The scent of overindulgence is in the air, which means it's time to kickstart holiday shopping. Butter, chocolate, cheese, and whiskey surround you, but how to choose? There's nothing like seeing that special person's face light up when they open your present, and for this time-honored tradition, we offer the Eater Portland Holiday Gift Guide. Using the same know-how as our fair city's most dedicated farm-to-table restaurants, the guide features all local products.
Bee Local Hot Honey
Know someone with a sweet and spicy tooth? This spicy honey, made by local outfit Bee Local, is infused with scorpion pepper. It's great in and on just about everything, from fried chicken and Thai salad dressings to cocktails and ice cream.
Price: $12Where to purchase: Bee Local
Bluebird Alpine Liquor by Thomas & Sons Distillery
A project by Townshend’s Tea, Thomas & Sons Distillery released its first tea-infused spirits and liqueurs this year, and this spiced spirit is the perfect match for a day in the snow. Angelica and fennel lead the palate (don't tell them we said this, but it's pretty much grown-up Fireball).
Price: $29.95Where to purchase: Thomas & Sons Distillery Tasting Room; or perform a liquor search for "Bluebird" to find the closest liquor store
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
For some, flour may be boring, but for the gluten-free, this flour might be life-changing. Bob's has created a blend you can easily use in place of regular flour in recipes. No more creating weird mixes: It works just like wheat flour.
Price: $4.95Where to purchase: Bob's Red Mill
Bollywood Theater Indian Masala Spice Set
For a cuisine as spiced as Indian, it's best to use the good stuff. Bollywood Theater's spice set includes tikka masala, garam masala, and vindaloo masala — each in a two-ounce container. Importantly, each spice comes with a Bollywood Theater recipe inside.
Price: $19.50Where to purchase: Bollywood Theater locations and The Reluctant Trading Experiment
Bull in China's Stirred Cocktail Set
Have you ever paid attention to the barware in local restaurants? More often than not, it's Bull in China, a local company that specializes in tempered, uber strong, dishwasher-safe glassware. This set comes with a mixing glass for making stirred cocktails, a knob bar spoon, julep strainer, a 2:1 jigger, and a 3/4:1/2 jigger, and it will probably last you a lifetime.
Price: $80Where to purchase: Bull in China
Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland's The Country Cat
This cookbook does one thing exceptionally well: Provide novel, heritage recipes for the dishes people already love to eat, from biscuits and apple pie to fried chicken and ranch dressing. Adam and Jackie Sappington's cooking tips will likely make you a better chef, and after reading their down-home country stories, you might even feel as though you have a touch of Southern hospitality in your kitchen.
Price: $30Where to purchase: Any of these sellers endorsed by The Country Cat
Olympia Provisions Cookbook
The Olympia Provision cookbook offers a challenge: Learn how to make charcuterie at home—a tradition maintained in many parts of the world. For hunters who make their own jerky and salami, this is just a few steps up. For others, this is a surprise chance to learn how to make rillette, sausage, bacon, and maybe even salami. And for all of the homecooks who will never even come close to attempting any of these labor-intensive recipes, it is full of wit, inspiration, travel tales, and European know-how.
Price: $40Where to purchase: Olympia Provisions (it comes with a free salami)
Portland Creamery's Cajeta
What's cajeta? It's a caramel sauce made by reducing goat's milk with vanilla and spices. The silky, sensual tang and caramel flavor of Portland Creamery's is more or less inexplicable. It's great on pastry, and it turns plain-Jane vanilla ice cream into the Abominable Snowman bound in caramel chains. Or something else absurd and delicious.
Price: $14Where to purchase: New Seasons, Zupan's, Market of Choice, Capers Café, Elephants Deli, Portland Creamery Kitchen
Portland Knife House Gift Certificate
Let's face it: Knives are personal. And expensive. Fortunately, the recently opened Portland Knife House has a huge selection of Japanese and American-made knives. You can't find these knives anywhere else in Portland, and for pro-quality knives, you can spend as little as $100 or as much as $1500.
Where to purchase: Phone or visit Portland Knife House. You can either pick up your gift certificate or have it waiting at the store when your gifted goes shopping.
Quin Candy Countdown Calendar
It doesn't say "Advent" anywhere, but you get the idea. It features 28 pieces of Quin Candy — the surprisingly delicious gourmet business that made candy awesome again — behind 28 little cardboard doors decorated for the holidays.
Price: $20Where to purchase: Quin Candy
Steven Smith Teamaker Holiday Teas
This local company makes complex and easy-to-drink teas. Complex as in, Rubik's cube complex. Easy to drink as in, Where'd it go? Caffeine-free Silent Night is a balanced mint, ginger, and spice blend, and Morning Light is a surprisingly deep black tea, with Ceylon, North Indian Assam, and Northwest Douglas Fir needles.
Price: $14.99Where to purchase: Steven Smith Teamaker
Temperance Whiskey by Bull Run Distilling Company
Looking for a budget-friendly whiskey?Bull Run's Temperance Whiskey is both fascinating and easy to drink, with creamy, fruity aromas almost reminiscent of cream soda in all the right ways. It finishes with fieriness and wood notes.
Price: $34.99Where to purchase: Bull Run Distilling Company Tasting Room and most liquor stores
Urban Cheesecraft Book and Deluxe Kit Bundle
With this kit, local cheesemaker, cheese-class instructor, and author Claudia Lucero gives you everything you need to make cheese at home, aside from themilk. The reason to get the bundle is Lucero's helpful book, which features lots of recipes, tips, and pictures that show the cheese making processes step by step.
Price: $60Where to purchase: Urban Cheesecraft
Voodoo Doughnut Mango Astronaut Ale from Rogue Ales & Spirits
In the upside-down world of Portland-weird gifts, Rogue Brewery's Voodoo Doughnut beers take the cake. The latest edition balances fruitiness and smooth beeriness and holds back on the malt.
Price: $13 for 750mlWhere to purchase: All Rogue Beer Halls, most local bottle shops, and select Fred Meyer locations
Westward Whiskey by House Spirits Distillery
This top-shelf whiskey is made with 100-percent malted Northwest barley and fermented with ale yeast. It holds back the fire to reveal nuanced, delicate aromas of pear, damp leaves, and vanilla. Smooth flavors of honey, barley, and pear follow. This is a whiskey that will impress.
Price: $59.95 for 350mlWhere to purchase: House Spirits Distillery's Tasting Room and most state-run liquor stores
Lede image: Becky Hughes