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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gifts for Men

Give a ‘taste of Louisville' this year.  

Your holiday gift list still unfulfilled? Any men, by chance? We have eleven days to get it done, and maybe you've already planned a 'super shopping marathon' to finish the job. If not, and since you're likely out and about anyway on a daily basis, maybe you can pick up a few things here and there … locally. Shopping local is always best, and it's so easy to 'Give a taste of Louisville' this year.  

If you have a boss, family member, friend, or teacher of the male persuasion on your unfulfilled list, take a gander below … you might find the perfect, local gift.

1.  Most catalogs and online gift sites offer coffees, teas, baked goods, condiments, cheeses, chocolates, coffees/teas, and wine … you can go local and do much better.  Louisville is a 'foodie' town - we're one of the “Best Foodie Getaways around the World” (Zagat 2012).  Our city is filled with local, independently-owned businesses offering their own brand of small batch goodies - house roasted coffees, blended loose leaf teas, fabulous fresh baked goods, artisan gourmet condiments & cheeses, 'to die for' ice cream (gift cards work well here) & gourmet chocolates.  

The companies below are on my go-to list, but there are many others, and they're easy to find.  All you have to do is 'google.’ Gift boxes filled with any of these locally-made items are not only the freshest, top quality, delicious products around, they are uniquely Louisville.

Red Hot Roasters Organic Coffee
Hobknobb Roasting Company
Day's Coffee
Sister Bean's Coffee
Heine Brothers
Elmwood Inn Teas
Stellar Sweets
Cake Flour on Market
Copper Cupcake
Bourbon Barrel Foods
Flying Leap Farm on Facebook
Kilimanjaro Foods
Shell-Bee's Gourmet Smoked Sea Salts & Spices
Comfy Cow
Coco's Chocolate Cafe
Capriole Farms Goat Cheeses
2.  If food isn't the answer, and you're looking to impress with a nice bottle of booze, don't scramble to the big box liquor stores for a last minute bottle. You can go local.

Spice it up a bit and give the makings of a great holiday toast … the key element of which is a spirit of some sort.  Well, the spirit to give is a “no brainer!”  Kentucky distillers are world renowned for excellent small batch bourbons.  If a small batch is not within budget, you can't go wrong with a more affordable product from any of the big six bourbon whiskey makers found on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  Please, and I must stress this, purchase a pure bourbon product, not one where the taste is pre-muddled with honey, cherries, or cinnamon.  Those, if desired, should be added when making a cocktail, which brings me to another great gift idea.  Adding a copy of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book (by Louisville's own Joy Perrine) is a great addition to round out this Holiday Cocktail Experience!  Plus, it's nice to add a few recipes to help ease a non-whiskey drinker into the fray.  Don't hesitate to talk with your local package store owner - they are well educated on bourbon products and can guide you to a nice choice for the money.  Do buy the best you can afford, even if it's one or two of the small 'airline-sized' bottles.  Your recipient will appreciate your good taste.  If budget permits and you want to 'complete' the gift, add appropriate cocktail glasses and napkins. (Women are joining the bourbon trail, folks ... so don't discount the idea of a nice bourbon for the ladies).    

If beer or wine is in order, we have several highly valued Kentucky home brewed beers (BBC/Cumberland Brewery/New Albanian), and check out the Forrest Edge Winery in Clermont, Kentucky.  My taste leans toward California reds, and I find the Forest Edge Zinfandel (@$18.95) very good for a Kentucky bred.  It's worth the trip for a wine lover.  

Happy shopping to all!

Contributed by Amy Holley of HolleyWrap, Louisville's Premier Gifting Service.


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