Have that person on your list who’s constantly cooking up something new or on the hunt for the best old fashioned in town? Here are five suggestions to jumpstart your holiday gift thinking and bring some joy to the kitchen and bar.
Help grow their menu
Similar to our previous gift guide, indoor gardening is an excellent way to take ownership of your meals/drinks and also flex your green thumb. There are several ways to grow ingredients in your home, including a Garden in a Bag or mushrooms from coffee grounds. This kind of gift is one that can make your recipient an even greater part of their own passion.
Tools of the trade
Whether a foodie or cocktail enthusiast, these individuals take great pride in the tools and gadgets they use to make magic happen. Even if it’s a small part of their setup, keep an eye out for tools that could stand an upgrade to something special. Does this person include zest in their dishes or drinks and have a fairly standard zester? Get them the state of the art. Do they enjoy a scoop of locally-farmed ice cream after dinner? Treat them to the best ice cream scoop around. If you really want to go all out, check out the Bar Rollup pictured above so they can take their show on the road. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the beneficiary of a few drinks along the way.
Make the mind drool
To date, 2012 has been an excellent year for food literature, with fresh releases from some of our favorites. We’d recommend Richard Blais‘ Try This At Home, along with the phenomenal new #2 New York Times bestselling cookbook from Smitten Kitchen (we’re still swooning over our signed copy!). Finally, for a little sweetness to your recipient’s life, sprinkle in Joy the Baker‘s cookbook. If your foodie also happens to be an entertainer, a subscription to the bi-annual magazine Gather Journal is right up their alley, a recipe-driven magazine focused on food as an occasion to gather in celebration and community.
Perfect their drink with a new ingredient
In the world of craft cocktails, quality ingredients and proper execution are the two most important in preparation. To make your cocktail-crazed recipient even more dynamic, supply them with unique ingredients to expand their drink horizons. We’d recommend a fine Tait Farm shrub/drinking vinegar (or make your own!), or an array of uniquely-flavored Scrappy’s Bitters from Seattle.
Help grow their brains
The best things in life often aren’t things, and a food or drink experience is an excellent way to gift literally outside the box. Aspiring cocktail maker? Bartending school can be a fun way to start out. A subscription to online cooking classes through Rouxbe is a gift that keeps on giving. Want to do something together? Do a quick search for sushi making classes and get rolling. Cloud 9 Living offers several food and drink experience gifts that may be available in your area, so check them out!
BONUS STOCKING STUFFER
Extra special sweets
Dessert tends to be a generally pleasing sugar rush meant to cater to the everyday palate. However, our friends and local chocolate makers Theo Chocolate have specially-tuned sweets that will appeal to the specific needs of your recipient’s unique tastes. The taste-seeking foodie in your life will appreciate the Mirepoix savory caramel collection. Don’t worry, the drink enthusiasts are covered too: separate specialty beer/wine and chocolate pairing kits bring some of the best things in life together.