If you can’t bear the idea of gifting another tie, pair of gloves, or holiday sweater, why not give something they will truly enjoy? This season fill their souls and their bellies with these gifts mingling ideas for the culinarian, wine, beer and spirit lover alike.

The Gift of a Culinary Experience

Bedford’s Kitchen Door Catering, Summerville’s The Flying Apron and Pictou County based Alain Bossé, better known as The Kilted Chef all offer unique and personal cooking class options. Fill out the present with a cookbook, such as Craig Flinn’s Out of Nova Scotia Kitchens.

A Tour-iffic Gift

Join them if you can, but if you can’t buy then a gift certificate to any one of the number of food and drink focused tours now available in province. Go North Tours and Grape Escapes offer tours to wine country while Taste Halifax Food Tours offers a trifecta of great flavour experiences with their food, wine and beer tour options.  Add the gift certificate to a basket of local products.

Something Old Fashioned

Spirit and cocktail aficionados love a great Old Fashioned cocktail. Your local NSLC is stocked with a selection of great Canadian whiskies including Nova Scotia’s own Glenora, Caldera and GLYNNEVAN. The latter’s Triple Barreled version lends a spicy kick to this cocktail classic. Don’t forget to add the bitters, a vital ingredient in Old Fashioned. A select number of NSLC stores now carry bitters. To complete the package add a whisky tumbler from Nova Scotian Crystal. There’s something utterly nostalgic, Mad Men-like, about enjoying an Old Fashioned in a glass that is as bold, heavy and complex as the drink. To make an Old Fashioned, soak a sugar cube in 2 to 3 dashes of bitters. Add a splash of water and muddle until the sugar is dissolved. Top with 2 fluid ounces of whisky. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

A Taste of Exclusivity

Local wines are in such high demand that a few wineries have launched private wine clubs giving these clients first chance to buy bottles of their best including small lots offering. Benjamin Bridge, Domaine de Grand Pré and Lightfoot & Wolfville offer a taste of exclusivity via their wine club offerings. A membership would be a prized gift for the wine lovers on your list.

Thanks a Brunch

Give them the ingredients for a gourmet brunch and the promise of your company over the holidays. Local smoked salmon such as President’s Choice from the Superstore – it’s locally made and delicious – plus some cured meats from Halifax’s Ratinaud, a locally roasted coffee (Anchored Coffee, anchoredcoffee.com) and a fine traditional method sparkling wine such as Benjamin Bridge Brut or L’Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvée Rosé all make for the promise of a great holiday brunch.