Holiday gift giving can be overwhelming with so many options in this infinite world of one-click shopping. Instead of thumbing through Amazon this year, shop local and give the gift of food. Whether you're buying for a local, or sending the flavors of Charleston to family and friends afar, supporting Lowcountry businesses is a great way to spread the holiday spirit.
Advanced sommelier Ashley Broshious leads this monthly seminar, taking guests through a fun, thorough tasting of vinos from around the world. Upcoming class themes include Napa Valley Cab Sav Retrospective Tasting, European Vacation: Holiday Traditions from the Old World, and Somm Day School: From Popping Champagne to Blind Tasting.
The Carolina Gold Rice from Anson Mills has garnered nation-wide recognition for its great flavor and cultural importance in reviving the Carolina Rice Kitchen. Anson Mills products can be purchased online, and found at many local retailers.
Life Raft Treats celebrates the holiday season with ice cream cake, figgy toffee pudding, and two kinds of the French classic Buche de Noel decorated to look like fire logs. A gift for everyone at your holiday table, orders must be placed in advance on their website.
Good seasoning makes good food and the small-batch blend of herbs and spices at Charleston Spice Company are a great way to mix it up in the kitchen. With a large selection of individual spices and signature spice-blends alike, their website has pre-made gift packages for all walks of the spice-life from the grill lover, to the baker, to the hot-chocolate fanatic. Orders can be placed online and the company has a list of markets they attend on their website.
- Burnt and Salty Instagram
Spice up any dish with Burnt and Salty condiments like Korean Mustard, Thai style Chili Glaze, and Coconut Suka. Burnt and Salty is the brainchild of Edmund's Oast exec chef Bob Cook and Cris Miller and can be found at local markets all over Charleston like the Veggie Bin, Mercantile & Mash, Caviar & Bananas, Boone Hall Farm Market, and more.
For the chocolate lover on your holiday shopping list, this is the chocolate cake. Anticipating an influx of holiday orders, their website asks that Christmas orders be submitted by Dec. 15 either over the phone or online.
- Ashley Hay Mitchell
- Teresa Smithmyer's Bulls Bay Saltworks, founded in 2012, is the first operational salt company in S.C. since the Civil War
The first salt company in South Carolina since the Civil War, Bulls Bay Sea Salt brings the distinct flavors of Charleston that they say is “in the air,” to your table. You can find them all over town, from Mixson Market to Charleston Ghost Tours. You can also order all of their products online, including a bourbon barrel smoked flake and Red Mash sea salt.
A cheesy gift can be the best gift — as long as it's actually cheese. In addition to the famed Charleston Caviar (pimento cheese) the Cheesehouse sells a variety of cheeses from brie to fromage frais all hand-made and produced in Charleston. Orders can be placed online or purchased from a list of local retailers on their website.
Any professional chef or home cook worth his salt knows the value of quality olive oil. Local biz Holy Smoked's extra-virgin olive oil is cold smoked to give it a peppery finish with a savory, hickory smoke flavor. "It's like liquid bacon that's good for you!" the owners say. They recently announced that Holy Smoked Olive Oil is now available at Harris Teeter and Whole Foods. Their other products, including Smoked Bloody Mary Mix, Hickory Smoked Wildflower Honey, Hickory Smoked Black Pepper, and Hickory Smoked Sea Salt are available on a smaller scale at the Charleston farmers market and online.
Johns Island's hot chicken all-stars have bottled up a special hot sauce just in time for stocking stuffers. They’ve named it “Flying Saucer” and apparently, it’s “coming in hot,” just like their crispy chicken sandwiches. Use this gift pick-up as an excuse to get yourself another sandwich and Xmas-themed soft serve dressed up with ghost reaper sugar and matcha and honey.
Give the gift of caffeine and freshly roasted coffee beans to the java-nut in your life. The coffee at Second State is roasted in-house — packaged beans meet the shelf soon after. Bags of coffee can be purchased on location in either Mt. Pleasant or downtown.
For a gift that keeps on flowing, get your favorite wino a subscription for three specially curated bottles a month. Along with the wine, Monarch’s CSA members are also invited to a “Pick-Up-Party” every month to grab that month’s selection as well as hang out with other members and taste limited wines before they are released.
- Ruta Smith file photo
There are myriad Airbnb Experiences available in our fair city — it's a great way to play tourist for the day. There's a Shem Creek bar tour, a look inside Gullah culture with 'The Gullah Lady' Sharon Cooper-Murray, a whiskey tasting, a tea party. And we have to mention Crabbing with Tia, an experience by local Tia Clark recognized last fall as one of the top four Airbnb Experiences in the world.
- Cannonborough Bev. Co. Instagram
Yes, wine club memberships are a thing, and when you gift someone a membership to Vintage Lounge — it's for life. Wine Club members have the ability to earn loyalty points, can attend complimentary wine tastings, and get exclusive happy hour deals and 30 percent off to-go bottles of wine. Membership cards can be purchased online.
With classics like ginger beer and inventive bottles like Citrumelo and Hops, this locally produced soda has a variety of flavors sure to spark the taste buds — you can even build your own 12-pack online.