Monday, November 25, 2013

Santa's Little Helper: A Gift Guide With Nashville Flair

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 5:51 AM

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This year, the shopping season is shorter than usual. So short, in fact, that many people have already started (or finished) shopping. Our gift guides from last year and the year before still hold up well (mostly), but there are a few new things to look for.

Eat.

As we mentioned last week, Third Man Records and Bang Candy Company have teamed up to offer uniquely flavored marshmallows, Electrified Peppermint Bark, and Smoked Spiced Orange Syrup. All are available exclusively at Third Man's store starting this Friday and only while supplies last. More details are available on the Third Man website.

While not local, it's unlikely anyone will complain if you send the gift of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. They have an incredible selection of gifts featuring their ice cream and other specialties available for home delivery.

Looking to give the gift of cookies? Jake's Bakes delivers hot, fresh cookies for a nice surprise all over the city. Coming soon: gluten-free options. Of course, if you need to send cookies anywhere else, Christie Cookies delivers all over the United States. They also have a local courier or you can pick the cookies up directly from the bakery office in Germantown. Check out their Cookie Gift Club for monthly deliveries as well as their brownies, candies, and coffee.

And don't forget Walker Creek Toffee (try their caramels, too) Nashville Toffee Co., Olive and Sinclair (vegan, dairy-free, and soy-free) chocolate, Colt’s Bolts, Goo Goo Clusters, gift tins from The Peanut Shop, Pralines by Leon, and Brittle Brothers. More deliciousness can be purchased from Tennessee Cheesecake, The Nashville Jam Company, Perl Catering's jams and preserves, and award-winning Bathtub Gin Organic Artisan Jam.

Drink.
For the tea drinkers on your list, check out loose leaf purveyors High Garden in East Nashville and Stardust Tea & Spice in West Nashville. For something a little stronger, check out Drew’s Brews, Just Love Coffee Roasters, Roast, Inc., Crema and Bongo Java Coffee.

Be Merry.
For something a lot stronger, check out the various wines, whiskey, and other drinks we've posted about here over the past year or so. If you want to keep it local, there are a number of Nashville breweries of craft beer: Yazoo, Fat Bottom, Blackstone, Jackalope, Tennessee Brew Works, Turtle Anarchy, Black Abbey, Jubilee, Little Harpeth (look for it soon), and Murfreesboro's Mayday. Visit the taprooms (if available) for a growler or fill up at Craft Brewed or The Filling Station. Middle Tennessee distilleries include Collier & McKeel, Corsair Artisan Distillery, American Born Moonshine, Nelson's Greenbrier Distillery (Belle Meade Bourbon), Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey, Short Mountain Distillery, and, of course Jack Daniel's and George Dickel. And here's a list of Tennessee wineries.

Two more gifts for the whiskey aficionado include Nashville native Clay Risen's new book, American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye (review here) and Whiskey Disks.

Stay In.
For the folks who like to get into the kitchen, browse through our Cooking the Books tag for the cookbooks we've reviewed this year. There are a lot of good ideas there.

For gear, local caterer Aly Greer of Backyard to Ballroom has several posts on her blog about essential kitchen gear. She told me there are more to come, so check back frequently.

And whether the recipient is a Tennessee native or transplant, there's this Tennessee-shaped Totally Bamboo cutting board that I love. There are boards for all 50 states and other shapes as well.

Go Out.
Giving the gift of a night out is one of my favorite things to give or receive. Keep an eye on social media for gift certificate specials from your favorite restaurants. This Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30, {Pub}licity in Bellevue is having a 50 percent off sale. That is, half-price gift cards for any amount (sales are in-person only). Amerigo also has a bonus gift card promotion.

If you don't want to limit your gift to just one restaurant, Local Eats is offering gift cards that are redeemable at more than 20 independent restaurants (including Cupcake Collection and The Copper Kettle) as well as numerous restaurants around the country. Right now, they have a promotion where you get an extra $10 gift card for each $50 spent.

You can also help support independent restaurants by purchasing Nashville Originals gift certificates.

Browse.

If you're just not quite sure what you want, there are stores all over the city that carry unique and local food-related (and other) gifts.

Lazzaroli Pasta, The Turnip Truck, Green Door Gourmet, Perl Catering, the Nashville Farmers' Market, and Hey Rooster General Store all carry a variety of local jams, candies and cheeses as well as a selection of other specialty items that are great for gift-giving.

More places to check for tasty gifts include The Bloomy Rind, The Green Wagon, Whole Foods (a number of local products are stocked at both locations), and The Loveless Cafe.

Or take it easy on yourself and let someone else do the shopping: Batch Nashville has several gift options for sending a box of hometown goodness.

Phew. That's a lot of great gift ideas; please let me know if I've missed any.

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