The Food and Drink Lovers Gift Guide

For the cocktail mavens, the cheese board aficionados, the ingredient and equipment gurus, the sweets lover, or just for yourself. After all, who knows best what you really want than… you?

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Alemany NutsAlemany Nuts
The Alemany family in Catalonia, Spain makes really good nuts—the peeled (or unpeeled) and salted Marcona almonds, native to Spain, are terrific with a glass of bubbly or cocktails, and the Caramelized Hazelnuts with Honey for snacking or for dessert. Find at Italian Centre South and Sherwood Park, $13. The Caramelized Hazelnuts at Bon Ton Bakery also.

Vacherin Mont d’OrVacherin Mont d’Or
This exceptional cheese made high in the Swiss Alps is rare and delicious. Creamy, complex flavours, so delicious. Made from summer milk only, it’s the cheese that comes into perfection at the holidays. The package needs no adornment, except perhaps, a bottle of Champagne, 500 g $60. Find at Cavern Cheese.

Meuwly’s SalamiMeuwly’s Salami
Can’t have a terrific board without Meuwly’s charcuterie. This dry-cured mini salami in six flavours—Rosette, Cacciatore, Fennel, Abruzzo, Hot Sopressata and Veneto—comes in its own wrapper for a cheese board on the go, or a savoury snack on the slopes,100g, $8. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Darcy’s Meats, Meuwly’s, Popowich Meats, Public Outpost shops, and Empire Provisions in Calgary.

Mini Kitchen ChutneysMini Kitchen Chutneys
Edmonton-based Mini Kitchen makes a delicious range of condiments, including several chutneys that bring a certain south Asian vibe to a cheese board, or turkey sandwiches. The Cranberry may replace your regular cranberry sauce, we love the Tamarind for it sweet and sour deliciousness, the Saskatoon for its berry heart and the Peach is made with Okanagan peaches! Each $13, Find at Popowich Meats, Meuwly’s and online at

Fine Cheese Company Pickled CherriesFine Cheese Company Pickled Cherries
Pickled fruits are terrific partners to cheese. Or, up your Manhattan game by garnishing with these pickled cherries, 340g jar, $9. Find at Careit Urban Deli and Italian Centre Shops Sherwood Park and South. Also the Fine Cheese Pickled Figs and Pickled Pears at Italian Centre Shops South and Sherwood Park.

Truffle Hunter Condiment Discovery Range
Truffle Hunter Condiment Discovery RangeDrizzle the white truffle honey over any aged cheese—especially delish with Pecorino or Cheddar; dust your pasta; add a smattering of the Black Truffle Sea Salt to your house-made cracker; use the Black Truffle Mustard, Ketchup or Mayo to salad dressings, glazes, or have with a smokie, $38. Find at Barb’s Kitchen Centre, Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, Freson Fort Sask and Rabbit Hill, all Italian Centre Shops, Heart of the Home, Paddy’s Cheese, Twig (Camrose).


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Meuwlys’ Lemon CordialMeuwlys’ Lemon Cordial
Made with fresh citrus, super concentrated, makes delicious whisky sours or lemonade, 450ml, $14. It won Best in Class at the Alberta Beverage Awards. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Meuwly’s, Popowich Meats, Public Outpost shops, Royal Alberta Museum Shop and some boutique wine shops.

Conservas de CambadosConservas de Cambados
Superlative tinned seafood: Small Sardines in Olive Oil and Mussels from Galicia in Marinade. Make a tapa to have with cocktails or place on the cheese board right in the can, $10. Find at Cavern Cheese. Additional Conservas de Cambados selections at Careit Urban Deli.

Bittermilk No. 7 Gingerbread Old FashionedBittermilk No. 7 Gingerbread Old Fashioned
Stock your home bar for the holidays. The No. 7 is made just for the season, with orange peel, cinchona bark and fresh ginger juice. Each mix contains a bittering agent, a sweetener and an acid to ensure a balanced cocktail; the egg nog and old-fashioned recipes on the bottle are the bomb, 251ml, $23. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, all Freson Bros., all Italian Centre Shops, Lift Me Up Market, Maven & Grace, Sunterra, Swish+Co., Twig (Camrose).

Belazu Nut MixesBelazu Nut Mixes
For the minimalist, a cocktail with some lovely nuts is all you need really. The Smoked Chili Mix has cashews, almonds and corn; the Truffle and Pecorino—almonds, macadamias and pecans with pecorino and white truffle; the Rose Harissa blend has cashews, almonds and peanuts redolent of harissa spice, $8 each. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Freson Rabbit Hill, all Italian Centre Shops, Lift Me Up Market, Maven & Grace, Sunterra Marketplace, Swish+Co., Twig (Camrose).

Lake Life Caesar MixLake Life Caesar Mix
A zesty blend of spices, hot sauce, Worchestershire, horseradish and barbecue sauce made by two teachers in Lloydminster. “My husband makes really good Caesars,” says Sondra Pearn; “but it was too easy to forget one of the ingredients when we were going to the lake. And we love going to the lake. He said, ‘I’m gonna put all my favourite things together.’ He put everything in a mason jar, and we’ve made our Caesars that way ever since. Our friends started requesting it. Then, last year, I put it on my Facebook page and we sold 100 jars. We continue to be blown away by the support from family and friends.” The 480ml jar makes about 20 Caesars or Bloody Marys, or use as a marinade and in chili, $22. Find at Heart of the Home, all Italian Centre Shops.

Belberry Elderflower SyrupBelberry Elderflower Syrup
Use this concentrated syrup made from the delicate spring flower for a cocktail; add to sparking water for a mid-afternoon pick me up, flavour your panna cotta, be like Harry and Meghan and bake a cake, $23. Find at Barbs’ Kitchen Centre and Italian Centre Shops North and Sherwood Park.

Zinter Brown Mulling SpiceZinter Brown Mulling Spice
This sugar-free blend of warm spices—cinnamon, cloves, allspice—is what you want for mulled wine. No muss, no fuss, all natural, $7. Find at Italian Centre Shops and Popowich Meats.


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2013 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicalla Riserva Sergio Zenato2013 Zenato Amarone della Valpolicalla Riserva Sergio Zenato
Many, many people would be thrilled to find a bottle of Amarone under the tree and this one is top-notch. Made only in the best years, a blend of 80 per cent Corvina, 10 per cent Rondinella, 10 per cent Oseleta and Croatina. The grapes dry for over four months, concentrating all the sugars and extract. Follows is a slow natural fermentation, then the wine is aged in large casks for four years, followed by bottle aging for one. Though the current vintage is delicious right now, it will reward further aging. Think beautiful red fruit, cherries and currants as well as spicy notes with a long sweet finish. A wine for contemplation, $120. Find at better wine shops.

An extraordinary teapot by Mary Rose YoungAn extraordinary teapot by Mary Rose Young
UK ceramic artist Mary Rose Young makes pottery with a whimsical Alice in Wonderland vibe. This porcelain tea pot with gold edge was created by hand in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, $575. Find at Zocalo.

Two Vivid Wines from Catena ZapataTwo Vivid Wines from Catena Zapata
Laura Catena’s father Nicolás was the first to plant at high altitude in Argentina at 1500 metres in the early ’90s. He had learned that to create balanced wines with freshness they needed a cooler climate—either south (Patagonia) or up. He chose up.

2017 Fortuna Terrae: Meaning luck of the land and from a single parcel in the Adrianna vineyard, the Fortuna Terrae is outstanding, even though 2017 was a cold year and they lost fruit. Fragrant, elegant, light on its feet, complex, with a super long finish. Organically grown, only 4500-5000 bottles per year, with 50 per cent whole cluster fermentation. A stellar wine. $135.

2016 Malbec Argentino: The label tells the story of Malbec’s journey from France to Argentina in a visual allegory featuring Eleanor of Aquitaine, the immigrant, lady phylloxera and Adrianna Catena. The wine is blended fruit from the Angélica (planted in 1930) and Nicasia (1996) vineyards. Deeply flavoured, complex, full of power and nuance. Lovers of Malbec, rejoice. $135.

MD Distillery Discovery PackMD Distillery Discovery Pack
The limited-edition gift pack (in both a Christmas theme and the stylish Still One theme) contains six mini (50mL) bottles—Still One Premium Vodka (100 per cent Alberta wheat, no sugar); Dry Gin (made with eight botanicals); Sour Cherry Vodka (real cherry infusion); barrel aged Vintage Vodka; LemonCello (real lemon infusion) and the MintCello (real mint infusion). This is a fun gift for those who like to try new things, $40. Available at several Christmas markets including Wholly Handmade and the Nosh Food Festival in Sherwood Park, the Indoor Christmas Market in St. Albert and at the MD Distillery in St. Albert.

Sherbrooke Beer Advent CalendarsSherbrooke Beer Advent Calendars
Sherbrooke has wonderful advent calendars, especially the 24 Days of Beermas—24 different craft beers with a focus on brand new and limited edition seasonals with an emphasis on local Alberta beer, but with some imports, $145. Find at Sherbrooke Liquor.

Lone Pine Gift BoxesLone Pine Gift Boxes
Lone Pine Distillery creates fun gift boxes with everything you need to make a delish cocktail. There are five different versions—BeeBalm, Gateway Caesar, Creamsicle, Rhubarb G&T and the Chickadee Grey, $55 each, plus the holiday edition with their Christmas Gin, $60. Find at Lone Pine Distillery.

Color de Vino Advent Wine BoxColor de Vino Advent Wine Box
Color de Vino has their wonderful Advent boxes again this year. Choose from a few different selections, to build a collection, put some special bottles away, or to enjoy this season, $350-$750. Find at Color de Vino.


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Bosch Universal Plus MixerBosch Universal Plus Mixer
Mix, knead, whip. Sturdy and powerful. Celeste Nicholson, the owner of Barb’s Kitchen, loves it for making bread dough. Comes in black, $645, and white $565. Find at Barb’s Kitchen Centre.

Souper CubesSouper Cubes
Too plebian for Christmas? But so handy! The silicone trays make freezing soups, stew, shepherd’s pie and casseroles easy peasy. Pour into the tray. Put the lid on and freeze. When needed, heat in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven, various sizes, $26-$46. Find at Barb’s Kitchen Centre.

FolkRoll Rolling PinsFolkRoll Rolling Pins
These charming rolling pins are handmade in Poland. Solid wood, in eight different patterns such as honeycomb, owls, Christmas creatures, for the sweetest cookies ever, small $40, large $69. Find at Zocalo.

Belberry Andalusian Pickled OrangesBelberry Andalusian Pickled Oranges
Pile on the cheese board, plate with pâté or ham or serve over ice cream for a savoury effect. Use the Moroccan Preserved Lemons for seafood. Gorgeous packages too, 325g, $23. Find at Careit Urban Deli, Italian Centre South and Sherwood Park, Swish+Co.

El Gringo Christmas PackEl Gringo Christmas Pack
The Edmonton condiment company has a holiday gift pack—six varieties of salsa (Original, Verde, Spicy Mango, Spicy Pineapple, Fiery Peach, Inferno) with one bag of their deliciously crunchy chips, delivered to your door, anywhere in the Edmonton region, $47.


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Lakrids by Bülow LiquoriceLakrids by Bülow Liquorice
The limited-edition Classic Salt and Caramel Liquorice is a treat. $15. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, Homes and Cottages, Italian Centre Shops North, South and Sherwood Park, Maven & Grace, Swish+Co. The Winter Selection Gift Box has eight different flavours of liquorice, 335g, $45, at Careit Urban Deli and Swish+Co.

Amadei Due Gift BoxAmadei Due Gift Box
All the Amadei decadence in one place. Luxurious bars, pralines and a top-notch crema, 780g, $200. Find at Italian Centre South and Sherwood Park.

Dufflet Night Before Christmas MouseDufflet Night Before Christmas Mouse
Solid Belgian milk choc in a darling gift box, ideal for stuffing stockings or for an Advent calendar, $2. Find at Bella Casa Design Centre, Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Deli, all Freson Bros., Lift Me Up Market, Maven & Grace.

Amadei I Neri CollectionAmadei I Neri Collection
Chuao Extra Dark 70 per cent—the wild Mayan bean is like no other. Nor is this bar. Porcelana Extra Dark—70 per cent dark chocolate, made from pure Criollo—aromatic, balanced and harmonious. 9-75% Extra Dark—from nine plantations, impeccably blended by Amadei, powerful and distinctive. All 50g bars, $22. Find at Italian Centre South.

Fudge Kitchen Himalayan Salted CaramelsFudge Kitchen Himalayan Salted Caramels
Vanilla, milk choc and a scattering of pink Himalayan salt—luscious, creamy delicious, 125g, $17. Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, Heart of the Home, Maven & Grace, Sunterra, Swish+Co.

Amadei Hot ChocolateAmadei Hot Chocolate
Flakes of 63 per cent cocoa with ground almonds and hazelnuts makes for the creamiest, richest, most delicious hot chocolate, 200g, $30. Worth every penny. Find at Italian Centre South and Sherwood Park.

The Natural Company CandyThe Natural Company Candy
Good old-fashioned Lemon Bonbons and vegan Traditonal Fruit Marbles are made with natural flavours and colours only. Both, 200g, $7 each. Find at Barb’s Kitchen Centre, Careit Urban Deli, all Freson Bros., Italian Centre South and West, Sunterra, Twig (Camrose).

Holdsworth Bee Friendly Vegan Chocolate SelectionHoldsworth Bee Friendly Vegan Chocolate Selection
Dark chocolates and truffles including a crispy hazelnut praline, 300g, $20. Find at Careit Urban Deli, Italian Centre South and Sherwood Park; Lift Me Up Market, Maven & Grace.

Joe & Seph’s Prosecco Caramel SauceJoe & Seph’s Prosecco Caramel Sauce
Luscious! Plop on a brownie, stir into a cheesecake recipe, eat right out of the jar, with 5 per cent Prosecco and fresh heavy cream, 230g, $12. Find at Bella Casa, Bon Ton Bakery, all Freson Bros., all Italian Centre Shops, Homes & Cottages, Lift Me Up Market, Mercato (St. Albert).

Baru Mini MallowsBaru Mini Mallows
Pastel tinted mini mallows for your inner child, 220g jar, $10. Find at Barb’s Kitchen Centre, Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, Homes & Cottages, Heart of the Home, all Freson Bros., all Italian Centres Shops, Lift Me Up Market, Maven & Grace, Sunterra, Swish+Co, Twig (Camrose).

Cocoba Hot Chocolate BombeCocoba Hot Chocolate Bombe
Hollow Belgian milk chocolate bombes chock full of mini marshmallows. Put in a mug, pour steaming milk over, watch the bombe unfold. A decadent treat, $9. Also in a three pack, $20 (not all locations have both). Find at Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, all Freson Bros., all Italian Centre Shops, Lift Me Up Market, Mercato (St. Albert), Sunterra, Twig (Camrose).

Fudge Kitchen Christmas CrackersFudge Kitchen Christmas Crackers
Snap these pretty crackers to find three kinds of outrageously delicious handmade fudge and no silly hats at all, 65g, $7. Find at Bella Casa, Bon Ton Bakery, Careit Urban Deli, Freson Rabbit Hill, all Italian Centre Shops, Heart of the Home, Lift Me Up Market, Twig (Camrose).


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Maison Berger Festive FirMaison Berger Festive Fir
Lampe Berger scents are made with essential oils and are natural and fresh, never overpowering. The Festive Fir fragrance is reminiscent of bracing fir-scented winter air. Fragrance, classic perfume bottle shaped lamp and car diffuser, $95. Find at Bella Casa.

Blk Rose CandlesBlk Rose Candles
Check out these stylish candles by Kejina Robinson. “I couldn’t find a candle company that fit with my values, so why not make my own?” she says. The winter collection honours three wise black women, Angela Davis, Nina Simone and Toni Morrison. These premium candles are hand poured in small batches in Edmonton with 100 per cent soy wax, 90g, $48 each. Online only for now,