Food, Drink, and Other Ways to Entertain and Enjoy the Holidays

This holiday season many of us will be gathering with family and friends; we will eat and drink and do our best to relax as we move toward 2019. We’ve put together a few items that can make the season great. Not all of them are for everyone, but here are some great gift ideas you might want to consider.

St. Agrestis Negroni

Negroni is a classic drink made from gin, bitters and sweet vermouth. And while you can certainly get one at a bar or mix it yourself but there’s a lot to be said for convenience. There’s nothing more convenient than a St. Agrestis Negroni four-pack.

The drink mixes Greenhook Gin, St. Agrestis Inferno Bitter and sweet vermouth in perfect balance. Negroni lovers describe St. Agrestis’ offering and being slightly less bitter than a Campari laced counterpart. It even made it into the New York Times. It has received positive reviews from those who like gin-based products and have tasted it. The resulting drink is described by the company this way:

The aromas are floral and botanical focused while the palate is more bitter but not bracing. There’s just the right amount of vermouth for a perfectly balanced, addictively drinkable cocktail.

The four-pack has a price of about $25 and delivers four perfectly, sized, delicately mixed drinks.

A Cajun Life Spices

If you’ve ever eaten good Cajun food, you know that the spices are what make is so amazing! Cajun Life was born and raised in the real Cajun country of Louisiana. The company’s founder, Chris Fontenot, is originally from Eunice, Louisiana but moved to Oregon years ago where he started A Cajun Life, which has quickly become a cult foodie favorite for its eponymous collection of Cajun-inspired concoctions. Sharing the food he was brought up on by making the necessary spices, mixes, rubs, and seasonings more accessible to all from coast to coast is a dream he has now fulfilled. Beyond the brand’s authenticity and Chris’s backstory, their products are delicious and they make nailing recipes that much easier.  Give the gift of authentic Cajun taste when you give A Cajun Life spices and kits — best of all, they contain no MSG! Prices range from $7.50 to $35, depending upon the combo of items you order.

Vade Nutrition Dissolvable Protein Scoops

Judie turned Dan on to drinking a protein powder shake for breakfast a few years ago, and it has been a mainstay ever since. Vade Nutrition, who recently appeared on Shark Tank, take a different approach to the usual process of adding a scoop of powder form a large container and mixing it with milk or water. Their product, Vade Nutrition Dissolvable Protein Scoops, comes in single-serving packets wrapped in a dissolvable, food grade wrapper. These “protein scoops” are easy to throw in a bag and bring with you when you head out for the day. When you need a protein drink you simply add the entire pod into a shaker bottle, add liquid, shake and drink. It is that easy. Available in chocolate and vanilla, they provide 20G of protein, 90 calories, and zero sugars; they are perfect for the holiday season when it’s so easy for diets to get off track. The Shark Tank panel thought they tasted great; we’ll know more when the bag Dan ordered arrives. You can get a month’s supply for $34.39 (on sale from $42.99).

POWERS Three Swallow Whiskey

The Three Swallow distillery has released a whiskey that is “a modern expression of what the original POWERS Whiskey tasted like back in the days of our John’s Lane distillery. The Single Pot Still is made from a mash of malted and unmalted barley which is then triple distilled in copper pot stills. The result is a deliciously smooth whiskey that has a complex taste and smell and a sweet finish with a hint of sherry that will make you hold out your glass so the host can top it off for you.

There are a lot of name brand whiskeys out there but if you want to try something a bit different POWERS Three Swallow Whiskey is worth a look. I’ve certainly been enjoying it.

It is a tasty whiskey that, at under $40 a bottle, makes a great gift your host will appreciate. Of course, when you order you’ll want to get a bottle or two for yourself.

FEW Spirits American Whiskey

FEW Spirits offers a number of different beverages and have just expanded their line to include the new FEW Spirits American Whiskey. This new recipe is a blend of 47.5% bourbon, 47.5% rye, and 5% single malt that is made from a blend of malts, including some cherry wood smoked malt. The company describes the whiskey this way:

Vanilla, cinnamon, tart cherries and a touch of gentle smoke on the nose. On the palate sweet corn and sweet smoky flavors balance the punchy rye and sweet toasted oak. The rye begins to shine on the finish with light peppery notes that cling to the palate before a gentle fruity malt builds, all around a subtly smoky core. A chewy and complex whiskey that makes a fantastic Manhattan.

As FEW explains:

A quintessential expression of the country, the Few American Whiskey brings together different flavours and tastes and bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary to create something entirely new and delicious.

One of the great things about the FEW Spirits American Whiskey is the fact that they use their other products to create the new offering. Blending FEW Bourbon and FEW Rye whiskeys along with the company’s new experimental cherrywood-smoked malt whiskey, FEW keeps their whiskey “all in the family.” It is quite tasty and we have no doubt your whiskey-loving family will appreciate being given a bottle or two of the $50 beverage.

Ice Ball Maker

There’s more to entertaining than great food and drink. The bar and dinnerware you use greatly enhances the experience but can get expensive. One inexpensive way to up your “entertaining game” is to serve adult beverages with special ice cubes. Made from 100% food grade silicone rubber, it creates four 6cm ice balls at a time. It is fun and does a great job of chilling drinks without watering them down too much.

Making the cubes is as simple as putting the two pieces together and carefully pouring filtered water into each of the four holes at the top of each of sections. And if round ice cubes aren’t different enough for you, Amazon has a nice assortment of ice-cube trays with so many styles that you will be able to find just the right one. They make fantastic, if not inexpensive gifts.

Dr. Dabber SWITCH

Whether your giftee is vaping herbs for peacefulness or for medicinal purposes, the $399.99 Dr. Dabber Switch is the perfect rig. It comes with everything you need, right in the box, to vaporize herbs or oils. It takes just 4- 6 seconds to heat up, and it can get up to 150 uses from a single charge. It self-cleans, automatically cools down in between uses, and it is easy to set up and operate — no crazy (and sometimes dangerous) heating coils to deal with.

Highland Park 12 Year Old Viking Honor

Backed by the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings is Highland Park’s 12-year-old bottle that’s stronger than Kirk Cousins arm yet smooth like Kyle Rudolph’s red zone catches. The Scotch Whiskey has a rich taste with a subtle smoky bite thanks to its sherry seasoning paired with being housed in oak barrels.

Glenrothes’ Solo Collection 12 Years Old

With flavors of banana, melon, lemon and a hint of cinnamon, the whiskey blend has a vibrant look paired by a distinct taste that is special and a quintessential approach that only the Glenrothe’s can give.

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Gear Diary Staff
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