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The 2018 Eater Charleston Holiday Gift Guide

There’s plenty to give this year, from fancy knives to fun books

Leslie McKellar

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Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s time to think about gifts for friends and family. Luckily, Charleston has a wealth of food and beverage items ready to purchase and ship directly to loved ones. From locally roasted coffee beans to cocktail mixers to a decadent coconut cake, shoppers will find something for everyone on their list.

There’s stocking stuffers, extravagant presents, and everything in between. And, for those not in the giving mood this year, save a few of these products to stock up the pantry. Buy local and buy often — here are the Eater Charleston-approved items for consideration.

Middleton Made Knives

Based in South Carolina, bladesmith Quintin Middleton makes some of the finest chef knives in the Lowcountry. Video network Tastemade teamed up with the artisan to offer an exclusive paring and chef’s knife as part of its kitchen collection.

Price: $100 and up

Cannonborough Beverage Co. Sodas

Crafted and carbonated in Charleston, Cannonborough Beverage Co. sodas are a refreshing combination of fresh-pressed juices, hand-picked herbs, and fruits at the peak of ripeness. Pick from playful pairings like raspberry mint, grapefruit elderflower, honey basil, or the original ginger beer. Add a bit of your favorite spirit for an easy party punch.

Price: $10

Geechie Boy Mill Indigo Products

Have you ever had blue grits? For friends who like to try something new in the kitchen, Geechie Boy Mill works with beautiful blue corn to preserve its flavor and the unique color of the sea islands. Try out the indigo popcorn, blue grits, or blue cornmeal for the gift of stone ground goodness.

Price: Varies

Leslie Ryann McKellar

Geechie Boy Mill Products

In addition to the blue stuff, Geechie Boy Mill offers a dizzying variety of grits, cornmeal, Red Island peas, farro piccolo, and more. Used by some of the best kitchens in Charleston, Geechie Boy puts out the highest quality of product from its antique mill on Edisto Island.

Price: Varies

Rewined Candles

Want the house to smell like wine but in a good way, not a I-just-dropped-a-bottle-of-chardonnay-on-the-floor way? Then look towards Charleston-based company Rewined Candles. Seductively fragranced wax poured into recycled bottles makes for a handsome gift to any wine lover. Search through scents like pinot noir with hints of leather and violet or rosé with notes of rose petal, white peach, and pink peppercorn.

Price: Starts at $28

J. Stark Wine Tote

Wine makes for a quick and easy host or hostess gift, but why not make that bottle even more special with a tote from Charleston-based home goods company J. Stark? The Tremont wine tote is constructed with waxed canvas and leather straps. There's room for two bottles of your favorite varietal and space for a wine opener. Go the extra mile this gift-giving season and give your friends and family a little something extra with their boozy presents.

Price: $80

Grey Ghost Holiday Cookies

Named after the legend of the Grey Ghost on Pawleys Island, who warns residents of coming severe storms and hurricanes, this bakery cooks up treats inspired by Southern ingredients. Pick up individually packaged Christmas and Hanukkah-themed cookies in flavors like almond toffee, lemon sugar, and molasses spice or pick up a larger stack to share at holiday parties

Price: Varies

High Wire Distilling Co. Sorghum Whiskey

Made in downtown Charleston, this sorghum-based whiskey from High Wire Distilling Co. gives drinkers a boozy taste of the South. Sip it neat or over a single, large cube of ice for an after-dinner cocktail.

Price: $54.99

Anson Mills Products

For a real taste of the Lowcountry, send your loved ones a few packages of Anson Mills products. It wasn't until Glenn Roberts founded Anson Mills in 1998 that the legendary Carolina Gold rice came back from near extinction and is now served on menus across the Lowcountry. Anson Mills also produces heritage benne seeds, Sea Island peas, and other staples of Charleston’s past. It’s a true taste of history.

Price: Varies

Charleston Bloody Mary Mix

Forget the Zing Zang and go for a few bottles of Charleston Bloody Mary Mix. What’s better than a holiday brunch with a few morning cocktails? Nothing. Made with top-notch, natural ingredients, these mixes forgo the horseradish and feature a unique blend of habanero mash, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and spices for a bit of heat and flavor.

Price: $12.47

The Shelter Collection from The-Commons

Designer Erin Reitz of the well-curated home goods store The-Commons puts forth interesting pieces for any holiday table. Her newest products present lines of glassware and ceramics. Reitz designs the pieces and has them produced by a non-profit organization in Star, N.C. Each piece is hand blown or hand throw with materials sourced in the state. These pieces make for super unique presents.

Price: Varies

Peninsula Grill Coconut Cake

The star of the Charleston dessert world is undoubtedly the famous Peninsula Grill coconut cake — even if you don’t like coconut, you’ll probably enjoy this dreamy decadence. Imagine what a hero you will be if you send your friends an entire, freshly baked dessert straight from the restaurant. Maybe they’ll even share a slice with you. Or perhaps bring a cake to your next holiday party and be the star of the evening.

Price: $130

Fare Magazine

Fare is a publication that explore cities through food, history, and community. The latest issue focuses on Charleston, and its a lovely exploration of South Carolina foodways and restaurants, with features on Bertha’s Kitchen, Sean Brock, Joseph Fields Farm, and more. Local writers and photographers contribute to the beautiful issue.

Price: $19.15

Virgil Kaine Bottles

Win the holidays with small batch bourbons and whiskeys from Lowcountry distillery Virgil Kaine. The Robber Baron rye is perfect for any Manhattan-lovers in your life, while the ginger-infused bourbon is a good introduction to the local brand of libations.

Price: Varies

Burnt and Salty Condiments

Chef Bob Cook's Korean mustard has been a staple of sandwich shop Artisan Meat Share since it opened — when he and partner Cris Miller decided to bottle the product, the entire town rejoiced. The addictive, spicy, plus a touch of sweet sauce goes perfect on everything from wings to potato chips. Since launching the mustard, Burnt and Salty has also brought coconut suka and a Thai-inspired chili glaze to shelves.

Price: Varies

Smithey Ironware Cast Iron Skillet

The workhorse of any great Southern kitchen should be a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. If you're friends weren't lucky enough to get a mint condition set from a family relative, then look to local company Smithey Ironware for a handsome, and useful, holiday gift. Perfect for home cooks of every level.

Price: $160

Holy Smoke Products

For a bit more flavor to regular dishes, try the Holy Smoke olive oil or black pepper. The company’s slogan is “It’s like liquid bacon that’s good for you!” The products add a hint of hickory wood flavor to kitchen creations, from vegetables to sauces.

Price: Varies

Holy Spirits! Book

The Cocktail Bandits, Taneka Reeves and Johnny Caldwell, put their expertise into a comprehensive look at Charleston through libations. Pick up Holy Spirits! for recipes, tips, and history.

Price: $20.97

Sideshow Press Cocktail Kit

Step up the cocktail game with a classic cocktail mixing set from local wares provider Sideshow Press. The adorable glass pitcher is engraved with a horseshoe — which means all your drinks shall be lucky. The set also comes with a julep strainer and swizzle stick for mixing. Learn a few new recipes and entertain friends with this sophisticated set.

Price: $38

Thunder Sauce

Need a way to easily make Southern-influenced dishes, like deviled eggs or grilled catfish, instantly better? Try the Thunder Sauce from the good folks at Lowcountry favorite the Glass Onion. A combination of sweet peppers and onions, this relish makes it easy to add new layers of flavor to many of your home-cooked meals

Price: $6

King Bean Coffee

Local coffee roasters King Bean are here to keep you caffeinated for the holidays. Available in a variety of single origins & blends including their 2016 holiday blend “Peace & Joe” — it’s bold and festive, just like your parties should be. Bring a few bags along for an easy host gift or to perk up the office coffee maker.

Price: $13.00

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Products

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. has been a staple of the Charleston market for years. Starting with a small batch tonic, entrepreneur Brooks Reitz built up his product list to now include elderflower tonic, sweet tea syrup, bourbon-soaked cherries, bitters, and more. A bottle of these libation enhancers are sure to make a handsome addition to any home bar.

Price: Varies

Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

Doughy empire Callie’s will shop its beloved biscuits to anywhere in the world. Look for the sweet potato biscuits for a show-stopper at holiday meals or stock up on staples like grits and maple syrup.

Price: Varies

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