The Official Augusta Foodie Gift Guide
In my experience, people are generally quick to declare whether they enjoy buying gifts for others or not. For those who don’t like it, or consider themselves “not good” at it, I understand that this time of year can be painful. I’m a proud gift-lover and enjoy buying gifts for others. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the splurges I would make for my friends and family if I were Oprah. But gift-giving need not be expensive or super-creative in order to be thoughtful. This year, when my April birthday coincided with the first day of official lockdown in Augusta, GA, two of my favorite gifts came from local businesses: a ready-made cocktail and my favorite Hildebrandt’s sandwich delivered socially-distanced by friends to my doorstep.
During the holiday season, it is important to remain mindful of our local businesses, many of which have taken a hit during the pandemic. On that note, I want to highlight a few food and drink items from around here that I think could make just about anybody on your “Nice List” happy.
Perfect Stocking Stuffer
Gift cards don’t have to be lame. Give the gift of an entree at a favorite local restaurant, a coffee at a local cafe, or a choice of their favorite spirits or mixers from your local liquor store.
For the Wine Enthusiast
Bodega Ultima offers a wide variety of wines ranging from $10 to $200 a bottle that you won’t find in your local grocery store. Focused on smaller producers, they offer an eclectic mix of wines from lesser-known and organic producers from all over the world.
Sweeten the deal: Bodega Ultima will offer mix-and-match Holiday 6-packs: a mix of red, white, and sparkling wine. Call Cary at 706-426-6661 and he can help you find the perfect pairing.
Your Friend with Good Taste
Wilkinson’s Original Hot Mustard. The story of this mustard is almost as good as the mustard itself, which was originally created by the Wilkinson family on the 800 block on Broad Street in the 1940s. When demand was high and the Wilkinson family could no longer supply it, Luanne Hildebrandt took over and now sells the famous “Bert’s Mustard” she uses on their sandwiches in individual jars you can enjoy at home.
Hosting a small gathering? Hildebrandt’s will cater sandwich trays with salads, their amazing sides (such as their German Potato Salad), and their world-class sandwiches.
For the Chocolate Lover
Give the gift of hygge and Belgian chocolate with La Bonbonniere’s Hot Cocoa Bombs, Peppermint ($32 for 6) or Original ($22 for 4). After covering it with their favorite hot milk or milk alternative, your friend can watch the marshmallows explode and think of you while the endorphins rush through them.
For the Coffee Snob
Drop by Buona Caffe and get in the spirit with one of the festive holiday drinks they are currently offering. While you’re there, you can pick up a 12 oz bag of their Holiday Roast for $15 (a portion of the proceeds benefits Lynndale, Inc.)
Sweeten the deal: Add a Buona insulated tumbler ($27.95) or a Rhino Compact Hand Grinder ($39.95) to go with the coffee!
Your Most Spirited Friends
Give the ingredients to make the Ubora Russian, a delicious cocktail made with Second City Coffee Barrel Bourbon and local Ubora Coffee.
Ubora Russian Recipe
2 oz Second City Coffee Barrel Bourbon
1 oz Cold Brew Ubora Coffee
1/2 oz Half & Half
1/2 oz Vanilla Simple Syrup
1/4 oz Caramel Syrup
Combine all ingredients, shake and strain into new glass
A Gift for All
While you’re at Second City Distillery, go ahead and grab a bottle of their locally distilled hand sanitizer, which they began producing a few months ago when it was nearly impossible to find.
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We are firm believers in doing it big on Christmas, and that same energy goes for what we drink. We rounded up some of our favorite festive beers with the perfect pairings for your holiday meals this season. You can find all the beverages listed at local liquor stores around the CSRA.
It’s time to get your holiday cheer on, Augusta! So let’s raise a glass, jingle all the way, and make things merry + bright with these cups o’ celebration, shall we?
I visited 8 of Augusta’s most-recommended spots in search of the best Old Fashioned. For such a classic cocktail, you’d be surprised how unique they all were.
If enjoying a Nutella crepe under a vine-covered pergola while sipping a warm latte sounds good, you’re in luck. You can find Paris right here in Aiken at La Parisienne French Restaurant.