[image-2]What do you buy the picky MIL, the niece who has everything, or the friendly neighbor whose fence you accidentally keep backing into? Dear readers, when it comes to holiday shopping, when in doubt, keep it simple. If it’s edible or drinkable, you’re halfway there. Made locally? Jackpot. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 food and bev related gifts that will suit just about everyone on your list, from vegan teetotalers to carnivorous lushes.
Oft-deemed the “immortal health elixir,” kombucha is a fermented tea that will make your mouth pucker. Founded by Emily Phillips, Jeff Lowe, and Zach Smith, Dalai Sofia is a relatively new local kombucha churning biz, popping up at the Mt. Pleasant, West Ashley, and Folly Beach farmers markets. They currently offer three booches: Fat Beets, the G-Spot, and Bee Well Tonic. We recommend the Fat Beets — made with local beets, tumeric, ginger, thyme, and lemon it’s made to detoxify, ridding the body of toxins and excess hormones. The perfect post Thanksgiving pre Xmas pick me up, no?
Forget everything you think you know about hard cider; Ship’s Wheel is not producing sickly sweet, Woodchuck-esque libations. This family run locally based biz sources apples from upstate New York, where the apples are “pressed right on the orchard.” So far, the Jamison family offers three deliciously dry options — original blend, dry-hopped, and summer splash. We suggest a six-pack of the dry-hopped; at 6.9 percent ABV, it’s got a punch, it’s bubbly, not-too-sweet, AND gluten free, so everyone at your table can imbibe. Pick up a pack at Total Wine.
Low Tide Brewing Crowler
Low Tide Brewing is the watering hole Johns Islanders flock to for friendly service, laid-back vibes, and a frequently rotating lineup of damn good beer. Grab a flight at the bar for yourself, then order up one of the stylish crowlers (read our piece on the can/growler mashup here) for $9-$12 for your favorite beer sippin’ buddy. From pale ales to dopplebocks you can’t go wrong with any pour, but if you wait until Black Friday, you’ll be able to score a decadent holiday special: the famous Coconut Pete’s Chai Brown Ale. It’s great for the season, with notes of clove, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, and vanilla.
[image-1] Black Tap Coffee Weekly Subscription
If you’re shopping for a coffee fiend who never seems to have time to sit back and enjoy a good cuppa, Black Tap’s weekly or bi-weekly subscription program is hot bean heaven. Give the gift that keeps on giving and your busy friend buzzin’ with a 12 oz. hand selected bag of freshly roasted whole bean coffee that the shop is “really digging that week.” The subscription can be cancelled free of charge anytime, and active subscribers (ahem, you) receive an additional 10 percent off retail purchases online or in-store.
Bittermilk Charred Grapefruit Tonic with Bulls Bay Sea Salt
Bar accessories and mixers make easy, lovely gifts for the booze hounds, err, hostesses in your life. Vodka drinkers will do well to pour this inventive tonic in their highballs for the best damn greyhound they’ve ever mixed up. Produced by local cocktail mixer company Bittermilk, this charred grapefruit tonic with bulls bay sea salt is made with fresh lime and lemon juices, Florida golden cane sugar, charred grapefruit peel, cinchona bark, and spices. Purchase the $15 bottle online or at Caviar & Bananas, Mercantile and Mash, The Wine Shop of Charleston, Total Wine, Whole Foods, Coastal Cupboard, The Brew Cellar, and a number of other area retailers.
Red Clay Hot Sauce
If you are shopping for a condiment-crazed loved one, a bottle of Red Clay hot sauce is just the spicy ticket. Red Clay is the “only hot sauce born in southern bourbon barrels and cold-pressed to retain subtle and firm flavors.” Go for the $8 bottle of Original, made with fresno chili peppers, white wine vinegar, filtered water, kosher salt, and xantham gum. Hot tip: the Original pairs especially well with avocado toast and scrambled eggs. Purchase online or at any number of area retailers, including Caviar & Bananas, Earth Fare, Veggie Bin, The Daily, and Mercantile and Mash.
[embed-1] Grey Ghost Cookies
Don’t let the name spook you: this locally owned and operated biz is named after the legendary Grey Ghost, a friendly Pawleys Island spirit who would alert residents of impending storms. Katherine Frankstone’s sweet treats have taken off, featured in the likes of Red Book and Vogue. Fame aside, the cookies are addictive; during hurricane Irma we lived off of the chocolate espresso when the power was out. Grey Ghost is sold online and at many area retailers — purchase a bag for everyone on your list, and save a few for Santa.
Charleston Spice Company
Need a gift for the chef-in-training who always serves you impeccable meals? Thank them for their culinary service with a fun blend from the Charleston Spice Company. The website has a feature where you can choose one word, i.e. “poultry” “pickling” “baking” etc. and the site will take you to the perfect range of spices to complement the dish. Order online, or find a bottle at Johns Island, Downtown, West Ashley, and Summerville farmers markets.
Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse
Cheese is always in good taste. The Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse is a “true artisan cheese producer” with products that are “hand poured, cultured, mixed, molded, salted, aged and wrapped all by hand” on location in Charleston. They use low temperature pasteurized milk from Hickory Hill cows located in Edgefield, S.C., and raw whole milk from Green Grocer Jersey cows located on Wadmalaw Island. The Chardonnay Wash ($30 for 11 oz.) would be the perfect gift and or contribution to a pot luck. This semi-hard cheese is aged approximately eight weeks and absorbs the characteristics of Chard, making it crisp and oaky. Order online or visit the cheesemongers at a number of local farmers markets.
[image-3] Mercantile and Mash Meat Box
A carnivore’s delight can be found at Mercantile and Mash. Now, this is by far the priciest gift on our list, so only commit if you really truly love the meat eater for whom you’re shopping. For $350 (three month subscription) or $600 (six month subscription) your loved one will receive a box with three to four dinners-for-two inside, with cuts of meat including steaks, roasts, pates, smoked meats, charcuterie, sausage, and ground meat, plus house mustards, jams, and steak sauces.