The 29 Best Food and Drink Gifts for All Palates
Our favorite cookware of the year, as well as edible and drinkable presents
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A book of cooking inspiration from a Michelin-starred destination restaurant. A jar of chili oil that will have steam shooting out of your ears. A bottled Old Fashioned that really, truly is as good as a freshly mixed cocktail. You’ll find all of that and more in our list of the best food and drink gifts this holiday season, because a food and drink gift guide isn’t just for connoisseurs and gourmands — it’s for everyone.
In choosing our favorite cookware of the year, as well as glassware, cutlery and some edible delights, we’ve also endeavored to make sure there are gifts for all types of recipients. If you’re shopping for a significant other who always seems to outdo you, there are big-ticket items that’ll impress. But if you’re simply looking for stocking stuffers or presents that are good, but not too good, for coworkers and colleagues, we’ve got you covered there too (scroll down until you see the cookies).
Whether you pick up the $1,000 espresso machine (with the perfect beans!) or a $29 pack of those aforementioned softball-sized cookies, the common denominator here is that every single thing on this list will lead to a tastier holiday for all. Especially the raclette melter.
Made In Dutch Oven
Heirloom-quality cookware is always an expert-level gifting choice, but so is seeking out that hidden gem your recipient didn’t even know they wanted. This handsome Dutch oven from Made In, which we tested earlier this year, ticks both of those boxes. It is made in France, designed to last and won’t set you back as much as the brands everyone knows. Our tip? Get it in the newest linen color, which will look great in any kitchen.
W&P Cocktail Ice Bundle
There are tons of ice molds out there that will elevate homemade cocktails. However, this new set from W&P not only combines multiple shapes (cubes and spheres) but ups the ante with intricate patterns (pyramids, ripples, petals and crystals). Pick this up for the amateur bartender in your life, or bring it as a host gift, get to the party early and put it to use right away.
Verdant Tea Foundational Full Gongfu Set
They’re a tea person, it’s their caffeine vehicle of choice and they know the difference between oolong and pu’er. Now, help them continue their journey with this gongfu set from Verdant Tea. “Gongfu” refers to a type of Chinese tea ceremony, which can be translated as “leisure tea.” In short, this set (featuring a gaiwan brewer, tea tray, pitcher, strainer and two cups with saucers) facilitates a loose-leaf preparation that is all about comfort and contemplation. If they already have favorite teas they’ll want to brew, great. If they need some to get started, add on Verdant Tea’s single-origin tasting kit, which showcases the best of what the company has to offer: complex and tasty teas direct from growers in China.
Honest John Bitters Sampler Set
I’d wager that 99% of home bartenders could stand to be more adventurous with their bitters. You could certainly give them a bottle of your secret weapon lemongrass cardamom, but what if your recipient isn’t a fan of your favorite tincture? Then they’ve got yet another bottle gathering dust on the bar cart. Give the gift of choice with this 10-bottle set of bitters from Honest John. The botanical mixtures are made in Utah, range from the aforementioned flavor to orange to black walnut, and come with two coasters as well as a recipe book so they’ll know what the hell to do with them.
Flint and Tinder x Brad Leone Waxed Apron
If they’re a fan of Brad Leone’s delightful Bon Appétit videos, then stop right there, your gifting search is over! If they’ve never heard of the guy, that’s fine too, because this waxed sailcloth number is enviable even without the niche celebrity co-sign. If you know a grilling, baking, canning or fermenting fan who doesn’t own an apron they like, get them this rugged version. They’ll actually look forward to wearing it.
Diletta Bello Espresso Machine
If you really want to impress a coffee aficionado, get them the Italian-made Bello Espresso Machine from Diletta, a new in-house brand from Seattle Coffee Gear. This top-rated shot-puller features manual controls, so it’s ideal for the at-home barista who’s excited by the process of fine-tuning their espresso. Once they do, they may never go back to the local cafe. Bonus: At the beginning of November, Diletta launched a limited-edition version of the Bello in Mazarine Blue with walnut accents from Saint Anthony Industries. Careful, other countertop appliances may get jealous.
Dogwood Bear Hug Espresso
Whether you’re pairing these beans with the Diletta Bello above or stuffing them in a stocking for use in their broken-in espresso machine, this roast from Dogwood Coffee is sublime. The chocolate, caramel and brown sugar notes are just what they’ll be craving for on winter mornings, and this may be a gateway bean for them into the rest of this roaster’s offerings.
Levain Bakery Signature Cookie Assortment
Levain’s drool-worthy cookies are, hands down, the greatest default gift of all. If you find yourself grasping at straws for what to get a faraway friend, colleague, acquaintance or relative, grasp these ginormous baked goods instead. Levain bakes them fresh, boxes them up beautifully, then ships them quickly to their destination. If you already know their favorite flavor, skip this assortment and pick the cookies yourself.
Graza Olive Oil Subscription
We’ve had the chance to taste and cook with Graza’s olive oil, so we can say from experience that an olive oil subscription really isn’t as weird as it sounds. In fact, this two-pack of Spanish oils (“Drizzle” for finishing, “Sizzle” for cooking) is a revelation. The squeeze bottles are a welcome reprieve from the unwieldy leviathans at the grocery store, and the oils themselves are fragrant, complex and full of flavor.
Our Place Night + Day Glasses
You probably know Our Place for their Always Pan. But our favorite release from the brand might just be these Night + Day Glasses, which have become the tumblers we reach for most often whether we’re making a negroni or spritz, or simply hosting dinner and need a simple but effective choice for the table. They’re stackable, perfectly sized at 12 oz. and come in a variety of appealing colors (we like this mix for gifting, but you can get matching sets too).
Boska Copper and Concrete Raclette Melter
Cheese boards are boring, at least when faced with the awesome majesty of a raclette melter. What’s that, never seen one of these in action before? First, you take a quarter wheel of raclette (which you’ll want to buy from your local cheesemonger) and stick it on the copper base, then turn on the heater and watch the cheese begin to ooze. That’s when you grab a knife and scrape off the melty, golden goodness onto bread, meats, vegetables, anything you like. It’s part culinary marvel, part party trick, and an unforgettable gift (especially when you include the cheese).
Lateral Objects Gradient Glasses
Since you won’t be shelling out for vacation packages to Acapulco, Mykonos or Bali, do the next best thing and get them these hand-blown gradient glasses with vibrant color palettes inspired by these and other beach cities around the world. They’re almost too pretty to drink from. Almost.
The Herbivorous Butcher Cookbook
A vegan cookbook that’s just as enticing for longtime plant-based eaters as it is for people who still chow down on burgers and BLTs? It finally exists, in the form of this collection of 75 recipes from the brother-sister duo behind the Herbivorous Butcher, a Minneapolis purveyor that offers meat-free meats, dairy-free cheeses and other previously impossible vegan marvels. Now, they reveal how to make them yourself, from basics (like steak and pepperoni) to full recipes (like fried chicken sandwiches and cherry-glazed ribs). Eat less meat without even realizing it.
Ooni Koda 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven
The Ooni Koda is the gift that keeps on giving (to you, the gift giver — an important point). The propane-powered pizza oven is a cinch to use, so there’s only a small learning curve before they’re churning out perfect 12-inch, Neapolitan-style pizzas in this 950-degree cooker. And guess who is getting regular invites to pizza night?
Noma 2.0: Vegetable, Forest, Ocean
Noma is less of a traditional restaurant than a culinary laboratory. (OK, sure, it’s also a restaurant, with three Michelin stars and a spot atop various “world’s best restaurants” lists over the years.) As such, this latest tome is more inspiration than step-by-step cookbook. Broken into three categories, and including breakdowns of almost 200 of the Danish outpost’s endlessly inventive dishes, this book will light a fire under those who are always searching for their next kitchen project.
Meater+ Wireless Thermometer
No host likes being confined to the kitchen while everyone else is carousing and no guest likes sitting down to dinner only for the turkey to be dry as a bone. The solution to both is the Meater+ Wireless Thermometer. Much more advanced than your standard digital thermometer, which still requires the cook to open the oven/grill/smoker and check the meat intermittently, the Meater+ gets inserted into the main of choice, an accompanying app recommends a goal temperature and cooking time, then the thermometer stays in during cooking to measure both internal and ambient temperature. No last-minute trips to Denny’s this holiday season.
Momofuku Ghost Pepper Chili Crunch
The variety pack of chili crunch available from Momofuku is a fun umami bomb to drop on anyone this holiday season. But if you’ve got a spice seeker in your life — someone who has braved Da Bomb hot sauce or the Paqui One Chip Challenge, someone who knows the Scoville scale better than their times tables — consider this limited-edition Ghost Pepper jar the next stop on their chili pepper pilgrimage. As the brand writes, “This is not for novices. If you like it hot, you’ve met your match.” Noted.
Smithey No.11 Deep Skillet With Glass Lid
You can’t go wrong gifting Smithey’s best-in-class cast iron, which is why we’re recommending it again this year. However, this 11-inch skillet is new for 2022, and it’s designed to be the one cast iron pan you need in your arsenal. It’s deeper than most skillets (2.5 inches), but not too deep, so you can fry without dousing your stovetop. It comes with a glass lid, so steaming and braising is no problem. And the curved walls make the cooking experience more like your nonstick pans, though this one will actually last forever. If you want to make it extra special, get it engraved on the bottom.
Filson 125th Anniversary Glass Tumbler Set
If they’re sitting down to a glass of single malt whiskey after a weekend of hunting, fishing or camping and pouring said liquid gold into whatever mug they have on hand, help them out with these anniversary tumblers from Filson. Etched in Ferndale, Washington, this set of two glasses celebrates the 125-year milestone the outfitter reached this year. Now that’s worth a cheers.
Toddy Cold Brew System
Sometimes simpler is better. Such is the case with the Toddy Cold Brew System, an idiot-proof coffee maker for those who drink cold brew year-round, even in the depths of winter. There’s no app, no plug, no wifi-connectivity, just a brewing bucket, filters and a decanter — and eventually some of the best, easiest cold brew that’ll ever get them wired.
The Bartender’s Manifesto
Subtitled “How to Think, Drink and Create Cocktails Like a Pro,” this book from Toby Maloney and the bartending staff at The Violet Hour discusses the five “Mother Drinks” that serve as templates for almost every tipple at their Wicker Park cocktail den. In other words, the recipient will be able to master five types of drinks, and suddenly have a whole new world to play with in their home bartending endeavors. You can read our interview with Maloney here.
Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned 2022 Blend
Last year saw the debut of Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned, a ready-to-drink Old Fashioned riff with luxury packaging, a limited number of bottles and an ingredients list that really went for premium takes on the classic ingredients. This year, it returns (at only 3,000 bottles) with a blend that includes a 9- and 15-year Kentucky straight bourbon, a 6-year Indiana rye, Grade A Tahitian vanilla, single-estate Ecuadorian cacao, Seville orange peel, wild-harvested gentian root, fair trade Malawian Demerara and Afghan saffron. Add in an orange zest atomizer along with the bottle and you’ve got an extremely elevated take on a classic drink — one that your giftee will hopefully share.
Cocktail Kingdom Extra Large Stemmed Mixing Glass
An extra-large vessel (three- to four-drink capacity) for those times — like holiday get-togethers — when you want to make an elevated drink for more than yourself. Also, you can assemble your entire cocktail kit by adding on, as recommended, a 40cm spoon and the Julep or Antique-Style Hawthorne Strainer.
Whether they obsess over every kitchen gizmo they see on TikTok or pine for intentional design, they’ll appreciate the Balmuda Toaster. It may look like your run-of-the-mill toaster oven, but what sets this Japanese appliance apart is the steam. Before starting, you must pour a small amount of water into a funnel in the top, which will be turned into steam to facilitate a toasting process that provides a crisp exterior without burning and while retaining the interior fluffiness. Toast, pizza, pastries, it’s all fair game. Oh, and it can act as a regular oven as well with temperature settings from 350 to 450 degrees.
KeepCup Helix Kit
Cutting out single-use containers is a worthy cause, but if you’re like us, you may find yourself having to choose between bringing along your to-go coffee mug, giant water bottle or straw-equipped cup. Instead of filling up your bag with drink containers, pick up KeepCup’s new modular Helix Kit which can transform from a mug into a bottle with a few twists. Great for hot or cold drinks, and available in a variety of colors.
Bokksu Japanese Snack Box
Skip the chocolate oranges and candy canes. This year, give them something they legitimately cannot get anywhere else: 20+ Japanese snacks shipped straight from their country of origin. Bokksu is basically a subscription box version of your friend who travels to Japan and brings home all those delightful, zany, impossible-to-get-stateside treats, from chili oil chips to freeze-dried white-chocolate strawberries. But you don’t have to sign them up for a monthly subscription — just gift them one box and they can sign up later if they crave more.
Takashi Murakami Flower Pancake Pan
Murakami’s famous smiling flowers broke out of the artist’s own oeuvre long ago and entered into pop culture, eventually adorning products that range from Hublot watches to Vans sneakers. The greatest consumer interpretation we’ve seen so far is this joy-inducing pancake pan, which is only available from MoMA’s store. There’s a round pan available as well with the classic design, but we like this pixelated version best. Beware: This will increase the pancake consumption of the owner by at least 100%.
Kuhn Rikon Colori+ Cheese Knife Set
An artfully plated cheese board is all well and good until it comes time for your guests to cut off their own slices. Standard butter knives are too dull, but those in their knife block are likely unnecessarily large. Enter: Kuhn Rikon’s miniature blades, which are designed for just this predicament. The mini cleaver is for hard cheeses and similarly tough accompaniments, the serrated fork is for bread and soft cheeses, and the perforated knife is designed to slide right through sticky cheeses that otherwise turn into a gooey mess.
West Elm Eden Wood Double-Handled Serve Board
Friends don’t let friends serve charcuterie on cutting boards. Help them up their hosting game with this acacia wood serving board from West Elm. The handles on each side mean they’ll have no problem ferrying it from kitchen to anywhere in the house (or even covering it in Saran Wrap and bringing it in the car to another holiday party), and the handsome wood details mean there will certainly be photo evidence of their culinary prowess.
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