Looking for something other than a bottle of wine to take as a thank you to the host of that upcoming holiday party or New Years Eve dinner? Here are five ways to mix it up a little this season (and they won’t break the bank either):
- Baked goods for breakfast the next day. Preferably something that involves simply throwing everything in the mixer for a stir and then pouring it into a pan to bake. Sweet breads are my favorite. Something like this cranberry bread my friend Julia sent me the recipe for recently.
- Local coffee. Make a sampler of 1/4 pound servings from your favorite local roaster. If they have a fun holiday flavor, make sure to include that. Your host will appreciate sipping on it while cleaning up from the debauchery the next morning.
- Mulling Spices. Since your host is likely receiving lots of bottles of wine, give them something creative to do with one of the bottles of red wine. Mulled wine smells delightful simmering on the stove and conjures images of walking through foggy streets on London in December (maybe that last part is just me).
- Cassis. Ditto on the above for white wine, a splash of this black currant liqueur in wine makes a Kir; put it in sparkling wine and you’ve got a Kir Royale. Fancy.
- Beer! (You knew this was coming, right?) Lots of yummy craft beer comes in a 22 ounce bottle, perfect for sharing. My favorite festive brews are Troeg’s Mad Elf and Anchor Steam Christmas Ale (pictured above).
Of course, no matter the gift, the most important thing you take to a party is your awesome self. What your host wants most is to spend an evening full of good friends, good conversation and lots of laughter.