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A book of 200 iconic cocktails from around the world. A bundle of cured Spanish meats. A coffee cake from a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef. 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.
The InsideHook 2023 Holiday Gift Guides
There’s no better feeling than giving that perfect holiday gift…and there’s no harder task than finding it. InsideHook is here to help.
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.
Whether you pick up the $400 Kudu grill or a $22 crystal mixing glass, the common denominator here is that every single thing on this list will lead to a tastier holiday for all. Especially the caviar tasting experience.
You haven’t had a chicken breast until you’ve made it in the Ninja Combi. We recently dry rubbed and air fried one in this multicooker, and it made for one of the crispiest and juiciest morsels we’ve ever had. It’s perfect for both the novice cook (maybe with their first apartment) and anyone who loves to meal prep.
Mercado Famous Grazer Bundle
The gift of cured meat is about as good as it gets, and this bundle of Spanish goodness from Mercado Famous is particularly yummy. It contains four different types of Ibérico pork, including jamón and chorizo.
Most Wonderful Wine Advent Calendar
Via Total Wine, enjoy 24 wines expertly curated from around the globe. Each daily sample is available in a generous 187ml bottle. While the selected vino itself is a surprise, it’s going to be good (and new every year). As one reviewer notes, “Have bought this item the past 3 years and love the variety of wines included.”
MacKenzie-Childs Large Courtly Check Enamel Oval Platter
For the host with the most, this hand-painted platter is a showstopper. Gift it early so they can display all their roasted holiday meats in style this season.
Hawaiian Host Holiday in Paradise Gift Set
The Maui-founded brand Hawaiian Host is the original chocolate-covered macadamia, not to mention the largest manufacturer of it in the world. Naturally, who wouldn’t want to unwrap this tropical medley of guilty pleasure paradise? The set includes six festive boxes, perfect for gift giving and treating yourself.
Corto Lemongrass & Basil Olive Oil
You certainly can’t go wrong when gifting a bottle of high-quality olive oil. Corto’s Lemongrass & Basil Olive Oil is made using the agrumato process, which means that the other ingredients are crushed simultaneously with the olives to achieve a vibrant, well-balanced oil they’ll want to use on everything.
Sofia x Catbird Tiny Wine Bottle Charm
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Sofia Wines partnered with Brooklyn darling Catbird to create this dainty solid 14K gold wine bottle charm. We can’t think of a more perfect gift for anyone who appreciates both good vino and fine jewelry.
Las Jaras Wines Waves 2022 Mixed Six Pack
Las Jaras makes some of our favorite wines, so we look forward to their yearly Waves release every year. This mixed box contains two cans each of red, white and rosé, all adorned with psychedelic label art by Jen Stark.
Cuisinart Multiclad Stainless 16″ Roasting Pan
This is one of the best roasting pans out there, perfect for both the experienced cook and someone who’s just starting to build out their kitchen tools. Give it to them early so they can cook holiday birds and roasts with ease.
Viski Pedestal Crystal Mixing Glass
Upgrade their bar cart with this elegant crystal mixing glass, and maybe they’ll make you a Martini or two.
Made In Limited Edition Ebony Wood Cleaver
This cleaver is heavy, sharp and cuts through meat and thick-skinned vegetables with ease — in fact, it’s kind of changed our lives. For the cook who has everything, you can’t go wrong with this beauty.
Fredericks and Mae Large Confetti Cutting Board
Boring kitchen tools be damned! This colorful cutting board is an icon for a reason — it’ll bring a pop of joyful color to the kitchen, whether they’re using it to prep ingredients or to display an array of tasty snacks.
Blue Cove Branzino
It’s not often you see canned branzino, and Blue Cove does it so right, especially with their delectable olive and herbs recipes. It’s the ultimate stocking stuffer for the conservas enthusiast.
Knob Creek & Smithey 18x Seasoned Skillet Set
This striking copper-hued cast-iron skillet is seasoned 18 times, 15 times more than Smithey’s traditional skillets. In the end, you’ll get a naturally nonstick 12” pan that’s worthy of display. Admittedly, if you want to pair this with Knob Creek 18, you’ll need (and want) to buy that separately.
Island Creek Oysters x Huckberry Caviar Tasting Experience
For the giftee with extra fancy taste, you can’t go wrong with a caviar tasting from Island Creek Oysters and Huckberry. The set includes three distinct caviars, Uruguayan horn spoon, caviar key and a tasting journal to help them on their roe journey.
Olio Piro A Taste of Luxury Pairing
Olio Piro is a newcomer in the elite world of ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, so they’re definitely ones to watch. Sample the Piro Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is cold-press from their own groves of 300-year-old olive trees, paired with 12-year aged Bonini Affinato Balsamic Vinegar.
Friends NYC Espresso Martini Candle
Friends is one of our favorite places to snag extra cool gifts, and this Espresso Martini Candle is our number-one choice for holiday giving. It looks and smells like the real thing, and they can even use the Martini glass for an actual cocktail when it’s done burning.
Nude Glass Savage Coupetini
This is one of the most elegant coupes we’ve seen, perfect for anyone who takes their stirred and stiff cocktails served up.
The Kudu Grill
For the grillmaster who’s ready to take the next step in their live-fire cooking journey, it doesn’t get better than the Kudu. Inspired by communal outdoor cooking in South Africa, the Kudu is easy to assemble and clean, too.
Umamicart Snack Subscription Box
Each month, this unique subscription box delivers a surprise box of treats from all over Asia. The box will consist of 15-20 snacks, from bags of chips and chocolates to even beverages, that they’ll likely never have tried before.
Dubost Laguiole Olivewood Steak Knives
Laguiole’s elegant steak knives always make a good impression, and this olivewood set will add an elegant touch to any table.
Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva
This Tuscan red is perfectly balanced, with just enough juicy fruit flavors to complement its pleasant, earthy tannins. Perfect for the host who’s preparing a festive holiday meal.
Forget coffee: Would you like a velvety smooth, European-style hot chocolate in under three minutes from a beautiful machine that’s the size of a kettle? Just fill the Velvetiser with your favorite milk, add a sachet of real chocolate flakes and press to let the machine do its work. Available in four stunning colors (copper, charcoal, platinum, white) and flavors include everything from classic and dark chocolate to salted caramel and pumpkin spice.
Mercado Wine Porrón
Make a show of serving your wine (or sangria) with this porrón one-liter pitcher, which are common around Spain. This one is made from hand-blown recycled glass; you simply hold it up and tip it towards you to create a steady stream. And yes, you can skip the glass and pour it straight into your mouth, but practice a bit first.
Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series Trio
These 17-year-old bourbons (Clermont, Frankfort, Boston) all feature the same mashbill and were laid down at the same time but are differentiated by where on the James B. Beam campus the barrels were aged. An excellent way to compare whiskeys purely on terroir and microclimates, it’s been difficult to get all three expressions until now, as the Trio features 200ml of each bourbon.
Smoke Boards Cocktail Smoker Kit
Bring your cocktail-smoking wizardry on the road with this well-reviewed portable kit, which includes a carrying case and three large containers of wood chips. And if your giftee wants to know what to make with a cocktail smoker, hey, we’ve got you covered.
Milk Bar Coffee-Cake Cake
The sweet shop from James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi has been wowing us for 15 years. You really can’t go wrong with anything here, but why not give a cake that has a little bit of everything? This one features vanilla cake layered with “cinnamon goo,” crunchy cinnamon streusel, pumpkin cheesecake filling and pumpkin frosting, with a coffee cake topping.
"Signature Cocktails" Book
In Signature Cocktails, author (and InsideHook contributor) Amanda Schuster spotlights 200 iconic drinks and offers both a history lesson and a recipe for each, with booze knowhow that extends back almost 600 years. All the cocktail images were specially commissioned as well, making this a beautiful (and easy-to-follow) drinks guide that’ll happily sit on your table.
We picked up one of these eye-catching bags recently while grabbing a bottle at the Virginia Distillery Co. and never had a worry that our American Single Malt was in jeopardy during our flight. Not only is it puncture- and leak-proof, it folds down when not in use and can accommodate a nice range of bottle shapes (short and squat ones, no, but otherwise longer bottles will fit). And all that protection is surrounded by a handsome leather and waxed cotton exterior.
Yeti Cocktail Shaker
A highly durable cocktail maker that’s just as nice in the outdoors as it would be in your home bar, this Yeti Rambler is a 20-ounce shaker that’s double-wall vacuum-insulated and sweat-proof (that’s the drink that’s sweating, not you). Available in multiple colors, this Rambler Shaker is also dishwasher-safe and features a simple twist cap that’ll make serving your drink a breeze. Have your giftee make you a few rounds.
Hella 5-Flavor Cocktail Bitters Set
The best way to get variety in your cocktails? Shake up your bitters game. Each set here from the Black-owned Hella Cocktail Co. features five 1.7-ounce bottles of Smoked Chili, Citrus, Aromatic, Orange and Mexican Chocolate.
Società Bona Furtuna Subscription Box
Bring traditional Italian flavors (and chef-curated recipes) to your giftee’s door each month. The November Box, for example, includes a copy of the new cookbook Crave, 100% Organic Chef’s Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ingredients to create recipes like tagliatelle with lamb sugo and an olive-oil fat-washed Old Country Old Fashioned.
High West A Midwinter’s Night Dram
This Utah distillery’s annual winter release is their Rendezvous Rye — which is a blend of MGP rye (95% rye, 5% barley malt) and High West distillate (80% rye, 20% malted rye) — finished in both Tawny and Ruby Port barrels. You’ll certainly get a holiday feeling when sipping this, which features notes of star anise, cherry, chocolate, cranberry, gingerbread and oak spice.
For the gadget-obsessed non-mixologist, this coaster makes your cocktail-making foolproof. You just select your desired drink in an app and start pouring; the Coaster will vibrantly illuminate and change colors to indicate when to start and stop.
No.3 Gin Perfect Martini Gift Set
A frequent “World’s Best Gin” winner, London’s No. 3 Gin helped create new glassware that takes design cues from the gin bottle — it has a delicate teal hue with a thin base and a thinner rim for more elegant sips (the glasses supposedly can retain coolness 50 times longer than a traditional Martini glass).
Woodford Reserve x Williams Sonoma Gift Crate
Consider this an instant Old Fashioned bar — this gift set features a custom-blended mixer, three kinds of bitters, cherries for garnishing and ice spheres for chilling, all in a reusable wooden crate. Be sure to pair it with some actual Woodford Reserve (sold separately).
Cut Above Bee’s Knees Cocktail Kit
If your friend, family member or loved one doesn’t drink or is about to head into Dry January, well, they still deserve a good (zero-alcohol) tipple. For this gift mocktail set, non-alc makers Cut Above partnered with Blind Tiger, a women-owned company that makes non-alcoholic cocktail mixers that have all-natural ingredients (and are low in sugar). Just pour over ice, add Cut Above and garnish with the California Crisps, included in the kit.
Flaviar Advent Calendar
Also known as “The Lost Art of Distillation: The Amber Kingdom” (which sort of sounds like a bad Indiana Jones sequel), Flaviar’s annual advent calendar features a whopping 24 whisk(e)y samples from eight different countries, plus two Glencairn glasses, tasting notes and a free year membership to Flaviar Black, which gets early access and special pricing on bottles.
Tempus Fugit Cocktail Cherries
Tempus Fugit Spirits recreates spirits the way they were originally produced in the 19th century. For these pre-Prohibition style cocktail garnishes, wild Amarena cherries were candied and preserved in Kirsch brandy and gum arabic.
Maman Salad Plates
NYC’s beloved French bakery Maman just launched its first tabletop line with Replacements.com — a collection of carefully archived and preserved china — and we can’t get enough of these blue and white vintage-inspired salad plates. They’re perfect for anyone who’s looking to channel the French countryside on their dining table.
Barrell Craft Spirits Gift Box
We’re big fans of this blended whiskey brand, but admittedly the bottles can be hard to find. This gift box features 100ml samples of four core Barrell products: Dovetail, Seagrass, Vantage and their newest batch release, Barrell Bourbon Batch 035. Dovetail in particular is a standout, a blend of whiskeys finished in blackstrap rum, Port, and Dunn Vineyards Cabernet barrels.
Air France French 90 Cocktail Kit
To celebrate their 90th birthday, Air France partnered with Cocktail Courier to create a French 90 cocktail, a twist on the French 75 made with Citadelle Gin, Champagne, lemon and strawberry lavender syrup. It’s an ideal gift for the jetsetter who loves an effervescent libation.
These tasty liqueurs from New York are crafted just once a year at the peak of the season to ensure you’re getting the full flavor of the fruits. They’re also crafted with many of the same recipes and techniques that the family owners have used for generations in Germany.
Sparkling Pointe 2016 Brut Magnum
Sparkling Pointe makes gorgeous Méthode Champenoise wines on the North Fork of Long Island with sustainably-grown grapes from their 40-acre vineyard. This bright bubbly is both crisp and creamy, perfect for any celebration this season.
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