2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Joy Summers


Summers The Shining Knife HolderThe Shining Knife Rack
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Keep your wit and knives sharp with this badass knife rack. Makes me happy every time I reach for my Wüsthof.
Bo Winston on Etsy

Summers Tattersall AquavitTattersall Aquavit
Every holiday bar should be stocked with the basics, but a bottle of this cocktail-friendly, unique spirit will round out every host’s selection. I love mixing it with just a bit of honey simple syrup and a splash of soda water.
Tattersall Distilling (available at Twin Cities area liquor stores like South Lyndale Liquors)

Summers Local CrateLocal Crate
The holidays are busy, and this year we’ve got a new baby in the house. So, I’m tired. Way, nearly blind tired. Plus, I’m freaking out on getting everybody a nutritious meal. Enter Local Crate. Local food, recipes from wildly talented local chefs, pulled together by an efficient team. These are great for the local food fan, burgeoning cook — or anyone with a new baby! (Hint? Hint. Hint.)
$54/approx. 2 meals per week

Summers MediterraneanThe New Mediterranean Table by Sameh Wadi
Have you been to Saffron lately? Not only is Wadi killing it at Lyn/Lake’s World Street Kitchen and working on a gourmet ice cream shop (MilkJam), but the food at his first restaurant is unbelievably better than ever. Want to take a taste of what he cooks at home? This gorgeous, easy-to-follow book makes it possible.
Available at major retailers and Wadi’s Saffron restaurant.

Summers Red Table Meat CoRed Table Meats
Ages in the making (see what I did there?). Mike Phillips’ cured meats are the best on the market and now available all over the Twin Cities. Plus, the visual of showing up to a party with your sausage out is always hilarious.
France 44/St. Paul Cheese Shop
Around $10

Dashfire Brandied Cherries
After holiday meals with the family, my brother-in-law, Andy, mixes up Manhattans and holds court, telling family tales that have become lore. I always make sure there are some decent cherries on hand because I’m (surprising to no one) a snob about these things. For a desperate amount of time, Dashfire’s were off the market, but I’m thrilled to say that the Saint Paul-based company’s spiced fruit is back and better than ever. Buy in bulk. They go well with everything.
Thomas Liquors (and other local booze outlets)

Summers bittercube-trinityTrinity Bitters
There is nothing sadder than reaching the bottom of a Bittercube bitters bottle, and it happens with a shocking amount of frequency in my house. It’s hard to pick a favorite flavor, that’s why I’m so smitten with the Trinity bottle. Plus, it’s huge!
Golden Fig

Summers blue-henn-tonicBlue Henn Tonic
I have a friend who makes her own tonic for gin and tonics. Although she and I got properly tossed on a few before-noon versions of the drink this year, I find that incredibly annoying. I don’t make, I consume (at least when it comes to things behind the bar). This is by far the best store-bought tonic I’ve sampled; it’s even lovely without the booze, over ice with club soda. Plus, it’s locally made.
Solo Vino (other outlets)

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