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Katie Cannon / Eater Twin Cities

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The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Twin Cities Food Lovers

Never worry about “present face” again

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The gifting season has arrived along with the turkey feast here in the great frozen north. Now is the time to share the love of all things local food and drink with friends and family. Eater Twin Cities is here to help with this handy, carefully chosen, locally-focused holiday gift guide. Below are what all food and beverage lovers want, from the aspiring mixologist, to those far away longing for a taste of home, avid hunters, charitable hearts and even stuff just for people who like pretty things.

Below is the best in winter sipping spirits, Hell-baked bread, heaven-sent bourbon cake, candles that smell like cocktails, the dreamiest whiskey cups you’ve ever seen and even more useful present for friends near and far.

For even more gift ideas, check out Eater’s national gift guide next week. For now, read on for all that’s good, gorgeous and ready to wrap in Minnesota.

Hell’s Kitchen sausage bread and Angel Food Bakery’s whiskey caramel doughnut bread
©Katie Cannon Photography

Hell’s Kitchen Sausage Bread

This beloved subterranean restaurant with the subversive Ralph Steadman artwork has long-been a favorite stop for breakfast a brunch. One of the most irrisistible bites of breakfast food is the confounding sausage bread. It’s bread with the restaurant’s bison maple sausage baked right into the loaf. The only thing weirder than it sounds is how delicious it tastes. It’s a perfect taste of Minnesota weird. Buy frozen to ship or fresh to serve, $14 for a 1 lb. loaf. Purchase here.

Angel Food Bakery’s Whiskey Caramel Doughnut Bread Pudding Loaf

This name is all the good things packed into one delicious bite. This bakery is the sister company to Hell’s Kitchen, located on the skyway level and inside the Minneapolis airport. The treats out of here have a gonzo-style whimsy. This dish was featured on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets show and it is all of that and a shot of whiskey, too. $26 for a loaf. Purchase here.

Willful Goods Cutting Board

This gorgeous cutting board is made from solid cherry wood with an offset handle that can be customized with different colored rubber to match any kitchen decor. It’s made in the United States from sustainably harvested wood. $72 Purchase here.

Comforts from the Great North
©Katie Cannon Photography

The Bachelor Farmer Tote Bag

Restaurant and retail owner Eric Dayton has been on a crusade to convince the rest of the world, and the rest of us, that Minnesota is actually its own uniquely cool place and that we need to get out there and embrace winter. This stylish bag is just one of the many things of beauty in Askov Finlayson, the shop next door to the Bachelor Farmer and cafe. Made of 100% natural golden juke fiber the inside is waterproof and holds two bottles of wine, perfect for a winter picnic, shopping outdoor markets, or simply hauling goodies around town without ever setting foot in a skyway. $88 Purchase here.

Marvel Bar Bitters

Made in a collaboration with Bittercube bitters and Marvel Bar, arguably the best cocktail bar in the Twin Cities, these bitters are made with turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, cocoa, and galangal making them a powerful cocktail enhancer with a beautifully spicy, earthy aroma. They are utterly unique and yet highly versitile. A fun cocktail topper or delicious just mixed into bubble water for a recovery refresher. $22 Purchase here.

Oliveto Candle

It’s a candle that smells exactly like one of Marvel Bar’s most popular cocktails. The high quality soy and paraffin wax blend makes for a long, slow burn while the aromas are light an intoxicating, smelling like gin botanicals, bright lemon zest and rich olive oil. These are made in Minnesota and also come in Old Fashioned, Dry Martini and Daiquiri scents. $40 Purchase here.

Oh, deer
©Katie Cannon Photography

Venison by Jon Wipfli

This gorgeous new cookbook is the work of Jon Wipfli, a local chef who writes an entire book dedicated to deer meat. This isn’t just the perfect gift for the hunter with a refined palate, but also a handy guide to anyone who loves elegant and rustic Midwestern cooking. As the book promises, Wipfli walks us through hunting, butchering and serving. Beef and pork can be substituted for dishes when venison isn’t handily available. Available at most major book sellers. MSRP $25 Purchase here.

Farfalle for you
©Katie Cannon Photography

Delicacies al Dente Pasta Necklaces

These adorable pasta shaped necklaces have become a full on fashion obsession, after being featured everywhere from InStyle to Food & Wine. The line is the work of local company, Delicacies, based in Saint Paul. These gorgeous little silver renderings come shamped like bucatini, farfalle, penne, orichette and more. Every purchase helps provide meals to feed the hungry. Necklaces are $85. Purchase here.

Here’s to your health!
©Katie Cannon Photography

Vikre’s Honor Brand Hay and Sunshine Whisky

Duluth’s Vikre Distillery has already dominated the local gin market with different varieties that all taste like a breath of fresh air hiking along the North Shore. Now, pulling in the name of the company that once living where the distillery is, Honor Brand is selling gorgeous small batch, blended whiskeys. Co-owner Emily Vikre tinkered with blending all kinds of different whiskeys, in many, many Ball jars until settling on this alluring combination of bourbon, scotch and rye. It’s grassy, spicy, and earthy with a butterscotchy, vanilla finish. Available only in Minnesota, at several area liquor stores on online at Ace Spirits for $42.99

The perfect sipping cup
©Katie Cannon Photography

Samantha Longley Clay Whiskey Cups

Cradling these delicately molded cups, it’s hard to put them down. The smooth organic shape nestles so perfectly into the curve of a hand. These ceramic, black stone cups could just as easy hold tea or any other sipping beverage, but some how whiskey tastes even better slurped out of one of these. $25 each Purchase here.

Sticky good
©Katie Cannon Photography

Skinny Sticks

Growing up in the Northwoods and boiling down sap for maple syrup creates a special kind of snob for the perennial pancake topper. Few varieties can hold a candle to the homemade stuff and honestly, nothing even came close to being as good until Skinny Sticks came along. The long boiled syrup absorbs a little kiss of smoke from the fire creating a rich, luscious flavor that would be perfect eaten drizzled over fresh snow and scraped up with a spoon. The bourbon-barrel aged variety is ideal for early holiday mornings and tucked into someone special’s stocking. Starting at $8 Purchase here or find them at Lunds & Byerly’s or through Coburn’s Delivers

Made by MCAD students
©Katie Cannon Photography

Vestiges Towels

These adorable tea towels are regionally specific and made by student artists from MCAD (the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.) The designs pop and include interesting tidbits about our homeland. All towels are ethically made and are 100% cotton. $15 Purchase here.

Get a pint, give a gallon of clean water
©Katie Cannon Photography

Northern Glasses

These sleek pint glasses come with a mission. One in 10 people in the world is denied access to clean water. This company partners with Charity:Water funnels 7% of every purchase into provided access to safe water around the world. That means every pint purchased equals a gallon of water to someone who needs it. Plus, on a selfish level, the designs looks great on a shelf and they are nicely weighted when cradled in a hand. There are plenty of designs to choose from and they do custom orders. $8.29 Purchase here

Hard cider for refined drinkers
©Katie Cannon Photography

Milk & Honey’s Fauna Cider

Made from heirloom varieties of apples, this crop of hard cider is sophisticated drinking at its finest. Every year, the apples change and so do the subtle nuances of the flavor. Just as wine connoisseurs will wax poetic about terroir, so too can Milk & Honey drinkers. This light, intriguing drink is impeccable meeting ground for wine and beer drinkers to unite. Available at these locations.

Sweet stocking stuffer
©Katie Cannon Photography

Bolton Bees Honey

This is seriously fancy honey made in Minnesota by people who go way deep into the thought and creation of the honey, raising hearty Queens and hives that produce unique flavors. National Geographic referred to these as the “Tesla of honey.” The martini honey plays well with a block of Manchego cheese and a sleeve of Potter’s crackers. Prices start at $10. Purchase here.

Willful Goods Honey Dipper

What’s honey without a good dipper? Made from sustainably sourced wood with customizable color ends. $9 Purchase here.

The holiday version of an apple a day
©Katie Cannon Photography

Tattersall’s Apple Brandy

Northeast Minneapolis’ Tattersall Distilling remains the reigning kinds of the local spirit universe with a wide array of products and a stellar tasting room. This bottle deserves room in every home bar for it’s subtle apple crispness against a smooth and mellow brandy backdrop. Every holiday celebration should end with a bit of this sipped straight from the glass or mixed into a Wisconsin-style old fashioned with a couple of brandied cranberries. (Check out the Cabin Cocktails book for more mixing ideas.) $39.99 Purchase here.

Insert nut joke here
©Katie Cannon Photography

Isadore’s Nuts

Holiday gatherings are all about snacking and these different spiced and seasoned nuts make an ingenious hostess gift. Spice varieties from zesty cinnamon to decadent chocolate and more. Pictured above is a gift sampling that includes five flavors in a pretty little birch box that eliminates the need to wrestle with wrapping paper. $45 Purchase here.

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