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Looking for a gift for someone special? You can never go wrong with a gift of artisanal gourmet food and drink, especially at holiday time. Here is our round up of our holiday 2021 gift shop guide with some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year.

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giving food or drinks as a gift is almost always a good idea

Looking for a gift that will really turn some heads?  Maybe it’s for a special occasion, or maybe it’s for a special someone. Either way, the circumstances demand you choose something that really wows.

This could mean sending a present that’s unexpected or outside the box. Or it could mean sending one that’s grandiose in a way that the person wouldn’t have gotten for themselves. And if you ask us what is always the best kind of gift? Food and drink!

A luxurious gift of food or drink has so many great elements: it expresses nurturing and love. It might give someone a taste of home when they’re far away. It shows that you know something about what your gift recipient really enjoys. It’s easy for the recipient to share the gift with other family members and friends (or not).

Our holiday 2021 gift shop guide with some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year.

Our holiday 2021 gift shop guide with some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year.

Some of the most thoughtful and treasured gifts we’ve ever received have been special food or drink items that we would never have bought for ourselves, but that gave us delight and enjoyment for days.

If you’re in on this idea, here are our top picks for wonderful artisanal food and drink gifts, all of which lend themselves beautifully to becoming an experience they will love and remember.

Holiday Gift Shop 2021: the Best Luxury Gifts in Gourmet Food and Drink

1. Purple Bamboo Salt

Salt connoisseurship is actually a Thing. And the most expensive salt in the world is from Korea. Known as jukyeom, or bamboo salt, the makers begin with coarse Korean gray sea salt. They places the crystals inside a cylinder of aged bamboo, seal it with clay, and roast it at temperatures nearing 1,500 degrees. They repeat this process nine more times. Then they roast the crystals again at an even hotter temperature that causes the salt to melt. The final step is pouring out this molten liquid and waiting for it to harden into crystals.

The resulting salt is said to be powerful, with an aromatic, smoky, sulfuric and slightly sweet flavor. We have read that it needs to be eaten sparingly, because on its own it’s way too intense. If you have someone on your gift list who’s ready to take the challenge, send them a vial or two of this Amethyst Bamboo 9x.

best gourmet food and drink to give as luxury gifts this Christmas holiday 2021

BUY NOW – $95.40.

2. Cultured Butter from Ploughgate Creamery

If your gift recipient loves bread, then you should definitely consider a gourmet gift of artisanal butter. And with the holiday entertaining season upon us, gourmet butter is an easy way to wow your own guests’ taste buds. So maybe the rule of “one for them, for you” should apply here.

Owned and operated by butter maker and entrepreneur Marisa Mauro, Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter is made from the milk of grass-fed cows at Bragg Farm in Vermont in the old European tradition. The brand’s Vermont-sourced cream is made fresh from local fourth-generation Monument Farms Dairy.

The butter has a distinct sweet, slightly tangy and nutty flavor that’s the result of a 48-hour culturing process. The rounds are salted and come wrapped in rustic brown paper. A great gift would be their Cultured Butter sampler, “The Original”, which includes one round each of unsalted; coarse sea salt; and Vermont maple.

best gourmet food and drink to give as luxury gifts this Christmas holiday 2021

BUY NOW – $27.00.

3. Bread Subscription Box from La Farm in Cary, North Carolina

After a few years of intense anti-carb and gluten sentiment, there has never been a better time to break bread together. From traditional country boules to crusty baguettes to spectacular umami varieties with nuts, seeds, olives – the comfort of a loaf of bread is an example of a micro-luxury at its finest. 

Small town bakery La Farm has an Old World soul, thanks to Paris-native Lionel Vatinet. La Farm reflects the baking traditions Vatinet learned during his seven year tenure with the prestigious guild, Les Compagnons du Devoir.

 Vatinet and his wife produce 15 different styles of breads, and an additional 20 seasonal breads throughout the year using a European-style hearth oven. The breads benefit from a unique and lengthy 3-day process which give each variety its characteristic depth of flavor 

Get in on this with the gift of a bread subscription box from La Farm. Each month your gift recipient will receive 2 loaves of a seasonal bread and an amuse bouche. It’s available in 1, 3, 6, and 12 month options.


BUY NOW – $55.00.

4. Special Reserve Jam from Blackberry Farm

It should be of no surprise to anyone that Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm is a purveyor of excellent blackberry jam. Made with local blackberries and a squeeze of lemon juice, this is a jam you can add to anything. And for those who prefer savory to sweet, Blackberry also offers a bacon jam and a smoked onion jam that might just become new favorite sandwich condiments.

Start the holiday gifting off right with this collection of Reserve Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Reserve Blackberry Jam, Reserve Blueberry Jam, and Reserve Blueberry Honey Elderflower Jam.

best gourmet food and drink to give as luxury gifts this Christmas holiday 2021

BUY NOW – $100.00.

5. Holiday Marshmallows from Smash Mallow

Marshmallows have become another once quotidian treat that are now being hand-crafted in inventive colors, flavors and shapes. The best gourmet marshmallows are light and fluffy: adorable squares that are as delicious as they are pleasing to the eye.

Perfect for holiday gifting, this Holiday Variety box from Smashmallow Snackable Marshmallows includes Sugar Cookie, Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Chocolate flavors.


BUY NOW – $15.00.

6. ‘Lil Carl drinking Chocolate snowmen from Kate Weiser Chocolates

For many, the most exquisite luxury of snow season is the chance to drink hot chocolate. Enter the adorable ‘Lil Carl, a drinking chocolate snowman from chocolatier Kate Weiser. A box of three ‘Lil Carls ensures both laugher and warmth the next time there’s a snow day.

BUY NOW – $32.00.

7. Pink Champagne Truffles from Charbonnel et Walker

For the chocolate connoisseurs on your gift list, we advise going straight to the chocolatier to The Queen. London-based Charbonnel et Walker makes chocolate gifts that are gorgeous to look at and even better to consume. Our personal favorite is the Pink Champagne Truffles. But you cannot go wrong with any of them. Trust us – we’ve tried lots of their flavors!

Our holiday 2021 gift shop guide with some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year.

BUY NOW – £52.00.

8. We Take The Cake

At the top of our list of the best luxury layer cakes by mail is our go-to online bakery of choice. Located in Fort Lauderdale, We Take The Cake has always been ahead of the curve. They began operations as a mail-order bakery, long before that became the secret ticket to success in this COVID-19 era.

They have grown enormously over the years, and are shipping their incredible desserts cross-country through Goldbelly. You can also find them on the Williams-Sonoma website.

Excellent options include their Spring Bouquet Cake, their Orange Creamsicle, their beautiful Red Rose Chocolate, or their signature Fresh Strawberry 4-Layer. Their holiday cakes are fanciful and fun, and really tasty, like this one for New Year’s Eve. Every cake is moist and delicious, and topped with heavenly frosting – and of course they are all made by hand.

best mail-order cakes


BUY NOW  – $79.00.

9. Granola from Red Truck Rural Bakery

There are so many compelling, delicious small-batch granola options out there filled with all-natural ingredients and inventive flavor profiles! Why not gift one (or more) that would be perfect for breakfast, snack time – and sometimes, even on top of ice cream.

Virginia’s Red Truck Rural Bakery has gained a cult-like following that includes Oprah and former President Barack Obama. Enough said. Their chunky granola has the perfect combo of rolled oats, walnuts, almonds and coconut combined with raisins, dried blueberries, dates and cranberries.

BUY NOW– $34.00 for two 20-oz bags.

8. Honey from Mieli Thun

Mieli Thun is a line of mouthwatering honey produced from pollinating flowers in the Italian Alps. It’s beloved by professional pastry chefs like Thomas Raquel from Le Bernardin. The honey is masterfully crafted from 3rd-generation expert beekeeper, Andrea Paternoster. We particularly love their varieties which have a savory, umami flavor imparted by wild mushrooms. Like “Tree of Heaven” and “Eucalyptus.”

Their gift box of 12 includes: chestnut honey; eucalyptus honey; heather honey; and lavender honey. Coriander honey; forest honeydew; wildflowers’ honey; and cardoon honey. Fir tree honeydew; alfa alfa honey; Christ’s thorn honey; and linden honey. Wow.

BUY NOW – $111.50 for a gift set of 12.

9. jeni’s splendid ice cream top sellers

If you ask an ice cream aficionado about the best mail-order artisanal ice cream brands, they’re definitely going to say Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. What started as a small, woman-owned Ohio-based chain is now in fourteen cities across the US, in select grocery stores, and available for mail-order delivery in all 50 states.

What makes Jeni’s so great? They’ve managed to perfect a roster of imaginative flavors, ensuring that every component of every recipe is absolutely first-rate. And with their buttercream base, the texture is smooth enough to melt on your tongue. There are lactose-free options, too.

The Jeni’s Top Sellers Collection includes pints of Brambleberry Crisp, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Darkest Chocolate, Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks and Salty Caramel – five amazing flavors, all heading straight to the freezer of your gift recipient. Now that’s a real luxury gift, right there.

Our holiday 2021 gift shop guide with some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year.

BUY NOW – $58.00.

10. Salt Lick Barbecue

Everyone knows that Texas is famous for barbecue. But what is it that makes it so famous? Well, the sauce of course. Texas barbecue sauce is legendary – a little sweet, a little spicy, and very delicious. The Salt Lick Barbecue is an iconic institution in Driftwood, Texas, and they’ll be the first to tell you: their sauce is special. Described as a “Southeastern style of sauce that has been Texa-fied” – in other words, made spicier – it’s the not-so-secret main ingredient in Salt Lick’s extensive menu.

Since it makes no sense to imbibe barbecue sauce without some dry rub to go with it, consider this Gift Set to fulfill all of your gift recipient’s BBQ needs. It includes a bottle of Original sauce and a jar of dry rub, as well as a bonus third bottle that is just a little bit spicier – for the true Texas barbecue experience.

BUY NOW – $54.95 for a 12-bottle gift box.

Best Luxury Gifts in Gourmet Food and Drink

That’s our curated holiday 2021 gift shop guide, with our top picks of some of most delicious artisanal food and drink perfect for the gourmet lovers on your list this year. What do you think, dear reader? We’re wishing you a delicious holiday season.

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.