2008 GIFT GUIDE: $50 and Under
Double Cross Vodka
$49.99 at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit, 5 W. 19th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-929-2323
We’ve done beer from the Brooklyn Brewery, wine from locally grown grapes and, one time, some home-brewed swill when we really needed a fix. For a classier hometown boozing option, there’s Double Cross vodka—a locally made, high-end hooch that’s actually filtered through diamonds to achieve the sort of clarity that most of us can’t even begin to appreciate. A smart thing to give to the boss, the foxy neighbor or anyone you want to impress, this is a gift that says, “Hey, I’ve got great taste. Now let’s get hammered.”
$38 per pound, Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, 24 Essex Street Market, 120 Essex St. (betw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.), 212-260-0421
Lapsed vegetarians often say that bacon is their gateway drug. Veg-heads had better beware: Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, located in the Essex Street Market, offers a treasure called Pig Candy, also known as chocolate-dipped bacon. Available covered either in Callebaut dark chocolate or milk chocolate, each version offers a distinctly different taste combination. The milk chocolate elicits a caramel flavor from the deep-fried bacon, while the dark chocolate enhances the saltiness. Roni-Sue has other inventive sweets for those who aren’t quite ready for Pig Candy, ranging from absinthe-infused chocolates to the Zydeco, a truffle with New Mexico red chilis. And while they’re all tasty, this season nothing beats the gluttony of the Pig. Forget “ho, ho, ho,” we’re all about the “oink, oink, oink.”
Kehinde Wiley Towels
$50 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery (at Prince St.), 212-219-1222
Swim season is only a few months away; the January spike in gym memberships is a testament to the fact that everyone’s already worried about how his Speedo fits. Make sure your loved ones are the coolest—if not the most buff—folks at the pool with a towel designed by postmodern portraitist Kehinde Wiley that fuses high art with street art. Wiley incorporates images of hip-hop with the Renaissance portraiture style on these towels; the overall look is too cool for school. As a part of the WOW (Works on Whatever) series at the New Museum, this towel is a simple everyday house ware that’s been revamped by a fresh artist. Get this ornate number for your hipster friends who are above the commoner’s Bed, Bath and Beyond fare.
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