I've already done my holiday shopping, but if you're looking for some ideas, here's a list of books, food, and drinks that have crossed my path this year that would be suitable for any bon vivant in your life.
Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl -- this definitive book by cocktail historian David Wondrich details the history of punch and includes recipes that will keep you and your friends full of cheer at any party.
Left Coast Libations -- this book from our friends on the West coast contains 100 delicious looking cocktail recipes and drink porn galore.
Salt to Taste -- although technically this crossed my path last year, I've turned to it repeatedly since then for cooking guidance from Hearth's Marco Canora.
Class at Pizza a Casa -- Mark Bello will teach you how to make kick-ass pizza (and now pasta, too), at home. That said, even if you don't take up pizza making in your spare time, going to Mark's class is worth it just to share in his passion and enthusiasm. Plus, there's lots of pizza!
Karlsson's Gold Vodka -- For all those vodka naysayers out there who whine about vodka having no flavor, you may want to check out this potato vodka. I had the opportunity to go to a tasting where the Karlsson's team had us taste several of their vodkas, each made with a different type of potato, which had a huge impact on the flavor profile of each. Karlsson's Gold is lovely on the rocks with a hit of freshly ground black pepper.
Flying Pigs Farm -- This may seem like an odd gift, but every time I try a new product from Flying Pigs Farm I am less likely to buy my pork from anyone else. Chorizo, bacon, pork rillettes, chicharrones, Canadian Bacon -- pick some up at the Union Square Greenmarket and get cooking.
Beefeater Winter -- Beefeater's latest limited seasonal launch has notes of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and pine, making it ideal for winter cocktails. I used it in a negroni last week and it married beautifully with the Campari and sweet vermouth.
Cut Brooklyn -- Want a gift that will last a lifetime? Check out these beauties. Hand crafted knives made from all-American materials by artisan Joel Bukiewicz.
Firelit Coffee Liqueur -- Made with Blue Bottle Coffee, this small-batch liqueur from California was handed to me with a warning about its caffeine level and raves about its deep coffee flavor. Since I just got it last night, I haven't tasted it yet, but I'm pretty excited to try it. Maybe tonight -- hoping it doesn't keep me up!
Bacon Marmalade -- run, do not walk, to Whisk to buy this addictive condiment. You'll mix it into eggs, slather it on a grilled cheese, or maybe just eat it with a spoon to savor its smoky, sweet and tangy goodness.