All I Want for Christmas

Looking for a gift for your favourite bon vivant? Here are some local inspirations to wrap up this holiday season.

By Cinda Chavich

1 Sweeter Than Honey

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday sipper, the spiced honey notes of Krupnik from Wayward Distillery hit the sweet spot. Based on an old Polish recipe, this savoury liqueur starts with Wayward’s vodka, distilled from B.C. honey, and is blended with additional honey that’s toasted until richly caramelized, then spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and citrus zest. It’s the top seller for this Courtenay-based artisan distiller and makes a welcome gift and a lovely dram to serve alongside fruitcake or to mix into a hot toddy to chase the chills!

2 Cookware a Chef Would Love

Leechtown Blacksmith Co. in Metchosin is creating beautiful hand-forged cookware that’s all the rage with top chefs (think Wild Mountain chef Oliver Kienast and chef Paul Rogalski of the Wild Harvest TV series). They also make hand-forged kitchen tools and can even re-tin your vintage copper pots. Spendy, but so special!

3 Savour the Island

Every foodie loves to open a curated basket of delicious goodies. For some real local flavour look no further than Off the Eaten Track. Like their city food tours (both guided and now self-guided), the Taste of the Island boxes include treats from some of our best restaurants, bakeries and purveyors. They include: the Victoria High Tea Box (Silk Road, Murchie’s and Fairmont Empress teas with sweets from Good Bite, Tout de Sweet Confections and Bon Macaron); the Gin Happy Hour Box (DEVINE Genever with Phillips’ Sparkmouth tonic, Jennie Marie’s lime and pepper crackers and St. Jean’s Candied Salmon); and Victoria’s Best Breakfast Box (Granola from Singing Bowl Granola, 2% Jazz Coffee, Island Nut Roastery Peanut Butter, Old Soul jam and Zambri’s hot sauce).

4 Food with Friends

Fans of Kootenay chef Shelley Adams and her Whitewater Cooks series will be thrilled to receive the latest instalment, Together Again. With inspiration from her adult children and friends, Adams has developed a moreish collection of 80 new recipes, all featuring her typical West Coast flair. With beautiful photos — think Korean slow-roasted pork lettuce wraps with kimchi and ssam sauce, Moroccan spiced turkey burgers, lemony apple and ricotta cake, and spicy chocolate hazelnut cookies — this is a book that will send you straight to the kitchen to cook.

5 DIY Kombucha

The folks at Cultured Kombucha share their kombucha-brewing techniques with a Brew-it-Yourself Kombucha Kit and classes at the Rock Bay Market. The kombucha starter kit includes enough pre-measured organic tea and cane sugar for two batches, a healthy heirloom SCOBY (the same culture they use), a one-gallon, wide-mouth Mason jar, natural cloth tea strainer and temperature strips, plus their 28-page booklet, complete with recipes and professional tips.