Gift Guide


Rum - Zinfandel

Comes with video

Rums from Maui — Haleakala Distillers produces light, gold and dark rums made from Maui sugar–for holiday egg nog or smooth sipping. Oh, and for the hardcore boozer, they also make a 155 proof rum.

$13 for 80 proof rums, $18 for 155 proof at Tamura’s Fine Wines and Liquors, 3496 Waialae Avenue, 735-7100, The Liquor Collection at Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd, 524-8808. More locations listed at [www.haleakaladistillers.com]

Stuffed Spam musubi — No, this isn’t a musubi version of a stuffed-crust pizza. This Spam musubi is a cuddly cute plush toy–for once, food you can bring to bed.

$23.50 for small, $32 for large atIsland Keepsakes, 1050 NuuanuAvenue, 550-0996

Tiffin lunch box — When Tupperware just won’t do for the multi-course lunches your favorite foodie packs. Three tiers of stainless steel containers keep the fruit salad separate from the pastrami sandwich on fresh-baked rye bread while leaving the tiramisu untainted.

$85 for a set of three at Design Within Reach, Ala Moana Center, 1450 AlaMoana Blvd, 941-2112

Umeshu — One of the ubiquitous bottles of ume (similar to plum) liqueur is the Choya brand that comes in a tall, cylindrical green bottle with whole ume at the bottom. Umeshu is sweet with a pleasant tang derived from the ume fruit and pit as they age in the liqueur.

$18.50 at Shirokiya,Ala Moana Shopping Center, 973-9111 and Don Quijote, 801 Kaheka St, 973-4800

Vitamix — What at first glance appears to be an overpriced blender is an indispensable tool. With its heavy duty motor, it transforms nuts into smooth butter and gives pureed soups a silkier texture than other blenders, bringing out the flavor of your ingredients. (I know, it sounds like magic, but I’ve been convinced). From thick, evenly blended smoothies (Jamba Juice uses Vitamix) to cilantro coulis, it’s useful for both the home and professional cook.

Costco, only during Vitamix“roadshow”, $561 at Y. Hata, 285 Sand Island Access Road, 447-4100, other models starting at $375 on [Amazon.com]

Waialua chocolate — Malie Kai dark and milk chocolate made from Waialua-grown cacao are velvety bars with hints of berry and caramel. For the locavore chocoholic.

$4 at KCC and Blaisdell Farmers’ Market/Whole Foods, Kahala Mall, 738-0820/R. Fields 1460 South Beretania Street, 596-9463 and 108 Hekili St, Kailua, 261-3358. More locations listed at [www.maliekai.com]

XO sauce — This Chinese condiment was named after the cognac to signify luxury and high quality. It doesn’t contain any alcohol; rather, XO sauce is usually made with dried scallops, dried shrimp and ham (among other ingredients) that help enhance seafood dishes (and give fried rice new life). If you’re unsure about its giftability, just ask my parents, who still receive and give (me) XO sauce.

$6.99 for 6 ounces at Sun Chong Company, 127 N. Hotel St, 537.3525

Yule log — For their Yule log, or Buche de Noel (a traditional French Christmas dessert), Satura Cakes rolls a chocolate sponge cake with mocha cream and decorates the “log” with adorable meringue mushrooms dusted in cocoa.

$28. Preorder by calling 537-1206 or in person at Satura Cakes, 55 Merchant Street, or Ward Center, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd.

Zinfandel — Bring a robust, spicy Zinfandel to a party that includes a prime rib roast or similarly meaty centerpiece. Among the recommendations at Tamura’s: Storybook Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel ($28.99), Frog’s Leap Zinfandel ($23.79), Brown Estate Zinfandel ($29.99)

Tamura’s Fine Wines andLiquors, 3496 WaialaeAvenue, 735-7100