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7 gift ideas for food and drink enthusiasts

Updated December 2, 2022 - 6:02 am

This holiday season, we’re sticking close to home. These gift suggestions for the food and drink enthusiasts on your list are all from purveyors in Las Vegas. Call it our way of staying local, with gift prices from modest to lavish.

Chef Sam Marvin’s Butcher in a Box

The chef, owner of the Echo & Rig restaurants and butchers, sources beef from Creekstone Farms for the boxes.

One holiday box packs seven different cuts and six related gifts, including salts, a meat thermometer and recipes. A second box packs three loin cuts and four gifts, including salts and Creekstone gear. A one-year subscription features six boxes, with three to eight cuts per box, plus gifts.

Cost: $225 for box one, $125 box two, $1,350 for the subscription. Purchase: butcherinabox.com by Dec. 12. Free shipping in Nevada, California and Arizona.

Vegas Heat Junkie hot sauces

Unlike so many sauces that chest-thump about magma levels of heat, “we are not just about burning your mouth,” said Steve Torti, founder of Heat Junkie Foods. These hot sauces are for folks who “want flavor first and heat second,” he added.

Vegas Heat Junkie comes in habanero, garlic habanero, ghost pepper and scotch bonnet styles made with fresh chilis, vegetables and citrus. Single bottles or four-packs would make great stocking stuffers or a spicy addition to a gift basket. The heat is on this holiday season.

Cost $7.99 a bottle or $43 a four-pack. Purchase: heatjunkiefoods.com, Lee’s Discount Liquor, Liquor World or Total Wine & More.

Maverick Helicopters Strip dine-around and flight

Savory Bites & Neon Lights begins with a tasting at three restaurants on the Strip, with three to four dishes at each stop. The tasting (three hours) is followed by a 12- to 15-minute helicopter flight above the lights of the Strip. Flights begin at 5 p.m. The tour includes shuttle transport. Let flavor fly.

Cost: $325. Additional cocktail pairing: $60. Purchase: maverickhelicopter.com/foodie.

Mob Museum Merry Moonshine holiday wreaths

The Underground speakeasy and distillery at the Mob Museum distills award-winning moonshine in various styles. The wreaths come adorned with a single 375-milliliter bottle of moonshine, or with three 50-milliliter bottles, with a choice of styles. Have your holly jolly neat or on the rocks.

Cost: $45 for three-bottle wreath or $49 for one-bottle wreath. Purchase: store.themobmuseum.org/collections, then click on Moonshine. Must order the wreaths in advance for pick up at the museum, 300 Stewart Ave.

Aliya Blue pottery from Sri Lanka

This online store, started by Thushari Siriwardhane Aniban of Las Vegas, sells small-batch handmade artisan goods from her native Sri Lanka. A trip to the country inspired her to launch Aliya Blue in 2020.

Palaturu clay bowls and platters are individually formed, baked, then finished with decorative patterns. Palaturu means “fruit” in Sinhalese, the language of Sri Lanka, and the pottery would nicely hold fruit, salads or other foods. The pottery is oven-safe but not dishwasher-safe. Aliya Blue sells other vessels and wood crafts that would be ideal as kitchen gifts.

Cost: Small platter $18.95, bowl $22.95. Purchase: aliyablue.com/shop-KGyH5. Limited quantities.

Dinner for two at Le Cirque

This legendary French restaurant, with a 40-year run in New York City (before closing) and a 24-year run (and counting) in Vegas — offers an enduringly splendid dining experience. From its seasonal modern take on French cooking to the superlative service to the colorful tented dining room meant to conjure a posh circus.

The current dégustation menus are eight courses. The standard version includes lobster salad and guinea fowl on toast among its dishes, the vegetarian version white truffle risotto and a twist on classic artichoke barigoule. At Le Cirque, nothing bad can ever happen.

Cost: A $1,250 MGM Resorts gift card covers the tasting menu ($425 per person), wine pairings ($168 per person) and sales tax (with a smidge left over). Gratuity must be paid separately. Purchase: mgmresorts.com/en/things-to-do/gift-cards.html.

Devant glow-in-the-dark Champagnes

These bubbles (launched in September) are a collaboration between Argex Beverages, based in Vegas, and the House of Charles Ellner, a Champagne producer from Epernay. The bottles sport what is surely a first for Champagne: glow-in-the-dark labels with a blinking feature.

The bubbles are made from estate-grown grapes, the brut rich and biscuity, the rosé lively with berries. Turn down the lights, pop the cork and — voila! — le club!

Cost: $46.99-59.99. Purchase: Lee’s Discount Liquor, Liquor World or founders49.com/wine/sparkling.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ItsJLW on Twitter.

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