The Shining Knife Rack
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Keep your wit and knives sharp with this badass knife rack. Makes me happy every time I reach for my Wüsthof.
Bo Winston on Etsy
Every holiday bar should be stocked with the basics, but a bottle of this cocktail-friendly, unique spirit will round out every host’s selection. I love mixing it with just a bit of honey simple syrup and a splash of soda water.
Tattersall Distilling (available at Twin Cities area liquor stores like South Lyndale Liquors)
The holidays are busy, and this year we’ve got a new baby in the house. So, I’m tired. Way, nearly blind tired. Plus, I’m freaking out on getting everybody a nutritious meal. Enter Local Crate. Local food, recipes from wildly talented local chefs, pulled together by an efficient team. These are great for the local food fan, burgeoning cook — or anyone with a new baby! (Hint? Hint. Hint.)
$54/approx. 2 meals per week
The New Mediterranean Table by Sameh Wadi
Have you been to Saffron lately? Not only is Wadi killing it at Lyn/Lake’s World Street Kitchen and working on a gourmet ice cream shop (MilkJam), but the food at his first restaurant is unbelievably better than ever. Want to take a taste of what he cooks at home? This gorgeous, easy-to-follow book makes it possible.
Available at major retailers and Wadi’s Saffron restaurant.
Red Table Meats
Ages in the making (see what I did there?). Mike Phillips’ cured meats are the best on the market and now available all over the Twin Cities. Plus, the visual of showing up to a party with your sausage out is always hilarious.
France 44/St. Paul Cheese Shop
Dashfire Brandied Cherries
After holiday meals with the family, my brother-in-law, Andy, mixes up Manhattans and holds court, telling family tales that have become lore. I always make sure there are some decent cherries on hand because I’m (surprising to no one) a snob about these things. For a desperate amount of time, Dashfire’s were off the market, but I’m thrilled to say that the Saint Paul-based company’s spiced fruit is back and better than ever. Buy in bulk. They go well with everything.
Thomas Liquors (and other local booze outlets)
There is nothing sadder than reaching the bottom of a Bittercube bitters bottle, and it happens with a shocking amount of frequency in my house. It’s hard to pick a favorite flavor, that’s why I’m so smitten with the Trinity bottle. Plus, it’s huge!
Blue Henn Tonic
I have a friend who makes her own tonic for gin and tonics. Although she and I got properly tossed on a few before-noon versions of the drink this year, I find that incredibly annoying. I don’t make, I consume (at least when it comes to things behind the bar). This is by far the best store-bought tonic I’ve sampled; it’s even lovely without the booze, over ice with club soda. Plus, it’s locally made.
Solo Vino (other outlets)