig’s house syrups have become holiday staples in many St. Paul homes, as they make excellent bases for cocktails, mocktails, punches, and simple-syrup-plus-seltzer preparations that are dead simple but festively refreshing. The Pomegranate variety is one of our favorites. It’s got black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, hibiscus, and clove, which turns a simple sweet-tart syrup into something layered and compelling.
GYST Fermentation Bar Spicy Red Kraut | $12 for 16 ounces | Lakewinds Co-op
GYST was a winner of this year’s Maker to Market program offered through Lakewinds. The Spicy Red Kraut is a clear indication of why they won: Its complex, slow-burning flavors take a few moments to fully experience. The spicy chilies are offset by the sweet dried blueberries. But make no mistake: This has a bite to it — and it’s delicious.
Sponsored by Sociable Cider Werks: Fat Bike Mulled Apple proves that cider isn’t just for summer. This warm-you-to-the-core winter seasonal is made using fresh-pressed Midwest apples, nutmeg, orange peel, cinnamon, clove, and allspice, resulting in a subtly spicy, nutty, full-bodied winter warmer that’s perfect on its own or mixed into a cocktail. Available in four-packs anywhere Sociable Cider Werks is sold.
Swedish Birch Sandwich Board | $12 | The Foundry Home Goods
The perfect single-serving tray, made of attractively-grained birch. The hole in the corner isn’t for hanging the board — although you could use it for that; instead, it’s meant to be an egg cup.
Woodland Creatures | $12 for table decorations, $14 per plate | Walker Art Center
Bring nature to your holiday with these whimsical — but not overly childish — woodland creature table decorations and mini plates from the Fishs Eddy Harper + Oldham line of designs.
Tom Bumble Peanut Butter Flake Candy Bars | $12 for 4 bars | France 44 Cheese Shop
Inside this austere box are four individually wrapped candy bars that are what a Butterfingers Bar could only hope to be. Or could be, with higher quality ingredients. These compact, dense little bars are rich, with a peanutty filling that melts in your mouth surrounded by dark chocolate. Truly candy bars for grownups.
Red Wing Stoneware Mug | $13 | Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery and Askov Finlayson
The enjoyable solidity and appearance of a stoneware mug is hard to beat, even more so when that mug is produced by Minnesota’s own Red Wing Stoneware and Pottery. The company’s online store is chock-a-block with other cookware and beverage options, too.
Maruso Thick Black Bean Soy Sauce | $13 for 14.5 ounces | Wedge Community Co-op
A Taiwanese sauce imported by a Duluth company. Made from black soy beans rather than the traditional yellow, the gluten-free Maruso soy sauce is an intriguing variation on the Asian staple. For one thing, it’s thick, with a consistency closer to ketchup. But it’s also much richer in flavor than standard soy sauces. It would certainly pair well with Asian cuisines, but it’s also got strong possibilities for other foods: use to glaze meats, add as a condiment to a sandwich, serve on steamed vegetables, or, as the Wedge staff suggested, pour it on vanilla ice cream. No, really.
Sponsored by Indeed Brewing Company: This holiday season, take your tastebuds to a fruity parallel universe with Mango Helio from Indeed Brewing Company’s Wooden Soul series of barrel-aged sour and wild beers. A variation of Heliotropic, Indeed’s Wood-Aged Brett saison, Mango Helio boasts funky flavors of ripe mango alongside bright notes of other tropical fruit. Ask for it wherever you shop for craft beer; then pop the top for a one-way ticket to holiday cheer.
SOMA Vanua, Fiji Chocolate Bar | $13 for 2.3 ounces | France 44 Cheese Shop
Canada’s SOMA Chocolate has launched a new bar with cacao grown on Vanua Levu Island, Fiji by a farmer looking to revive the cacao industry there. The name is geographic but also comes from the Fijian concept of “vanua,” which is the idea that the land is an extension of oneself. This high-quality 70 percent cacao chocolate is rich and sweet, with slightly citrus undertones.
Sacred Blossom Living Herbal Teas | $13 for 1.4 ounces | Wedge Community Co-op
Sacred Blossom Teas are concocted from herbs and flowers grown at the Mondovi, Wis. Sacred Blossom Farm or at a local partner farm. Each themed flavor comes from mixed herbs, planted and harvested in small batches. Once dried, they are paired with other natural ingredients, but never synthetic elements or flavor additives.
Constellation Mug | $13.50 | Science Museum of Minnesota
At first glance, it looks like a black mug with dots on it. But fill it with a hot beverage, and suddenly, the constellations appear. As the box notes: “Start your day with a steaming hot beverage to remind yourself of human insignificance.”
Ames Farm Varietal Honeycomb | $14.50 for 5 ounces | Ames Farm
Once you get seriously into honey, honeycomb is the next logical step. It’s gorgeously natural and can be eaten (comb and all) on toast for a locavore treat about as sophisticated as they come. Ames Farm offers a variety of honeycomb selections, and while they’re pricier than the comb you’ll find at a farmers market, they’re also more nuanced. We tasted our way through three of the Ames varieties and found the flower (and season) of the honey can make it brighter, or earthier, or more citrusy.
Duluth Coffee Company Coffee | $14-$21 for a one-pound bag | online or at the DCC Cafe in Duluth
We were initially intrigued by Duluth Coffee Company because its founder, Eric Faust (above right), was a regular contributor to the Heavy Table. We became sold on the coffee because it is thoughtfully sourced and skillfully roasted. We bring it with us when we travel and sling it around for gifts. Plus, the beans come in full one-pound bags — you’ve gotta love that.
Hot Green Tomato Pickles from Talmadge Farms | $15 for a 32 ounce jar | Golden Fig Fine Foods
Expand the mind of your favorite pickle lover with a big jar of these crisp, spicy pickles. They’re perfect for sandwiches or burgers and made in Duluth by Talmadge Farms. These are some of the best, boldest pickles we’ve tried, and they’ve redeemed the green tomato as a culinary choice for us.
Smoked Fish | $15 and up | Northern Waters Smokehaus
There may be no food more emblematic of this part of the world than smoked fish, and there may be no one smoking it more beautifully than the team at Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth. The company’s website offers everything from smoked lake trout from Lake Superior to smoked salmon pate, so dig in.
Brew It Yourself Root Beer | $17 | Science Museum of Minnesota
Possibly the easiest way to get a child interested in science: Help them brew their own root beer. This small kit contains the fundamentals for brewing two gallons of the perennial favorite: root beer extract, brewer’s yeast, and a funnel. Also included are easy-to-follow instructions and friendly, scientific explanations of how this all works.
Belle de Sucre | $18 for stars, $20 for hearts | Minneapolis Institute of Art
These adorable shaped pieces of sugar come from France, and what a lovely addition they would make to after-dinner coffee or tea service or as a charming little hostess gift for holiday soirees.
B&E’s Trees Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup | $18 for 9 ounces | Linden Hills Co-op
Based in Wisconsin, B&E’s Trees takes maple syrup a step further and ages it in white oak barrels that have previously been used to age Bourbon. The result is a deeper flavor with a hint of the charred oak, something even more luxurious than maple syrup already is.
Winter Break Blend by Bootstrap Coffee Roasters | $19 for a 12 ounce bag | Golden Fig Fine Foods
This St. Paul-roasted holiday coffee is everything you’d hope for: roasty, nutty, chocolaty, and as comforting as a hug from a properly credentialed department store Santa Claus. This blend is made for stuffing stockings.
Sponsored by the Wedge and Linden Hills Co-op: Jewell Hollow Cutting Boards— $29.99. One of Jewell Hollow’s greatest pleasures is creating unique, beautiful cutting boards that are handmade and sourced from over 95 percent local woods. The Wedge & Linden Hills Co-op has worked for over 40 years to support small farmers, organic producers, and local artisans like Jewell Hollow. To find more local gifts for your holiday giving, visit us during our 12 Days of Local celebration, December 13 through 24, at the Wedge at 2105 Lyndale Ave S and at the Linden Hills Co-op at 3815 Sunnyside Ave.
Cook’s Illustrated Kitchen Smarts | $20 | Common Good Books
Not a cookbook, but an excellent companion that deserves a spot on any kitchen shelf. Cook’s Illustrated has long been known for exploring the science behind cooking, and this book is a mini encyclopedia broken into five parts: Kitchen Mythbusters, Kitchen Substitutions, Kitchen Confidence, Kitchen Science, and Kitchen Speak. The perfect gift for a cook at any level.
S is for sri lankan | $20 | Common Good Books
This compact volume offers 50 recipes representing contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine, including numerous curries (sweet and sour fish, black pork), dahl fritters, lentil and tamarind stew, and kiri toffee. Recipes are nicely organized, and the book is packed with photos of not only the finished foods, but of Sri Lankan life.
Savory Sweet: Simple Preserves from a Northern Kitchen | $20.25 | University of Minnesota Press
Few books have changed how we cook the way Savory Sweet has. After a meal (and long conversation) with the authors, we found ourselves fully sold on the idea of making small batches of tart, flavorful, exotic, and wonderful freezer preserves, and we haven’t looked back.
Cattani Olivewood Balsamic | $23 for 8.5 ounces | France 44 Cheese Shop
Made in Italy, Cattani balsamic vinegar is aged in oak barrels for 8 years, then finished in olive wood. The resulting vinegar has both sweet and earthy notes with a delicate finish.
Painted Bowl and Tumbler | $24 for a bowl, $18 for a tumbler | Minneapolis Institute of Art
An eye-catching set of these painted bowls and tumblers would make a holiday table sing, or fill the bowls with natural elements (pine cones, cedar branches) to make a striking piece of holiday decor.
Dibbern Glass Drinkware | $24-$26 each, depending on style/size | The Foundry Home Goods
These beautiful glasses are mouth-blown and hand made in Europe. They strike a pleasing balance between being nicely weighted at the base and having slim walls to keep the glasses from becoming too heavy. The subtle hues and shapings work with beverages of any color.
A SPIRITED HOLIDAY: LOCALLY MADE BEER, CIDER, AND LIQUOR
What’s the ideal gift for that person who has everything? Drinks, of course. Whether the goal is simple enjoyment or appealing to an expert, giving a festive libation can go a long way.
Rich and complex winter beers are a great place to start. The season has traditionally played host to stouts, dopplebocks, and Barleywines — surefire gifts for both craft beer lovers and party hosts. The just-released Imperial Russian Stout from Summit Brewing makes a great impression on out-of-towners and locals alike with intense dark chocolate and earthy notes and a robust personality. Brand new U.K. hops, Minstrel and Olicana, abbreviate the potential sweetness, and make it “shockingly drinkable,” according to brewmaster Damian McConn. At 10.5 percent ABV, a four-pack of 12 ounce bottles will go a long way and is best enjoyed fresh.
Offer the imperial stout collector some variety with Steel Toe Brewing’s Wee Heavy scotch ale. The rich biscuit and toffee sweetness in this traditional U.K. style make it perfect for sipping on a cold night ($10 for 750 milliliters). Pro tip: If possible, buy bottles at the brewery, where there are often a few different 750ml bottles quietly for sale in December. Masterful blending and years of experience have brought Lift Bridge Brewing to the latest iteration of Commander Barleywine, which offers flavors similar to a Scotch ale, but with more dark-fruit notes. Commander’s annual release is a real event for those who cellar bottles of the 12+ p
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