What to take the host of a holiday party: thirsty gift offerings

Nothing says "thank you" like a local bottle of whiskey, wine, shrub or kombucha. ;)

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to gifting (both giving and receiving). As foodies, we wanted to share some of our favorite local gifts from Tucson.

Boy, do we love our Southern Arizona vineyards and distilleries (and we even found a couple of local drinks for those who don’t imbibe). Here are a few of our favorite drinks for gift giving — slip the bottle in a decorative bag, throw a bow on it, or, frankly, just show up with a bottle in hand… you will be welcomed at any party. 😉

Your Thirsty Buddy

Wines, spirits, kombucha, and shrub

Local Gifts from Tucson: Wines, spirits, kombucha, and shrub (Credit: Jackie Tran)

For a real party starter, gift one of these
Wines
  • Dos Cabezas WineWorks — after a delicious evening out, grab a bottle for yourself and your friends from Ermanos on Fourth Avenue or get it from Rincon Market. Or buy the wine online.
  • Keeling Schaefer Vineyards — grab a bottle from Ermanos on Fourth Avenue or find out where to buy it here.
  • Maynards Arizona Red or White — we love both of these private label wines, available exclusively at Maynards Market. There’s also a pre-wrapped gift box available to purchase for $50 — it includes a bottle of Maynard’s Red Wine, a wine key, a potted succulent, a bar of Monsoon Chocolate, and a soy candle. Festive find: If you subscribe to their wine club, there are a ton of discounts included — only on offer until the end of the year, take advantage here.
  • Rune Wines — Rune has some of our favorite wines out of Southern Arizona and worth the beautiful trip to Sonoita for a tasting day. But, you can purchase them locally at Revel Wine Bar or buy bottles online.
  • Sand-Reckoner Vineyards — Any of their vintages makes a terrific gift. This holiday season, we’re also loving their bubbly and festive Pet-Nat (pétillant naturel if you’re French and/or fancy). Pair it with the new wine salt they’ve created with Desert Provisions if you want to soar to gifting-deity status. Also, if you’re feeling generous, consider gifting your favorite wine-o a membership to the wine club (bottles ship nationally!). Wine can be picked up at their tasting room or at a variety of local shops including Time Market, Maynards Market or Rincon Market. Order online here.
Whiskey
  • Hamilton Distillers, Whiskey del Bac — find out why this locally distilled single malt is changing the perception of American single malts for the better. Expect the distinct flavor of our Sonoran desert using classic Scottish production techniques. If you buy one of these bottles for a whiskey lover, you’ll be friends for life. Find it here.
Booch
  • Fermented Tea Company — we first met FTC in 2016. It’s brewed right here in Tucson, Arizona and you can certainly taste the desert (in a good way). Pick it up on the weekends at Steam Pump Ranch – or Rillito Park Heirloom Farmers Markets, all week long at Whole Foods Market or grab a few bottles online.
  • Wild Tonic Jun-Kombucha — the taste of honey kisses your lips when you open a bright blue bottle of this wild nectar. You can find the kombucha at a variety of supermarkets, but if you’re supporting local businesses, like we know you do, get yours at Hotel Congress, Johnny Gibsons Downtown Market or Tap & Bottle.
Shrub
  • Desert Forager — this prickly pear & grapefruit shrub syrup can either be mixed with mineral water for a crisp sip or as part of a refreshing cocktail. Their locally foraged fruit shrubs can be found online or at any of the local markets (think Maynards Market and 5 Points). All of them are delicious and sustainable.

But wait, there’s more

For more gift ideas, including collections with hot sauces and salsas, cozy drinks and eats, a variety of local snacks, supplies for a home chef, cookbooks, and desert-influenced preserves, check out The Ultimate Food Lovers Gift Guide with Local Gifts from Tucson.

Jenn, who grew up with too many brothers, talks with her mouth full during the movie.

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