Photo by Forrest Nguyen
1. Falling Bark Farm Brandy-Infused Vanilla Hickory Syrup
$12 at Southern Season
Drizzled on pancakes or roasted butternut squash,
or subbing for sugar in an old fashioned cocktail; however utilized, a flask of wild-crafted, hickory bark syrup from Virginia’s Berryville reeks of holiday ho-ho-hos.
2. John J. Bowman Single Barrel Bourbon
$50 at Virginia ABC stores
Vanilla and maple flavors teased by roasted cinnamon and buttered popcorn aromas are the stuffing in this aged-for-a-decade Fredericksburg bourbon. It hits a socially lubricating 100-proof, making for a mighty Manhattan.
3. Pickled Silly Bloody Mary Mix
$10 at Libbie Market
Okra brine, anchovies and tamarind convinced me that swapping out a purchased mix for my family recipe wouldn’t end shamefully. This spicy blend gets even better when spiked with pepper-infused vodka and garnished with Pickled Silly’s pickled dilly beans.
4. Organic Mexican Oaxaca CEPCO Coffee Beans
$9.23 per 12-ounce package at Adbibo Coffee Co.
Nestled in an offshoot of Midlothian Turnpike, Adbibo pulls a perfect espresso from meticulously roasted beans. Bring your host a bag of these, crackling with creamy, bittersweet chocolate overtones.
5. 2013 Legend Brewery Barleywine
$11 at O’Virginia
You’ll find boozy, caramel-topped fruitcake assuming the form of liquid hops in this age-worthy, seasonal beer. For best results, gift with Earl Grey chocolate from Gearharts Fine Chocolates, so your host can keep on indulging.