Holiday Gift Guides 2017: Food + Drink

Snacks, booze, tools and more for home chefs, budding bartenders and enthusiastic eaters

There’s nothing quite like sharing a meal with your favorite humans, especially one that’s prepared at home with love. Whether you’re buying for a home chef, budding bartender, an enthusiastic eater or all three, a gift that revolves around food and drink can be foolproof. We have searched far and wide for our favorite snacks, drinks, ingredients and even kitchen tools this season, and no matter your poison, there’s a treat or five here for you and yours. For all things food, cooking and drink-related, take a look at the full Food and Drink Gift Guide, and for a bunch of other ideas, take a scroll through our BUY section.

Ceremonial-Grade Matcha Tasting Set

From Kyoto-based Matchaeologist comes a new ceremonial-grade matcha tasting set ($59) incorporating three different blends: Misaki, Matsu, and Meiko. This very collection has repeatedly won the highest award from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, when judged on everything from aroma and taste to color. The tea itself is as high-quality as possible, worth of the ceremony for sure—but also capable of winning over new matcha coverts.

Varvunraita Oven Mitten

Featuring the pattern that Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi designed in 1958, Marimekko’s “Varvunraita” oven mitten ($22) adds a little flair to the kitchen, without being too kitsch or cutesy. The polyester filling will keep your hands protected, and the outer is 100% cotton. There’s even a convenient little loop for hanging it up when not in use.


With slow cooking and sous-vide cropping up just about everywhere, an at-home appliance like Mellow ($299) brings the method home in a safe and easy way. WiFi-enabled and smartphone-controlled, Mellow is intuitive and quick to initiate. It can produce up to six portions at a time, in food-safe HDPE bags. And because the process with Mellow is really so hands-off, it frees up users to enjoy their time or start prepping something else.

Countess Dorothea Vanilla Tea

A new addition to the Penhaligon’s Portrait series—a collection of scents built around eccentric, imaginative characters—the Countess Dorothea Vanilla Tea ($50) marks a first for the English heritage brand. It’s one of their first ever special blend teas. Assam and Ceylon black tea leaves unite, with ground Indian vanilla pods. As the brand makes clear, the vibrant tea is strong enough to hold up to milk, or sherry. It’s also available in Penhaligon’s shops worldwide.

Canadian Maple Rye Whisky

So much about Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky ($26) works, making it a superb example of the possibilities of flavored whiskies. It’s tasty, high proof, reasonably priced and it mixes well into cocktails. The brand sourced blended rye from the oldest distillery in Western Canada and added in just enough “Canada 1 Light” maple syrup to offer authentic flavor. It’s not saccharine or fake, it’s not overwhelming and keep in mind, this is a potent 98.6 proof, so it’s no joke. The dark rye notes shine through and it offers heartier-than-expected mouthfeel.

Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish + Game

In Hudson, New York, James Beard Award–winning chef Zakary Pelaccio continues to innovate and inspire in the local food movement through his restaurant Fish + Game. With co-author Peter Barrett, Pelaccio outlines Fish + Game’s relationship to food (and nature) by way of seasonal recipes and profiles of producers. An incredibly beautiful cookbook, “Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish + Game” ($34) is more than a collection of dishes and their steps; it’s a visual guide to an important culinary movement.

Heat Things Up Gift Bundle

A bundle of spicy sweetness, Farm to People’s Heat Things Up kit ($70) includes everything from a mole chocolate bar to raspberry jalapeño jam. Some of the components can be consumed on their own, but many (like the hot honey and the aforementioned jam) can be used to punch up other treats (or, we suppose, eaten by the spoonful). Farm to People unites products from small-batch producers so it’s easy to feel good when your tongue is burning up. It also all comes in a reusable wooden crate.

Trees Knees Coffee Maple

Bottled in Brooklyn, Trees Knees Coffee Maple syrup ($14) is what happens when organic Grade A maple syrup gets a Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Blend infusion. There’s a delectable richness that can complement breakfast and beyond—with noticeable dessert-like qualities. Bushwick Kitchen takes the utmost care with their products and this one truly reflects that.

1530 Rosa Blanco Tequila

Don’t let the pink hue fool you, this is a tequila—and a good one at that. While aging in Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels has lent the agave spirit ($62) its pink color and a light nose of the wine, the flavor is that of a premium blanco with light floral notes. It’s delicate and quite easy to sip neat.

Fuji Apple Caramels

With only a handful of ingredients (including white chocolate and natural Fuji apple flavor), Sugarfina has produced petite Fuji Apple Caramels ($8) that contain both the crispness of the fruit and richness of the sweet syrup. It’s another elegant candy from the brand, and while each piece carries just enough flavor, it’s quite easy to finish the entire package.

Peck of Pickles Taster

For the pickle lover, there’s no set quite as fresh and diverse as Mouth’s Peck of Pickles taster ($94), featuring five different delights. From Epic Pickles’ Old Bay Pickles to Habanero Horseradish Dills from the Real Dill, there’s a substantial variation in everything from heat to sweetness. As with all of Mouth’s offerings, these products are small-batch and hand-selected.

Vaso Vino

Designed by Daniele ‘Danne’ Semeraro for Sempli, the Vaso Vino decanter ($50) aerates wine—up to an entire bottle’s worth—in a striking and uncommonly tilted shape. The hand-blown, lead-free crystal decanter carefully rests on it side, allowing the liquid to breathe but also makes for an easy pour from its circular top.

Images courtesy of respective brands