The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, with twinkly lights and gleeful music and all those delicious sweets. There’s just one thing missing: Your gift list has you stumped. Don’t stress out — think local. Even better, think local food and drink. After all, who wouldn’t want to unwrap something tasty?
For the tea and coffee lover
Even during the holidays (perhaps more than ever), morning caffeine is a must. Whether they prefer seasonal drinks, like pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas, stick to strictly black coffee all year, or go for less-caffeinated teas, there are a plethora of options.
Terra Nova Organic Coffee Roasters in Keene > Travel the world with a single cup of joe with a mixture of beans from Indonesia, Africa, Central and South America. Complex, smooth and delicious, all of Terra Nova Organic Coffee Roasters’ beans are responsibly sourced and roasted in small batches. terranovacoffee.net
Fired on the Mountain in Lincoln > For those who enjoy morning coffee or tea, give them a personalized mug. This family-run pottery studio offers “make-and-take” pottery pieces, paint nights, and ready-to-purchase ceramic mugs in a mix of beautiful, bold colors. firedonthemountain.com
The Cozy Tea Cart in Brookline > Sip on delicious warm tea as a respite from the freezing cold of January. Stick to a classic black or green, or try a trendy “blooming tea.” thecozyteacart.com
Teatotaller Café in Somersworth > The Teatotaller Café sells a variety of “Chai Curious” loose leaf teas, with a subscription option as well. Their clever blends combine tea leaves, fruits, nuts and seeds. Their Caramel Romance is a warm chai tea blend, with holiday spices such as cinnamon, clove and ginger — and heart-shaped sprinkles. teatotallercafe.com
For the beer and wine enthusiast
Excellent wineries, craft breweries and distilleries continue to pop up all over the Granite State. Choose a gift card to any of these places, pick out an old favorite or ask for their recommendation — the holidays are a great time to experience something new. Try a fun, fruity wine, creative craft beer or spiced hard cider to ring in the New Year.
Flag Hill Distillery & Winery in Lee > Every wine and spirit at Flag Hill has its own unique and carefully crafted flavor profile. What better drink to celebrate the holidays than their sparkling apple cranberry wine that combines fall and winter flavors with delightful bubbles. flaghill.com
Coös Brewing Co. in Colebrook > The beers available at this North Country brewery are constantly revolving, so be sure to check on their social media for the latest updates. Try Woodland Wit, with notes of spices and citrus. coosbeer.com
North Country Hard Cider in Rolllinsford > With their website advertising their Fire Starter cider as tasting of “warm apple pie” or “fireworks in your mouth,” this is a perfect choice for the holiday season. northcountryhardcider.com
Granite Roots Brewing in Troy > Beer plus coffee. Their Java Roots stout is just that. Need we say more? Available in dozens of locations across the state, Granite Roots offers a variety of IPAs, stouts, sours and more. graniterootsbrewing.com
Auspicious Brew in Dover > Arguably even trendier than microbreweries these days are kombucha breweries. Using fermented tea, fruits and spices, this woman-owned business crafts delicious flavors such as “Lilac Rain,” “Rose Colored Glasses” and “Swamp Thing.” auspiciousbrew.com
For the candy and chocolate lover
There’s no better complement to holiday cookies, pies, sweet cider and cocoa than more sugar! No one has ever been upset by receiving food as a gift — especially something sweet and locally made. Maple sugar candy is the obvious choice, but we have plenty of other suggestions for the sweet tooth in your life.
Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier in Portsmouth > For all the fancy folks on your list, look no further than Byrne & Carlson’s collection of elegant sweets, chocolates and truffles. Try a gift box of fresh cream-filled truffles in colorful foil wrapping. byrneandcarlson.com
Chutters in Littleton > Home to the world-record-holding longest candy counter, Chutters offers a variety of candies, chocolates and fudge for every sweet tooth to indulge. Pick out your loved one’s favorites and wrap it all up with a shiny bow. chutters.com
Pearls Candy & Nuts in Salem > Centered around old-fashioned candy from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Pearls also offers homemade fudge, delicious nuts and more modern favorites. Grab a couple classics or order a custom gift basket. pearlscandynh.com
Woodard’s Sugar House in Surry > Enjoy the iconic taste of maple syrup in Woodard’s maple leaves, maple-coated pecans and cotton candy. They also offer plenty of traditional maple favorites as well, such as their bottled pure maple syrup and maple cream. woodardssugarhouse.com
Cookies, biscotti, whoopee pies and more — boxed and ready to ship
Photo and story by Susan Laughlin
Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, Phil Mastroianni, co-owner of Fabrizia Spirits in Salem, has built a delicious empire out of the zesty citrus fruit. It all started about 13 years ago with a limoncello designed around a family recipe. The line expanded to encompass a cream limoncello, a blood orange limoncello, a line of canned vodka sodas and a line of ready-to-drink, canned and bottled cocktails. Just released is a crema di pistacchio liqueur, made with real pistachios. While restaurants were closed during the early part of the pandemic, the company pivoted to a lemon-scented hand sanitizer, and then eventually started the Lemon Baking Company, using their own flavorful limoncello and lemons as the main flavoring agent. It may have started as a stop-gap measure, but the Lemon Baking Company products have claimed, rightfully, their own raison d’être. Cookies and more are packed with lemon goodness and, of course, are delightful with a sip of their Fabrizia limoncello.
The nicely packaged products ship well and the holiday-themed boxes are perfect for gift-giving. In addition to à la carte items, online find a holiday cheer box, Kris Kringle cookie box and a large limoncello lemon loaf holiday gift box. There, your December baking is done.
Fabrizia Lemon Baking Company, Salem / fabrizialemonbakingcompany.com / (603) 458-1745