We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If you give someone the gift of food and drink over the holidays, there’s a good chance some of it will end up back in your mouth. That’s a cash-back situation if there ever was one, and just one of the reasons why blocks of single-origin chocolate and sticks of artisan salami will never go out of style at this time of year.
But just because it’s not edible or potable doesn’t mean some of these items shouldn’t be high on your own list this year. From a new-school iron skillet befitting of your industrial-chic apartment, to the ultimate wool blanket for fireside sipping, we’ve rounded up everything you need to take your gourmandizing lifestyle to the next level—assuming, of course, that you’ve already ordered a lifetime supply of cheeseburger t-shirts FWF pop-up shop.
Carry-On Cocktail Kit ($24)
We’ve shown you some tips for improving your in-flight drinking experience in the past, so you’re probably already a pro at making a mile-high Manhattan. But this nifty carry-on cocktail kit is a good way to convince your favorite boozehounds that they don’t have to settle for V8 Bloody Marys anymore. The security-friendly package—a collaboration between W&P Design and PUNCH—comes with everything they need to make two Old-Fashioneds in the sky, including cane sugar, aromatic bitters, and a mini stirring spoon. Just add a nip of whiskey and enjoy. Buy it here.
Christmas party box from Olympic Provisions ($95)
That holy temple of domestic charcuterie, Olympic Provisions, has your back when it comes to impressive holiday-meat platters. Definitely throw down for the “party box,” which includes: salami seasoned simply with salt (saucisson d’Arles); traditional salami spiked with garlic and black pepper (saucisson sec); and salami flavored with warm baking spices (saucisson d’Alsace). In addition to the meat sticks, the wooden crate contains country-style pork pistachio pâté, creamy pork liver mousse, and pork rillettes made with pork-shoulder confit—because you can never have too much pork during the holidays. Buy it here.
Japanese Cast-Iron Bottle Opener ($27)
If your buddy has been hoarding bottles of Dark Lord or Pliny the Younger, he deserves a bottle opener to match the seriousness of his cellar collection. Made by Nobuho Miya—in a centuries-old studio—this Japanese design is modern without being too flashy or too minimal. Since craft beer balances traditional craftsmanship with contemporary flair, the opener will fit in nicely with any brewhound’s bottle stash. Buy it here.
Bacon-making kit from Williams-Sonoma ($40)
Have you always dreamed of making your own bacon, but thought it was better left to the pros? Nonsense. Start with fresh pork belly, then use William Sonoma’s curing blend to transform it into flavorful bacon, ready to fry up with eggs first thing in the morning. Buy it here.
Stanley 8 Oz Flask ($23)
Flasks, like ties, are a holiday gift that too many people screw up by overthinking it. No one needs a novelty flask that only a frat boy would find amusing, or a ceramic flask that costs more than your watch. Stanley gets it right, giving you all the necessary details—odorless stainless steel, retro design, rustproof finish—without any extraneous bells and whistles. Buy it here.
“The Genealogy of Wine” poster from Pop Chart Lab ($38)
Between pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinotage, wine can get pretty confusing. Pop Chart Lab has come out with a 39″-by-27″ poster that demystifies the connection between every major variety of grape—640, to be exact—so you can study up while swigging Müller-Thurgau in your living room. Buy it here.
Bodum Travel Press ($18)
Do you have friends so fanatical about caffeine that trips to cities without a Stumptown become fraught with anxiety? Shut them up with this travel-size French press, which can help turn any hotel room or business center into a third-wave coffee shop. Buy it here.
Tomr’s Tonic ($11)
If you’ve got an aunt who always order G&Ts and think she’s being super-fancy by asking for Fever Tree tonic water, open her eyes to a whole new world with this real-deal tonic syrup. Harkening back to the origins of the drink, when sailors used cinchona bark to extract anti-malarial quinine (and cut it with gin to make it palatable), the amber elixir produces a cocktail that’s as citrusy as it is bitter, with none of the artificial sweetness you get from regular tonic waters. Buy it here.
Holiday Ice Cream from Salt & Straw ($65 for 5 pints)
The cultish Portland-based ice-cream maker captures the flavors of the season with pints of peppermint cocoa, bourbon pecan pie, spiked eggnog, and mincemeat pie ice cream. The fifth limited-edition holiday flavor, Congressman Blumenauer’s Fruit Cake, is inspired by the Oregon representative’s 25-year-old recipe. All are available from November 28 through December 28. Buy it here.
Cherry Wood Citrus Juicer ($20)
After staring at screens small and large all day, it’s nice to preserve the kitchen as a sanctuary of real manual labor. This gorgeous, Italian-made cherry wood juicer combines old-world charm with new-world design language. The citrus it extracts will service lemon-ricotta pancakes, gin fizzes, and everything in between. And, if all else fails, it will look damn good perched on the countertop. Buy it here.
Finex Cast-Iron Skillet ($195)
As odious as KickStarter campaigns have become, sometimes remarkable ideas actually surface. Finex, a Portland-based manufacturer, has created a contemporary version of a true American classic: the cast-iron skillet. With a distinctive octagonal shape (each of those corners makes pouring liquids a whole lot easier) and polished stainless-steel spring handle (which cools fast, meaning no more burnt hands), it’s got an heirloom vibe without the hackneyed urban woodsman aesthetic. Buy it here.
70% single-origin chocolate holiday pack from Woodblock Chocolate ($45)
Everyone has at least one chocoholic to check off the list at this time of year. Skip the Ferrero Rocher and upgrade to this bean-to-bar chocolatier out of Portland, which just released a holiday ten pack of stocking stuffer-sized, 70% dark chocolate bars made with beans from Trinidad, Peru, and Madagascar. Buy it here.
Schmidt Brothers Cutlery Bonded Teak 8 Inch Chef Knife ($50)
“That’s not a knife. That’s a knife.” Every cook needs a blade. For those building their kitchen tool kit, an 8-inch chef’s knife is essential. With a handsome teak handle and trusty German blade, this Schmidt Brothers Cutlery version will become indispensable to your daily slicing and dicing. Buy it here.
High West Barrel-Aged Boulevardier ($55)
Holidays are all about laziness, and gifts should do for others what they could easily do for themselves—like whip up a classic cocktail. To help you achieve this goal, Utah’s High West Distillery has bottled both a barrel-aged Manhattan and our go-to tipple drink, the Boulevardier—a mix of bourbon, vermouth, and amaro that’s sort of the love child of a Manhattan and Negroni. Simply pour over over a big hunk of ice, add a lemon or orange twist, and enjoy. Buy it here.
Woolrich x Dogfish Head wool blanket ($145)
Two East Coast brands—one a stalwart of classic American apparel, the other a trailblazing craft brewery—teamed up to create one super-handsome, 100% soft wool blanket. This item is best enjoyed in front of a fireplace, with a bottle of 90 Minute IPA cracked and Strange Brew loaded up on the iPad. Buy it here.