Holiday Time

Fun and Fireworks: 14 Events Celebrating Independence Day (June 2017)

Celebrate 2017 Mardi Gras in the South (February 2017)

Three Festive Ways to Avoid Going Stir Crazy Before the Holidays (December 2016)

30 Ways to Get Your "Jingle" On in the South (December 2016)

Five Ways to Experience the Holidays "Louisiana-Style" (December 2016)

"Brighten Up" Your Holidays with These Holiday Light Displays (November 2016)

Red, White, Blue and You: Fourth of July Celebrations in the South (July 2016)

Drops, Celebrations and More: Memorable Ways to Welcome in 2016 (December 2015)

Spark Your Holiday Spirit with the Many Events Happening Around the South (December 2015)

Six Places to Celebrate the Holiday Season (December 2015)

So Many Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season in the South (November 2015)

14 Dazzling Holiday Light Displays Throughout the South to Enjoy Now (November 2015)

Celebrate the Holidays in Minden and North Louisiana with the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights (November 2015)

New Twist on an Old Favorite: Amping Up the Grilled Cheese (April 2015)

Celebrate National Soup Month Anytime with Recipes from Benchmark Resorts & Hotels (January 2015)

Move Over Ball Drop - This is How the South Welcomes in the New Year (December 2014)

Ways to Get Your Holiday On in the South (December 2014)

Liven Up Your Thanksgiving Meal with Some Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Style Comfort Foods (November 2014)

Warm Up the Days and the Nights with These Chili Recipes (October 2014)

Creating the Perfect Cheeseburger with Crawford Ker on National Cheeseburger Day (September 2014)

Celebrate National Martini Day with these Recipes (June 2014)

It's Great to be King...Celebrating Mardi Season with King Cake Creations (February 2014)

Celebrate Your Valentine with a Getaway (February 2014)

A MoonPie, Pickle, Red Stick and More...Welcoming in the New Year in the South (December 2013)

Celebrate the Holidays with a New Orleans' Reveillon Dinner (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide...Packages and Escapes (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Books (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Made in the South (December 2013)

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Experiences in the South (December 2013)

End Your Holiday Meal on a Sweet Note courtesy of Chef Sara Thomas (November 2013)

From Their Table to Yours: Holiday Recipes from The Carolina Inn (November 2013)

Firing Up the Grill: Tips and Recipes for a Successful and Tasty Grilling Season (May 2013)

Breakfast for Mom, Southern-Style (May 2013)

Mom-Worthy Hotels in the South (May 2013)

Talkin' Mardi Gras, Shreveport, La. Style (February 2013)

Southern Style: 13 Things You Must Do in 2013 (January 2013)

Holiday Joy: Tips for Creating the Perfect Gingerbread House (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Secret is in the Sauce at Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Make It Memorable and Give the Gift of an Experience (December 2012)

8 Reasons to Visit Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights this Season (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Chef's Table at Emeril's Delmonico (December 2012)

Absolutely Southern Gift Guide: Simply Ballastone Cookbook (November 2012)

Treat Your Mom to One of These Eight Southern Destinations (May 2012)

Seeing Various Shades of Green: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the South (March 2012)

It’s Mardi Gras Time in the South (February 2012)

Celebrate Elvis Presley’s Birthday in the South (January 2012)

A MoonPie, a Pickle, a Horseshoe and More: Ringing in the New Year Southern-Style (December 2011)

Celebrate the Holidays New Orleans-Style with a Reveillon Dinner (December 2011)

"Treat" Yourself this Holiday Season with SavannahInns.com (November 2011)

Holiday Fun in the South After Thanksgiving (November 2011)

Holiday Fun at Gaylord Opryland (November 2011)

Tours and Treats Along Virginia’s Inn to Inn Cookie Trail and Tour (November 2011)

Celebrating Milestones in the South (August 2010)

5 Activities that Add a "Sizzle" to Your Summer Vacation (June 2010)

Forget Gifts, Give Experiences This Mother’s Day (April 2010)

Celebrating Mardi Gras 2010 (February 2010)


Published: December 2013
2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Food and Beverage  



  • Warm up someone’s holiday with a gift of Belle Meade Bourbon. This historic family brand is being revived from Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tenn. The hand crafted whiskey is developed in small batches of just four barrels each. It has a long, smooth finish with mellow cherry and plum notes accented by cinnamon, all without the burn found in other 90 proof bourbons.

  • Like Sugaree's Bakery says, "No special occasion is complete without a caramel cake and coconut cake on the dessert table." Taste some old South this holiday season with a homemade classic Southern layer cake from the small batch artisan bakery in New Albany, Miss.

  • Foodies on your gift list will enjoy receiving Bluegrass Soy Sauce, the flagship product from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Ky. It is the country’s only micro-brewed soy sauce and the only one in the world aged in bourbon barrels. In addition, they use non-GMO soy beans, soft red winter wheat, and lime stone filtered water --all of which are from KY-- in the sauce. They also produce smoked spices, sugars, aged worcestershire, Kentuckyaki, vanilla extract, spice blends, bitters, vinaigrette, and sorghum which are either aged or smoked using Woodford Reserve barrel staves.

  • Gift them with Richland Rum from Richland, Ga., created from the family-owned craft distillery, the Richland Distillery Company. For the chef on your list, give them the Almost Run, premium sugar cane syrup, sure to amp up any beverage, marinade or ice cream.


  • Henderson Park Inn's "Toes in the Sand Dining" is an intimate VIP dining experience. Bask in the luxury of your own personal table right on the water's edge on the beautiful white sand beach of Destin, Fla. Take in the ultimate panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico as you enjoy the culinary creations of the Beach Walk Cafe served by your personal waiter. Weather permitting. The Beach Walk Cafe at Henderson Park Inn is one of OpenTable.com's Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2013.

    Cost is $150 set-up fee for two - three people and an additional $50 per person above three. Minimum $100 per person food and beverage spend required. Tax and gratuity apply.

  • Whoopie pies, marshmallows, artisan chocolates, macaroons are just a few of people’s favorite things during the holidays. Surprise them with goodies from Bitter Brick Sweet Tooth in Columbus, Ga. The also offer locally-roasted coffees and wines as well.

  • When in doubt, go the gift card route. Treated the Alabama Gulf Seafood lover or just the seafood lover in general to a gift card from Original Oyster House (two locations: Mobile and Gulf Shores, Ala.) They also sell Joe and Dave’s sauces, t-shirts and other items, too.

  • Introduce a giftee to Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Pure Sodaworks. Using natural herbs, fruits, berries and spices, Pure Sodaworks creates such liquid wonders as Strawberry Jalapeño, Café Cola, Honey Lime, Apple Pie, Hibiscus Lemon and Root Beer. Order online through their sister company, Everyday Eclectic, which features a variety of Made in Tennessee products – also made by the Pure Sodaworks owners.

  • Encourage total indulgement this holiday season with a box from Chocolat by Adam Turoni, from Savannah, Ga. Selections include such creations as Savannah Honey Chocolate, Mint Julep Truffle, Roasted Fig & Cognac Truffle, and much more.

  • Please the foodie on your gift list with a gift basket from Caviar & Bananas (best described as a southern-style Dean and DeLuca) in Charleston, S.C. Options include The Locavore, which include items made in Charleston like Sweeteeth Chocolate Signature ‘Sea is for Carmel’ Bar, Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, King Bean Plantation Coffee and more; Artisan Salt Collection features both sea and river salts such as Halen Mon Gold Vanilla, Guava Wood Smoked, Murray River Pink and others; and The Health Nut with all gluten-free products like Back Roads Organic Granola, Caviar & Bananas Dark Chocolate Almonds and more, among other gift collections.

  • Treat someone special (along with their sweet tooth) on your holiday gift list to Brennan’s of Houston’s signature pralines.

  • Buying for a budding chef this year? The Besh Box is perfect for those looking for ways to strengthen their culinary skills. Created by New Orleans native, award winning chef and author of the newly released cookbook, Cooking from the Heart, John Besh personally selects items based on different themes. The monthly box might contain new products, old favorites as well as local, artisan and small-batch items. One month subscription starts at $55.

  • Check off your holiday list in Berrien Co., Ga., this year by purchasing gift baskets and other gourmet-type items at Little Duck Farms and/or Southern Grace Farms. Complete a gift with a bottle of muscadine-based wine (or other products) at Horse Creek Winery.

  • Introduce the craft beer lover in your life to Lazy Magnolia’s  (Kiln, Miss.) new Black Creek Southern Style Imperial Stout. The 8.5% Black Creek begins with aromas of dark chocolate and coffee, followed by a savory blend of roasted barley and caramel flavors, with a velvety-sweet finish. Add to the gift by purchasing a Lazy Magnolia barrel sign ($65), keg sign ($45), or tap handle ($40.)

  • Satisfy a sweet tooth or two this year when you put some Shotwell Candy in their stockings. Made in Memphis, Tenn. These aren’t your typical caramels.You can discover such flavors as Old Fashioned Cocktail, Craft Beer & Pretzel and Hand-Crushed Expresso caramels infused with the tastes of Tennessee whiskey, Ghost River beer from Memphis and more. However, been warned, these are extremely popular and from now until January 1. Keep up with the latest on availability through their website.

  • Pecans make everything better, don’t they? Serve up some pecans as gifts this year with Georgia Pecan Company. Based in Sylvester, Ga., selections include candied cinnamon pecans, chocolate covered pecans, candied jalapeño pecans among others. Also check other their gift baskets like the Gift Basket Sampler or the Gift Box Sampler.

  • This is a great year to give Belle Chèvre (Elkmont, Ala.) cheese as a gift. From the Breakfast Sampler to the Grits and Goats, there is a gift box for all palates. There’s also handmade cookies with goat cheese frosting and other items. Don’t forget the “fun” type of gifts like a  DIY Cheese Kit

  • For biscuit lovers, enroll them in Callies Biscuits’ (Charleston, S.C.) Biscuit of the Month Club.

  • Help that special someone on your gift giving list start their 2014 off right when you gift them with coffee from Savannah Coffee Roaster. Chose among the Good & Evil Blend, Low Country Breakfast Blend, Plantation Blend and more. There’s a Roastermater’s Coffee Club to join as well as gift sets, a great choice for giving the gift recipient a taste of different coffees.

  • Baked fresh daily at River Oaks Restaurant in Memphis, MoJo cookies have been named among the “100 things to eat in Memphis before you die” by The Commercial Appeal. These 6-ounce cookies are made from the finest ingredients including Callebaut Belgian Chocolate, King Arthur Flour and local organic eggs. The signature Dark Chocolate Chip Walnut and Oatmeal Raisin flavors can be shipped. Order by phone at 901-683-9305.

  • Give the gift of dining out by getting a gift certificate to Weidmann’s in Meridian, Miss. The state’s oldest restaurant won’t disappointed appetites, just don’t fill up on crackers and peanut butter, presented in a handmade peanut butter crock, beforehand.

  • For the craft beer lover that all ready has everything, introduce them to Growler Station in Greenville, S.C. Their proprietary technology keeps beer fresh in the growler until you open it. While many other craft beer retailers will fill a growler that will spoil after two or three days, The Growler's preservation technology keeps the beer fresh until you decide to open it in three days, three weeks or three months. The Growler Station has more than 24 craft beers available on tap at any given time- all of which can be filled into a Growler without spoilage. They also offers classes four times a month about different styles, history, how to taste, food and beer pairings and more.

  • It’s a win-win situation when you give Mote caviar as a gift. Not only are you supporting Mote Marine Laboratory (Sarasota, Fla.), but you are also giving sustainable farm-raised caviar. The caviar can be purchase from various places, or you can treat the giftee to dinner at one of the restaurants it is served.

  • Create your own gift basket/box at Ikenberry Orchards in Daleville, Va. Find everything from preserves, candy gourmet food, soup mixes and more to complete a gift idea. They even sell local angus beef.

  • Help the foodie in your life spice up their meals with Gullah Luv Seasoning. It’s a special secret concoction made by Veronica Gerald who owns Ultimate Gullah in Conway, S.C., and is a Gullah Geeche expert. You’ll also find sweetgrass baskets, cookbooks and other items.

  • Sweetness comes in a tin box this holiday season with Edibelles (Savannah, Ga.) Chocolate Covered Sampler Pack. Check out their other offerings as well, such as the Slap Yo’ Granny Barbeque Sauce and Southern Praline Snackin’ Mix.

  • Give the taste of Florida with a Florida Rum Cake (Coconut, Key Lime or Orange) from Tortuga Rum Cake Company in Miami, Fla.

  • Find gift tins like Seventh Heaven 2 Pound Tin to South Carolina Specialities Box and much, much more to give at Florence, S.C.-based Young Plantations.

  • Amp up the mixologist's bar with UBONS BBQ (Yazoo City, Miss.) Bloody Mary Mix. The  mix incorporates traditional bloody mary flavors with bits of garlic & onion flake, celery seed, cayenne and flavors of the 5th generation, World Championship UBONS Sauce, which is a Memphis style with the flavors of fresh dill pickles.

  • Treat a giftee to a good time with either Crazy Sista Honey Ale or Crazy Sista Bloody Mary Mix, or both from Lulu's in Gulf Shores, Ala. While the honey ale can only be purchase at the gift shop, the Bloody Mary mix is available online as well. Don't forget about gift cards to Lulu's or Lucy B. Goode - both a must when visiting Alabama's Gulf Coast.


photo credit: (first column, top to bottom) Brennan's of Houston's pralines, Besh Box, Mojo Cookies/Adkins; (middle column, top to bottom) Locavore Gift Basket from Caviar & Bananas, Weidmann's, Florida Rum Cakes from Tortuga Rum Cakes, Bitter Brick; (last column, top to bottom) Lazy Magnolia, Caramel Cake at Sugaree's Bakery, Chocolate Covered Gourmet Cookies from Edibelles.

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