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UNIQUE CHICAGO HOLIDAY GIFTS

Holiday gift guide: 4 local finds that make for memorable Chicago gifts.

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Thanksgiving feasts will soon arrive and following will be the start of the holiday shopping season — thank you Black Friday and Cyber Monday! And while the most enduring gift is time spent with those you love — preferably in Chicago during its most festive time of year — there's also something exciting about getting your friends and loved ones a special gift for the holidays. For locals and visitors looking to gift something uniquely Chicago this year, here are a few ideas that fit the bill.

 

Chicago Distilling Company: The DiPrizio family set out to honor a family tradition, and one intrinsically tied to Chicago's history pre-Prohibition, when they started the Chicago Distilling Company in Logan Square in 2010. Now, their vision to create a go-to neighborhood spot for no-frills cocktails made with quality, locally-made spirits, has come into full fruition. Beyond the bar and distillery, their family recipe is conveniently packaged for holiday gift-giving. Choose from Shorty (white whiskey), Ceres (vodka) and Finn's (gin). Or better yet, gift all three with this 3 flask sampler collection.

 

Optimo Hats: Chicago has long been a hat-wearing town, a tradition that continues today. To honor this tradition, or more precisely, tip our hat to the classics, we present you — The Chicago — a beautifully-crafted Optimo Hat.

You may have already seen an Optimo. The hats appear in many movies and on some very well-known heads; Johnny Depp, Jack White and Jay Z to name a few. Chicagoan and storeowner Graham Thompson is one of the last true milliners left in the world using the same craft techniques employed decades ago. They are hat makers in the traditional sense and strive to provide the right style and fit for each client.  The attention and care given to each hat makes an Optimo hat the luxury gift worth investing in for that special man in your life.

 

Pastoral: They say... the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Without a doubt, Pastoral has warmed many hearts in Chicago since opening their Lakeview store in 2004. It's rare the person who doesn't love wine and cheese, making Pastoral's gourmet gift collections the perfect holiday gift for just about anybody. These gourmet gifts are thoughtfully constructed to showcase the cheeses we love and the various ways to enjoy them. More than a typical food gift basket, a Pastoral cheese and wine gift basket comes in a handcrafted wooden crate filled with artisan products and an informative insert on where they come from.

 

The Trotter Project: With gestures of giving at the core of the holiday season, providing gifts for a cause is one unique way to share in the joy of giving. The Trotter Project (a nonprofit organization led by Charlie Trotter alumni and designed to educate and inspire those in the culinary arts, hospitality and service industries) is introducing its newest image from "Give. Love. Hope." the culinary art initiative giving food lovers an opportunity to own or gift original, eye-catching work by renowned food photographer Tim Turner.

This year, give your foodie friend or family member a truly unique holiday gift. Any donor who contributes $100 or more will receive a limited-edition, numbered and signed Tim Turner photograph — the introductory tomato image or Swiss chard, the newest image released in a three-part series. Turner, a James Beard Award nominee for Best Food Photography and longtime collaborator of famed Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, has generously donated his work to benefit The Trotter Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

 

For more Chicago gift inspirations, check out this collection of unique Chicago mementos and gifts.

 


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