With all due respect to a partridge in a pear tree, there are a lot of holiday gifts we’re more inclined to sing about in 2019, particularly those that fill our stomachs and make celebrating food and drink experiences feel a little more special year-round.
We’re highlighting 12 of our favorite local options at every price point, whether your list includes coffee lovers, wine enthusiasts, or classic restaurant devotees—just try to resist getting everything for yourself.
1. KC Coffee Subscription
Keeping up with Kansas City’s coffee scene can feel like a full-time job, with new roasteries popping up faster than you can finish a flat white. Fortunately, those curators of local cool at Made in KC have taken the legwork out of finding some of the city’s best beans with this coffee subscription. Available for three, six, or 12 months, it delivers a 12-ounce bag of beans from one of the company’s local partner roasters to your door each month. It’s also a unique way to introduce your favorite out-of-town coffee lover to what KC has to offer.
2. Da’Bomb Beyond Insanity Hot Sauce
Turn up the heat this holiday season with this extra-hot hot sauce, which boasts 135,000 Scoville Units. Curious just how intense it really is? The sauce is regularly featured on the YouTube series Hot Ones, where celebs try to eat their way through increasingly spicy wings. Da’Bomb has laid low the likes of Shaq, Tyra Banks, and Idris Elba, but the habanero and chipotle-based sauce can be mellowed out when it’s used sparingly. Or you can really push the limits with Da’Bomb’s Ground Zero Hot Sauce, which packs in nearly twice as much heat. On second thought, maybe save that one for an enemy.
3. Kansas City Canning Co. Hoppy Pickles
If you don’t think pickles are worthy of gift wrap, we’re guessing you’ve never tried these babies. Made using Boulevard Brewing Company’s Unfiltered Wheat Beer, they’re slightly sweet, just the right amount of hoppy and instantly addictive, whether you’re using them atop a burger to give it extra oomph or eating them straight out the jar with the refrigerator door hanging open (no judgement—they really are that good). At $12 a jar, they’re an ideal present for the hosts and hostesses of the slew of parties that come around this time of year.
4. Town Topic Tee
Thanks to Charlie Hustle, it’s now possible to wear your love for Town Topic right on your sleeve—and no, we’re not talking about the ketchup stain on your shirt from your last midnight visit. KC’s beloved T-shirt company makes a line of unisex designs celebrating classic hometown spots like Fritz’s, Stroud’s, and Minsky’s. But our favorite has to be this design, which feels as deliciously retro as the original Broadway diner and features the brand’s signature ultra-soft fabric.
5. Private Cocktail Class at Lifted Spirits
Live out that dream of being Tom Cruise in Cocktail at last with a private class at Lifted Spirits, which offers two different instructional options. For $40 per person, attendees get a session with one of the distillery’s bartenders, who will walk them through the recipes and techniques to make a stirred whiskey cocktail and a shaken gin or vodka cocktail, as well as how to make syrups for use in cocktails at home. Alternatively, you can pick one of your favorites from the Lifted Spirits menu to master for $30 per person, tasting the ingredients as you go before sipping the cocktail you craft yourself. Both hands-on classes also make great group gifts, as up to 12 people can attend.
6. This is My KC Tote
Your friend living their best local life can never have too many tote bags. The uses are endless, from carrying their farmers-market haul to making their next grocery store run a little more eco-friendly or transporting a fresh batch of books from Central Library. This cute, affordable design is here to help, with simple drawings paying tribute to KC’s many recognizable landmarks, including Union Station, Liberty Memorial, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as well as our city’s devotion to coffee, grilling, and cocktails.
7. Local Pig Sausage-Making Class
Let that beautiful, curious soul in your life who actually would very much like to know how the sausage gets made learn from the best—Alex Pope and the Local Pig crew. The minds behind some of the most delectable meats in town share their skills during hands-on Sunday classes—other options include an introduction to charcuterie and breaking down a whole pig. The recipient will leave with a new talent, and your odds of getting invited to dinner to see what they learned couldn’t be better.
8. Andre’s Hot Chocolate Mix
There’s hot chocolate and then there’s Andre’s Confiserie Suisse hot chocolate, so incredibly decadent, you’ll question what that other stuff you’ve been drinking for years even is. Made with a blend of rich, dark Swiss chocolate, Andre’s signature mix envelops your taste buds in flavor. Available in a decorative 4-ounce bag or 8-ounce jar, it’s pretty enough to leave out on the counter but delicious enough that it won’t be there for very long. Pair it with a locally made mug (like No. 11 on our list) for a cozy one-two punch.
9. Thēz Nuts Cinnamon Candied Pecans
One handful of these candied pecans and you feel like you’ve been transported to a crackling fireside where you’re lounging in a pair of pajamas and listening to holiday tunes. Made with organic cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla and dark-brown cane sugar, the award-winning snack feels old school, even though the artisan nut company’s name is all modern cheek. (Consider putting them in a decorative tin for the more easily offended.) The company also makes Smokey Sweet KC BBQ almonds and peanuts tossed in a picante salt mix that includes ghost pepper, for those who prefer spicy to sweet.
10. Amigoni Urban Winery Membership
Treat the vino lover in your life to a membership in Amigoni Urban Winery’s wine club. Members are the first to receive new wines and small-batch blends and can enjoy four, six or 12 bottles per seasonal releases in June and November, depending on the package selected. Membership also includes access to the West Bottoms’ winery’s wine library and a discount on all purchases, including wine tastings and tours. Beyond the tangible perks, it’s also a golden opportunity to get to know the winemakers at Amigoni and learn about what goes into producing each release.
11. Ampersand Campfire Mug
Hot cider, anyone? Or maybe you’re more of an Irish coffee person. Whatever your beverage of choice, you can guarantee it will look and taste a little better in this simple yet chic hand-lettered campfire mug crafted by the design mavens at Mission-based Ampersand Design Studio. Brew a cup of tea and snuggle up with your warmest blanket and the book on top of your to-be-read pile, then take it outside to imbibe caffeine alfresco when temperatures warm up.
12. Meat Mitch Whomp! Sauce and Rub Gift Box
You didn’t really think we could put together this list without recommending a few barbecue products, did you? Naturally, KC companies produce loads of great options to choose from, but we’re partial to this set of sauces and a rub from world championship-winning competition barbecue team Meat Mitch. The rub imparts layered flavor to whatever you toss it on, and the Competition Whomp! BBQ Sauce is similarly versatile (and gluten-free!), while its sister sauce, Whomp! Naked BBQ Sauce, is all natural with no high-fructose corn syrup. Nothing says “I love you” like helping someone step up their grilling game.