I need suggestions. Host is a total foodie, has a wine cellar and an amazing wine collection. So - wine is out because there is nothing we can buy locally since if he wants it, he has it. I'm thinking craft booze but really don't drink anything besides wine and vodka. Budget is $50.
Any suggestions for either a brand to look for or a great local liquor store that can help me? The more unusual/special/rare is what I'm leaning towards.
What kind of booze does he like? The bourbon world is pretty insane right now, and is definitely feeling the supply and demand with availability, so if I were a bourbon fan and someone got me one that was hard to obtain, I would dig it. Beyond that, another thing that everyone should have is a proper glass to drink out of. A good rocks glass is a thing of beauty.
If he is into cocktails, the craft bitters movement is pretty cool right now and can bring some fun and pretty effortless twists to drink making at home.
You can find cool stuff in all colors of liquor, if you toss up a little direction I would be more than happy to suggest.
re: mitch cumstein
Mitch - we are thinking bourbon because of the cool factor although given his foodie side bitters might work too. I will say that the ONLY beverage we've ever been served there (besides wine) is water. Again my inclination goes to bourbon for the "coolness". I look forward to your recommendations.
I don't dare buy him glassware because I probably can't meet his expectations. I love him to death so I'm just being honest. He's a tough host.
So as far as cool goes, I lean more towards the classics, but they may not be the coolest.
http://www.highwest.com/spirits/doubl... would be a good one, pretty unique. Utah? C'mon.
one of my favorites, anything coming out of buffalo trace will be pretty high on the cool factor right now.
I drink it neat or maybe a touch of water depending on what it is so I'd lean toward the latter, but if he's more of a cocktail guy, maybe scale back a little bit and get something price friendly and some bitters. A well stocked bar is definitely a point of pride.
Another idea would be something from the 45th Parallel Distillery based in New Richmond, WI. I think both the Border bourbon and the New Richmond Rye are tasty. I also second the High West recommendation.
France 44 has an excellent Bourbon / Scotch / Whiskey collection. Specifically for bourbons, they have the best selection I've seen locally. They have some bottles of the Buffalo Trace single barrel experiment (I won't get too nerdy about it). Put simply, each bottle is unique. They are small (I think .500 ml?) and run $40 - 50. They have many other small batch / small distillery items as well, and for the most part, bourbons don't go north of $50 too often. Many fine bourbons are $25.
Otherwise, fancy cheese is always great. France 44 has that, as does Surdyk's.
You could track down some wild mushrooms, fresh truffles, some kind of fancy / exotic ingredient. Olive oil dispensaries. Do they cook in the home? A cool knife or nice cutting board may do the trick.
Agree about France 44. As an aside, some people consider gifts of knives to be bad luck. Sometimes people give a couple of pennies with the knife so that the recipient can "buy" the knife from the giver. So (like any good Minnesotan) I generally shy away from knives as gifts just to avoid the issue.