The time has come to start thinking about stocking stuffers and colorful wrapping paper, and there's no better way to please than with the gift of deliciousness. We're talking fancy condiments, gourmet coffee, cured meats and boxes overflowing with tasty treats. Whether you're looking for a present for the food-focused teacher, hard-to-shop-for relative or hungry best friend, all ten of these Colorado-made goodies prove perfect under the tree and on the table.
You're Nog Going to Believe This
Have your eggnog and make it local, too, with the $110 kit from Dry Land Distillers (471 Main Street, Longmont) and Longmont Dairy. This limited-edition set includes everything you need to make an uber-rich, boozy and season-appropriate batch of eggnog: the distillery's special recipe, a half bottle each of Dry Land Heirloom Wheat Whiskey and Limited Release Holiday Cane Rum, Longmont Dairy heavy whipping cream and whole milk, farm-fresh eggs, raw sugar, organic vanilla beans and whole nutmeg. The only caveat is that you must pick it up from the distillery in Longmont, but once you do, you have a basket full of goodness that will serve the festive tipple for about fifteen people.
Meat the Best Gift Ever
There's sure to be a meat-loving person in your life who would salivate over chef Bill Miner's wonderful sausages, cured meats and salumi from Il Porcellino Salumi (4324 West 41st Avenue) in the Berkeley neighborhood. The holiday gift box comes with a mini charcuterie board, three full-sized salumi and serving tips. Choose from themed sets including the heat seeker, with spiced juniper, Diablo and Spanish chorizo; the signature pack, which has finocchiona, saucisson sec and queso salumi; or build your own. Each runs $60, and you can upgrade to four salumi for $20 more. Call the shop at 303-477-3206 or visit in person. Shipping is also available for an additional $20 per box.
May Your Holidays Be Chile
Two beloved Denver institutions have teamed up this year to make a smoky, sweet and tasty hot sauce. Enter Chipotle Joe, a condiment created by Pablo's Coffee and Merfs Condiments using chipotle peppers, cold brew coffee and cherries. It's the perfect size to stick in a stocking or as a casual gift for all those spice-loving co-workers at your office. Make sure to grab a bottle for your house, as well; the sauce is something you will want to treat yourself to whether you've been naughty or nice. Pick it up for $5.25 a bottle at Farm Girl Foods, Marczyk Fine Foods, Cheese and Provisions, Jelly Cafe and all three of Pablo's Coffee shops and online at pabloscoffee.com.
A Passport to Good Times
Anyone would love to get the winter-edition Denver Passport, a handy booklet filled with two-for-one drink "coupons" you can use at 64 bars, coffee shops, distilleries and restaurants. Venues and specials include whiskey flights at Laws Whiskey House, New Saigon cocktails at Linger, tropical drinks at Ste Ellie and the spicy Cardi B. Hot cocktail at Smok. There's also a fun section dubbed "fika break," that Swedish tradition of having a coffee and sweet in the afternoon, which includes places like Rebel Bread, Method Collective and Sapor Coffee & Concepts. Aside from the obvious perks, what makes this such a great gift is that you look good handing it out and then your grateful friend takes you along to try everything. There are also Boulder and Colorado Springs editions, which you can order online for $25, or get a pack of the three covering Fort Collins and Mountains for $50. It's good now through April 15, so there's plenty of time to collect all the stamps.
Bake With Altitude
Local author Nicole Hampton has just released her first cookbook, Sugar High: Sweet and Savory Baking In Your High-Altitude Kitchen. Hampton, who lives in Denver and runs the popular cooking blog Dough-Eyed, has compiled more than 100 recipes for items such as honey-rosemary shortbread, brownie cheesecake, gingerbread, flaky pie crust, pizza dough, pumpkin-spice muffins and so much more. It's a great option for that new-to-Colorado baker who just can't figure out how to get the brownies to come out well, or for someone who just loves working in the kitchen and wants solid recipes to try out. The book retails for $24.99 and can be found at most bookstores.
Brownies for a Good Cause
With Danconias you can have your cake and eat it, too — that is, in the sense that you get to give a really great present and help out people in need. Each box of truffle brownies is made by the crew at Community Table Kitchen, and when you buy a box, proceeds support low-income adults by providing them with employment and housing as they work to get back on their feet. The brownies are excellent, too: chewy, fresh and bite-sized. Each sixteen-piece or thirty-piece gift box comes with an assortment of flavors such as chocolate raspberry, espresso, almond toffee and salted caramel. Prices start at $24.99, and you can order online at Danconias.com and have the gift shipped locally or nationwide.
Shake Your Chicken
For years, Savory Spice has been churning out great products in Colorado, and this year the company worked with chef Alex Seidel to make a Chook Chicken Salt for his upcoming restaurant, Chook, which will specialize in Australian-style rotisserie chicken. Home chefs can sample the flavor by getting a canister of Chicken Salt for $9.95 and then adding it to just about anything that needs an umami kick, including that empty stocking hanging by the fireplace. Not into chicken salt? Another great option from Savory Spice is the Smoked and Infused gift set that includes four small jars filled with whiskey-barrel-smoked pepper and whiskey-barrel-smoked sugar for $29.95. Find both options in the Savory Spice shop locations and online.
Perk Up the Holidays With Coffee
True, coffee doesn't come from Colorado, or anywhere close for that matter, but there are businesses that import, roast and serve up some delicious java. One place to look out for this holiday season is Boyer's, a family-owned company based in Denver that runs Boca Java. Who in your life would benefit from the Boca Java Gourmet Coffee Lover's set, a box featuring three bags of coffee, swizzle sticks and a spoon to measure out the grounds? Perhaps that favorite teacher who greets your kid at 8 a.m., your hardworking mother, a sleep-deprived friend who just had a baby, or anyone else with a penchant for the hot stuff. Order this or other gift sets starting at $34.99 online at bocajava.com.
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A Sweet All-Colorado Gift Set
How can you say "Happy Holidays" and "I love Colorado" all in one gift? Order a box full of locally made goods from Colorado Crafted. And no, we don't mean some cheesy socks and an ugly shirt; instead, owner Sarah Welle has worked to make unique, modern and really cool combos such as the tea set with Two Leaves and a Bud tea, whiskey barrel-aged-honey from Bee Squared Apiaries and a special mug. Another winner is the Lodgepole Box, which comes with goods from Daydream Dessert Co. out of Boulder, Red Camper, Helliemae's and a Colorado heart tea towel by Counter Couture. Pick from a pre-selected combination or customize your own. Options are endless, as is the joy of giving.
Relax With CBD Tea
It's Colorado, so of course the world of weed and food intersect in the best ways possible. For example, the calming teas and coffees by Stillwater Beverages, which meld herbs with herb. Take a sip of this low-dosage drink (each has 10mg of CBD and .25mg of THC) while enjoying the flavor of fresh mint, green tea and coffee. That's right, there's a coffee option, too. Each canister comes with ten servings for $22. Pick up at dispensaries all over town, but make sure the adult you give this to knows exactly what they are getting.