Valentine’s Day Gift Basket Ideas

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As January progresses past New Year’s and the month of February approaches, our attention begins to turn to the next holiday: Valentine’s Day! Most people associate the spirit of the day with romantic and sexual love, so when we think about giving gifts on Valentine’s Day, we have a tendency to focus on things that are associated with passion and indulgence. And that’s what I’m going to spotlight today when I share with you my classic “themes of love” Valentine’s Day gift basket ideas.

Sensual Fruits

Fruits embody sensuality. First, fruits are actually “ovaries” that develop around fertilized seeds after the reproductive process of pollination. Second, think about the words we use to describe fruit: sweet, fleshy, juicy, succulent, luscious, ripe, and tender to name a few. Third, the way we eat fruit can be pretty sensuous to experience and to observe. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the sexiness in all that!

Finally, certain fruits are believed to possess properties of an aphrodisiac. For example, the apple is a notorious symbol of temptation since Biblical times, and in Greek mythology, the lure of eating pomegranate seeds was too much for poor Persephone to deny and thus she sealed her own fate to live below the earth’s surface in Hades.

To learn more about other “fruits of love”, refer to our popular blog from February 2014 written with knowledge and affection by our own Matthew J!

Roses

The red rose is a classic symbol of love. When you send red roses, the meaning of your missive is unambiguous! Many of our Valentine’s Day gift baskets are paired with red roses for that very reason. A fresh fruit basket or a box of chocolates suddenly takes on a whole new implication once we add red roses to the gift.

We order well over a thousand long stemmed red roses for Valentine’s Day every year! We actually start looking at the roses much earlier, around the middle of January. We purchase several varieties from different farms and we experiment with them to find the best performer. We want to learn how fast they bloom, how big they open, and how long they last. We want the roses you send to open in a wildly flirtatious way and look good even as they are fading! This year, we have selected a red rose called “Freedom”. If you are looking for Valentine’s Day gift basket ideas that include red roses, ours will be available on February 12th, the Monday before the holiday.

Chocolates

Chocolates have also become rather de rigueur in Valentine’s Day gift baskets for him or for her. Chocolates and their creamy sweetness represent indulgence and Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to pamper your sweetheart with treats of all kinds. Chocolate-covered strawberries are ubiquitous this time of year. For the best options, look for smaller strawberries as they are the tastiest. Some even come with their green tops still on for extra charm. Harder to find is a strawberry dipped in real, premium chocolate, like Valhrona. Most “chocolate” that is used is completely fake, and although it may look like chocolate, it doesn’t taste like chocolate.

Not sure whether to send fresh fruit, roses or chocolates? Why choose? We can solve that dilemma by offering Valentine’s Day gift baskets (for her or for him) that include all three components! We call them our Three Part Harmony Gifts, in three sizes:

Three Part Harmony: Tenor, Alto (pictured), and Soprano

Lavish Gifts

This may be the year when you want to express your ardor in a monumental way: go for it! Think sumptuous and extravagant. Create a feast of love with an intimate tableau in your own living room (or bedroom). You can do it yourself, or let us do it for you. Our luxe and deluxe Epicurean Hamper will tempt with delicate delectables from appetizers to dessert. Consider having it delivered with caviar and champagne to amp up the passion even more.

Epicurean Hamper with Caviar

Or perhaps you’d prefer to send our “Lavish Love”: a new Valentine’s Day gift basket idea that we developed for 2018. The name says it all! We set the stage with champagne, chocolates, caviar and red roses, and you provide the rest for a perfect romantic experience.

New for Valentine’s Day 2018

Whether you create your own “themes of love” gift baskets, or choose to send one of ours, don’t be sexist in your thinking about this holiday! Traditionally, Valentine’s Day gifts tend to be for her, but men like getting Valentine’s Day surprises too. Our romantic selections make great Valentine’s Day gift baskets for him as well!


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Imbibing in Manhattan: A Guide to Popular Drinks by Neighborhood

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Last month we looked at three iconic drinks that best represent each of New York City’s five boroughs. Now it’s time to dive into Manhattan and find out what drinks best exemplify a few select neighborhoods. Grab a glass (have your Lyft app loaded) and let’s explore what each neighborhood has to offer.

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is the embodiment of haute Manhattan culture. With lavish townhouses and mansions overlooking Central Park, this is the epitome of luxury. Whether its window shopping down Madison Avenue or spending a day strolling museum mile, the USE has something for native New Yorkers and visitors from around the world!

Classic Dry Martini:  Whether you like it shaken or stirred, a Classic Dry Martini is the perfect embodiment of the lavish lifestyle of the Upper East Side. From movies to literature, this cocktail has become synonymous with swanky dinner parties and elegant bars. If you’ve never ordered a martini at a bar before, we recommend you try a gin martini and just tell the bartender you want a dry martini straight up with olives! That should do the job.

Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ½ ounces London dry gin, such as Beefeaters of Hendricks
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
  • Green olive for garnish

Method:

In mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Stir well, about 20 seconds, then strain into martini glass. Garnish with olive and serve.

Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne:  Moet is by far one of the most recognized luxury champagne brands around; and for a good reason! Founded in 1743 Moet & Chandon has become a staple drink in high society. From exhibition openings at the Guggenheim to exclusive penthouse parties, Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne is elegant enough to launch any party the UES can throw!

Upper West Side

The earthier, more ethnically diverse and artsy sister to UES, the Upper West Side is home to such cultural venues as Lincoln Center (ballet, opera, classical music and jazz, theatre), Beacon Theatre, and Symphony Space. People come to the UWS to be entertained. During the day you can see families strolling about or grabbing a bite at the UWS’ famous Jewish eateries, Zabar’s or Barney Greengrass. This area is the perfect mix of boogie and family life.

Galil Mountain Alon Red Kosher 2011:  With the UWS being home to a large Jewish community, what better way to celebrate their rich heritage than a glass of kosher red or white wine from Galil Mountain Winery, using grapes grown in Galil Mountain range in Israel. We sell bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon that can be delivered anywhere in New York City or New York State.

Tom Collins: First made famous in London in the 1800’s, the Tom Collins became a classic cocktail for a night out. Made with gin and lemon, this refreshing cocktail is well suited for a night of opera or ballet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 2 parts gin (we recommend Queens Courage Gin made in Queens, NY)
  • 2/3 part simple syrup
  • Soda water to taste
  • 1 Wedge Lemon
  • 1 Cherry

Method:

  1. Stir lemon juice, gin and simple syrup in a highball glass.
  2. Fill with ice cubes.
  3. Top up with soda water.
  4.  Garnish with lemon and a cherry.

Tribeca & Soho

Known for its hip industrial vibe, Soho and Tribeca have something for everyone: great shopping, diverse food, music … it’s the place to be.

Mojito: One of the most versatile cocktails around, with so many flavor options it’s the perfect drink for a night out on the town! Why not add passion fruit or coconut for an exotic twist to the night out!

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce lime juice (for different flavors, try a different juice)
  • 1-ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ½ ounce white rum
  • 1 ½ club soda
  • Mint leafs

Method:

  1. In a shaker, lightly muddle the mint with wooden spoon.
  2. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, and rum, and fill with ice.
  3. Shake well and pour (unstrained) into a highball glass.
  4. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

“Launch Over It” IPA:  This boutique brew is made by Birreria in Manhattan. It is cask-conditioned in bourbon barrels, and has notes of bourbon, citrus, and tropical fruit. It pairs well with a variety of foods, or perfect for drinking on its own.

Wall Street

With billions traded each day, Wall Street is very much the financial capital of NYC and the world. With the extreme volatility of the stock market, you need a drink that can handle even the bear market.

Macallan 18 year Single Malt Scotch: Some of us conjure up an image of leather-backed chairs, cigar in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other when we think of Wall Street. It may be a cliché today, but that doesn’t mean Scotch isn’t a go to drink for traders and bankers. That’s why we’ve decided on a Macallan 18-year-old single malt Scotch, aged in a mix of sherry and bourbon casks. It’s a rich and complex scotch, not for the faint-hearted. Whether it is in the boardroom or sipping at home, one thing is for sure, this scotch will make a statement.

Habit Red Bordeaux: The investors and bankers of wall-street are famous for their extravagant dining habits, from business lunches to wining and dining clients. The one thing a meal always needs is a powerful wine that makes a statement. Habit Red Bordeaux is an esteemed bottle of organic red wine from Santa Barbara, CA. It’s full-bodied with notes of blackberry, dark cherry, chocolate, and earthy undertones that are sure to impress!

Harlem

Since prohibition, Harlem has been a cultural center of Manhattan, from jazz to soul food to gospel churches, this neighborhood has something for everyone. Walk along 125th Street starting at the historic Apollo Theatre and explore the rich culture and history Harlem has to offer.

Harlem Cocktail: While it bears the name of such an iconic neighborhood, much like the Manhattan cocktail, little is known about its origins. Its roots can be traced back to the prohibition era. The unique combination of pineapple juice and gin makes for a delicious cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1 ½ ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
  • Pineapple chunks (for garnish)

 

Method:

  1. Combine all, shake with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with pineapple chunks.

 

Gin Ricky: The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s brought in a new age of music and a new popular drink. Singers such as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday popularized blues and jazz vocals, during this period. To honor the deep jazz roots of Harlem, no drink is more synonymous than the Gin Ricky. It was said to be the preferred drink of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Ingredients:

1 ½ Ounce Gin

1 lime cut in half

Club soda

Method:

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice and add the gin.
  2. Juice the lime halves into the glass and drop in the juiced lime shells.
  3. Fill with club soda.

This ends of our Manhattan neighborhood alcohol beverage tour. More neighborhoods in other boroughs are just around the corner. Until then, visit the Manhattan Fruitier website to learn more about the wines featured in this blog post, as well as other natural wines. Manhattan Fruitier delivers wine and Champagne in New York.


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New Year’s Eve Gift Ideas

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What do you like to do for New Year’s Eve? I know there are some people who bah humbug the entire holiday season and can’t wait for January 1st to arrive so it can all be over! These people are happiest when they can go to bed early on New Year’s Eve and let the revelers revel on without them. But I believe most of us think New Year’s is a fun time of year. It’s a celebration of new beginnings.

Whether you gravitate to the gleeful commotion of a big party or prefer a small, quiet, more intimate affair, you’ll want to think about what kind of food and beverages to bring or serve at the festivities. Sending a gift to a loved one near or far is also a wonderful gesture that will end the year on a high note and set the tone for 2018.

As we have been developing our wine collection this year, we have been paying particular attention to our New Year’s gift baskets that we pair with champagnes and sparkling wines.

 

ROMANTIC GIFT BASKETS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

 

Caviar & Champagne

Nothing says New Year’s Eve like caviar and champagne! This is such a classic combination. At Manhattan Fruitier, we keep this gift simple but sophisticated while providing everything you need in one basket (except for the champagne glasses). We pair Osetra caviar (sustainably farmed) with crème fraiche, mini blinis and a horn serving spoon, and add a delightful Champagne by Paul Clouet, one of the finest smaller batch producers in France. This New Year’s gift basket is the perfect idea for a quiet romantic evening for two at home.  Send it to friends or family, or treat yourself!

 

NYE gift ideas - caviar

Caviar Chests with Champagne for New Year’s Eve

The Epicurean

You could spend the time researching and gathering all of these sweet and savory luxury treats from around the world, or you could simply order one of our Epicurean Hampers with Champagne to be delivered to your doorstep or to the home of friends or family. This tasting menu paired with the Paul Clouet Champagne is ideal for a small gathering where people can nibble on their favorite delectables (be it Scottish smoked salmon or Valrhona chocolate bonbons). The Epicurean would also make a complete picnic for two in the living room (or the bedroom).

 

NYE gift ides - hamper

Epicurean Hampers: Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Style and Good Taste

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Maybe your New Year’s Eve celebration involves dinner out or going to a party, but you like to return home to share an amorous dessert. Nothing seems to epitomize the sensuous more than luscious fresh strawberries dipped in good chocolate. Be sure to look for the smaller strawberries that use real chocolate for the best flavor when thinking about this as a Happy New Year gift idea.

 

GIFT BASKETS TO BRING TO A PARTY

Stilton and Pear Basket with Port

We based this New Year’s Eve gift idea on a classic English holiday tradition: eating Stilton cheese! We import the blue Stilton in a wheel from the tiny Colston-Bassett Dairy in England that has been making traditional Stilton cheese for over a hundred years. We hand cut the Stilton ourselves and pair it with the perfect time-honored accompaniments: pears and Port. Ours is a Tawny Port from Portugal – bold and rich enough to stand up to the pungent aromas and flavors of the blue Stilton.

 

NYE gift ideas - cheese and port wine

Stilton Cheese Paired with Pears and Tawny Port

Champagne, Craft Spirits, Special Cocktails

So much of the celebration of New Year’s Eve centers round drinking alcohol. Even if you don’t drink, the host of the party you will be attending would probably really appreciate a gift of alcohol. There are many ways for alcohol to make a festive New Year’s Eve gift. Champagne and other sparkling wines are an obvious choice since the bubbly personifies giggles and fun times. But also think about bringing a craft spirit. There are some amazing botanical hand crafted gins, or bourbons made with organically grown grains, for example.  Parties are also the perfect place to make specialty cocktails. Consider bringing your host the recipe and all the ingredients to make a cool cocktail — and then offer to help bartend.

 

GIFTS THAT HONOR NEW YEAR’S TRADITIONS

Watching the Ball Drop

Here in New York City, an estimated 2 million people will witness the ball drop in Times Square this year! Most of us will watch the iconic crystal ball descend from the comfort of our own living rooms. But if you are going to join the crowds, think about supplying your mates with some kitschy paraphernalia like party horns, plastic sparkly 2018 eyeglasses, or green foam Statue of Liberty crowns.

Watching Fireworks

Watching fireworks at midnight is a popular tradition across the country. In NYC, fireworks at midnight is the official start to the 5K run in Central Park. It’s really fun to do. People wear crazy costumes and no one is seriously trying to win it. But the vibe is not unlike the marathon with people (a little drunken perhaps) cheering you on from the sidelines. It’s worth running in at least once. Jehv and I did it impulsively in 2012 when the weather was unseasonably mild. Think about organizing a group of friends to run a race one year as an alternative to other Happy New Year gift ideas.

Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions continues to be customary in our culture. Often New Year’s resolutions revolve around fitness and health. Why not set your friend or loved one off to a great start: gym memberships are popular New Year’s gift ideas. Fitbits, work out gear, a gift certificate to a running store or yoga shop, or perhaps a coupon for a spa day!

Miscellaneous

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s day is supposed to bring good luck. This is a Southern tradition that some of my Northern friends have adopted. Think about sending a good recipe for Hoppin’ John with all the ingredients or make the dish and bring it over to friends or family.

I recently learned about a tradition among some Latin cultures of wearing colorful underwear to set the tone for the kind of year one is going to have. I love this New Year’s gift idea! I guess “black” underwear would not be a happy portent! Think about giving some colorful underwear to your family, friends and partners. Practical and fun too!

No matter how you choose to celebrate New Year’s this year, we hope we have given you some good New Year’s Eve gift ideas to enhance your enjoyment of this exuberant holiday! For friends and family who live in New York City or New York State, we are able to deliver or ship Champagne and wine, separately or paired with a fine food gift basket.


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Booze by the Borough: Guide to Imbibing in Your Favorite NYC Borough!

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New York City is truly a melting pot. People come from around the world to the great city of New York, bringing with them their culture and heritage. And, not surprisingly, each of borough —  Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island – has taken on its own identity. Thus, our unique guide to imbibing in each of New York’s five boroughs. We’ve decided on three alcohol drinks per NYC borough that express the personality and character of each borough.

 

Manhattan

With its glistening skyline, nothing is more recognizable or more “New York” than Manhattan — from Harlem, to Central Park, Times Square, to Greenwich Village and Tribeca, and Wall Street. Here’s what to drink in the city that never sleeps.

The Manhattan: While it’s true history is shrouded in mystery, it is thought to made around 150 years ago at Manhattan Club, supposedly for Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s mother. Thank you, Lady Churchill for insisting on this special drink! This cocktail is one of the first to call for vermouth in the recipe (predating even the Martini). How cannot we not include the Manhattan on our list for its namesake borough!

 

manhattan drink

Recipe:

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 5 drops Angostura bitters

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  3. Garnish with a cherry

Champagne: This is about elegance and celebration! Whether it be the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s eve, closing a deal on Wall Street, or celebrating opening of a Broadway show, champagne has become synonymous with the Ritz and glamour of Manhattan. Nothing quite expresses the buzz and excitement of the NYC better than a flute of champagne. We recommend the Paul Clouet, Champagne Brut Grand Cru. Since 1900 Paul Clouet has produced some of the finest small batch champagnes available, with succulent apple and floral aromas, and a pleasant toasty finish. This Champagne can handle anything Manhattan can throw at it. And what’s more, Manhattan Fruitier delivers wine and Champagne in New York (including Paul Clouet as pictured below).

 

champagne drink

Moonshine: From the days of prohibition, hidden in back alley speak-easies, moonshine has played an integral role in Manhattans grittier side. Even now, tucked away in basements, you can still find establishments serving prohibition-style moonshine. We highly recommend “Manhattan Moonshine Prohibition-style whiskey” which is hand-crafted in New York. This is one of the first distilleries to produce a “luxury, northern-style moonshine” made from the finest New York State grain. This unique moonshine is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).

 

Brooklyn

Brooklyn, quite wrongly, is often put off as the little sister of Manhattan. We don’t agree. Brooklyn has a character all on its own. Often described as the true heart and life of New York City, it has population of 2.6 million, almost as large as Chicago!

The Brooklyn: Created in 1908 in Hoboken, NJ (our hats off to create bar keeps in our sister state),  the drink call the Brooklyn is very similar to the Manhattan. Both are made with rye and vermouth. What sets the Brooklyn apart is the addition of Amer Picon, a French orange bitters that, while not technically permitted to be imported into the United States, has found its way to the hands of many savvy Brooklyn bartenders. We recommend trying this cocktail out at either Jake Walk (282 Smith St.) or The Narrows ( 1037 Flushing Ave).

Recipe:

  • 2 ounces rye or other whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Amer Picon (or a few dashes orange bitters)

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Defender IPA: In the 1800s, Brooklyn was home to over 45 breweries making it one of the largest brewing centers in America. What better way to honour the long-held tradition of brewing in Brooklyn than to sip on a craft brew made right in Williamsburg by Brooklyn Brewery. With notes of tropical fruit and a hoppy bitterness, this is perfect for drinking on a warm summers day!  This unique beer is also the official beer of NYC comic.con! 

defender ipa

Prosecco: A is the perfect quaff for a picnic in Prospect Park, a Sunday brunch in Williamsburg, or late night roof party in Bushwick. We highly recommend Zanotto, Col Fondo Prosecco (NV), the citrus and floral notes of this prosecco accompany anything Brooklyn has to offer!

 

Queens 

Queens is NYC’s most diverse (with over 800 languages are spoken) and largest borough. From watching the Mets play at Citi Field to getting some sun at Rockaway beach, there is always something to do in Queens!

Long Island Ice Tea: Is there a drink more iconic than the Long Island Ice Tea? Who would have thought that vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and Triple Sec could be combined to make such a delicious, and headache-inducing drink?

Recipe:

  • ½ ounce Vodka
  • ½ ounce Rum
  • ½ ounce Gin
  • ½ Ounce Tequila
  • ½ Triple Sec
  • 1 Ounce Sour mix (recipe Below)
  • 1-ounce coke, added to taste
  • lemon slice

Sour mix recipe

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup lime

How to make Sour mix:

  1. mix water and sugar and heat until dissolved, add lemon and lime juice and let cool

Method:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, Triple Sec, and sour mix over ice. Cover and shake.
  2. Pour into glass and top with Coca Cola to taste. Garnish with Lemon

Queens Courage Qin: Produced by the Astoria Distilling Company, this is a beautiful example of Old Tom Gin. Old Tom Gin is a sweeter, less-botanical version of most gins found on the market today. Due to prohibition it was almost completely lost to time, but now a select few distilleries are bringing back this gin!  Queens Courage has ranked 96 points at the 2015 ultimate spirits challenge, making it the highest rated Old Tom Gin in the competition. What better way to celebrate everything Queens has to offer, than by sipping on a gin made in Astoria, Queen. This Unique Old Tom Gin is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).

 

Queens Courage Qin

Astoria Martini: Initially made famous by the Waldorf Astoria bar, this cocktail has been described as “stiff, durable, and affordable,” by Richard Boccato, bartender at  Dutch Kills located on Long Island. He goes on to describe it as the personification of the working class community within Queens, with its subtle nuances.

Recipe:

  • 1 shot of gin
  • 2 shots of French dry vermouth
  • Couple of dashes of orange bitters
  • Lemon zest or peel to garnish

Method:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the vermouth and gin and stir
  2. Add bitters and shake
  3. Pour into chilled martini glass
  4. Garnish with lemon peel

 

Bronx

Home of the New York Yankees and the iconic Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden, this borough is a must see on your next visit to the Big Apple. Not to mention, the Bronx is the birthplace of Hip-hop.

Guinness: With the neighbourhood of Woodlands Heights often being called Little Ireland, what better way to celebrate the Bronx’s deep Irish heritage than a pint of Guinness? “An Beal Bocht Café” is a quaint Irish pub where you can sit back with friends over a pint after a long day or work or play.

The Bronx: This cocktail gains its name not from the borough itself, but from the zoo! The story goes that the creator of the cocktail Solon, after a night of heavy drinking, stumbled into the zoo and saw many strange beasts. He decided to name a beverage after his bizarre night. This cocktail has been ranked #3 in “The Most Famous Cocktails in 1934”.

Recipe:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¼ ounce dry vermouth
  • ¼ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice
  2. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

 Pitorro Conquito: With a large Puerto Rican community within the Bronx, nothing better personifies this community than Pitorro, a Puerto Rican moonshine made from cane, apple and honey produced by Port Norris Distillery, located in the Bronx. Their Conquito (a holiday cocktail similar to eggnog) is a stunning example of what a small distillery can offer. This is a perfect substitute to traditional eggnog this holiday season. Pitorro is available for purchase at JackNo Wine & Spirits, located in Jackson Heights (30-57 90th street).

 

Pitorro Conquito

 

Staten Island

The southernmost borough, why not take the free ferry there and explore the many museums the island has to offer. Or explore Greenbelt, the city’s largest nature forest preserve! This is a great place to relax and have a drink. Just make sure not to miss the last ferry back to Manhattan!

The Staten Island Ferry: Named after the Iconic ferry which services the Island.

Recipe:

  • 1 ounce Malibu rum
  • 1-ounce pineapple juice

Method:

  1. Mix and serve over ice

Victory Blvd American Pale Ale: Brewed by the Staten Island Beer Company, this beer is a perfect accompaniment to a wide selection of food! Perfect for the warm Staten Island days.

Cava: Whether it be on the ferry taking in the sights or soaking up some sun on Midland Beach, a glass of cava is a great accompaniment for your next journey to Staten Island! We recommend Eudald Massana Noya, Brut Familia Cava. This cava is filled to the brim with notes of citrus, and a soft creamy texture. Perfect for your next trip to Staten Island.


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Holiday Gift Ideas for Employees

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It’s that time of year again when the lights are strung across the office cubicles and Christmas carols are the background music when customers call. Everyone is buzzing with excitement for the annual holiday party. After a year of hard work, there is no better way to show appreciation than by giving a gift during the holiday season. We understand how stressful it is trying to find great holiday gifts for employees so that is why we’ve created a simple Do’s and Don’ts guide for Christmas gift ideas for employees.

 

The Do’s

1. Capture the spirit of the season

Giving a gift of a gourmet food basket is always appropriate no matter what the occasion! But when it’s the holiday time, you’ll want to look for something that really captures the spirit of the season. At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed several new gifts with the 2017 holidays in mind. A lovely holiday gift to your employees would be our “Buone Feste da Milano”, pictured below. The focus of this gift is a panettone — a traditional holiday cake in Italy. Our panettone is a moist, rich cake filled with whole Amarena cherries made fresh by Cova Pasticceria, a Milan bakery founded in 1817. We pair this gift with six pieces of seasonal fruit for color and health.

employee gifting dos and donts

Panettone: traditional Italian holiday cake in our Buone Feste da Milano holiday gift

Another great holiday gift idea for employees is cookies! Cookie baking this time of year is a time-honored custom in many kitchens across many cultures. Our set of 31 delicate tea cookies evoke that handmade feeling. With eight different varieties of cookies, it’s like a little tasting menu in a red and silver festive box!

employee gift ideas dos and donts

Tea Cookies in festive red box

We also offer a set of three handmade cookies with the words “Thank You”, “Grazie” and “Merci” hand-piped on the top. It’s a nice and simple way to express your gratitude to your employees, after a year of dedicated work for your company. In the month of December, we top our gifts with a sprig of evergreen — specifically juniper, noble fir and incense cedar — which make each and every gift look like a celebration of the holiday season!

2. Know your recipient

Alcohol is great Christmas gift idea for employees who like wine and spirits. It’s something special and different to accompany a holiday cocktail party or Christmas dinner. However, it behoves you to know whether your employees drink alcohol. If they don’t, then a gift of wine or spirits, no matter how expensive, will be inappropriate and make your employee feel less than acknowledged. This defeats the whole point of the holiday gift in the first place!

Similarly, you want to be careful when considering tickets to sporting events which are a popular gift to give to employees at the holiday time. While many employees might love to see their team play live, others may not follow sports and therefore have little interest. We recommend that if you want to give alcohol or tickets, be sure to choose for individual employees based on their preferences.

3. Cash gifts and gifts of time

While employers may think of a monetary gift as a “cop-out” due to it being impersonal in nature, we have found that it is often what employees want most. Research shows that many employees say that cash in the form of raise or a bonus is one of the best gifts their employer can give them. It is a very tangible way to recognize their work throughout the year. A gift of cash can be one of the best Christmas gift ideas for your employees because it gives them the freedom to purchase something they definitely want.

Aanother thoughtful holiday gift idea for employees is paid time off. Some companies close up shop for the week between Christmas and New Years and this is greatly appreciated by employees who don’t have to use up their vacation time. You might also consider a few extra paid days off during the year that your employees can use at their discretion. Time is as precious and appreciated as cash in hand!

 

The Don’ts 

1. Non-consumable gifts

The first thing to avoid when giving gifts this holiday season is items that can’t be consumed or otherwise used. While an item might be beautiful, if it serves no purpose other than to be admired, it’ll often be placed in a closet or on a shelf and forgotten. These days when people are focused on winnowing their non-consumable or non-functional possessions to things that one “loves to look at” or that “brings one joy”, it doesn’t make sense to give a gift that is just going to add more stuff to your employees home.

2. Company memorabilia

Don’t make the mistake of giving products with the company logo on them as a holiday gift for your employees. No matter how great the company, this often looks as though you’ve gone to the nearest supply closet and raided the items that would ordinarily be sent to customers! Who wants a gift that reminds them of work? It’s totally lame and last minute and that’s not going to make your staff feel appreciated. Take a little time and spend a little money to come up with a thoughtful Christmas gift idea for your employees.

3. Gift cards that miss the mark

Gift cards can be hit or miss as holiday gifts to employees. The first thing you want to avoid is giving a gift that requires the giftee to spend money in order to receive the gift. That’s no gift at all! Moreover, a $50 gift card to a fancy restaurant won’t cover the cost of the entire meal. While you don’t need to calculate in the cost of extras such as alcohol, be sure the amount of your gift card will cover a main course and either appetizer or dessert, at a minimum. Speak to the maitre d’ before you purchase a gift certificate. Another thing to look at when considering a gift card is whether the employee will actually use it. Many of us have a drawer full of gift cards to places we never go to, or to companies we do not shop with. We recommend gift cards to major online distributors such as Amazon. This allows them to pick their own gift and has the best chance of being used and then remembered.

In Conclusion

We hope this go-to guide will help you decide on some great holiday gift ideas for employees. Remember, if it’s thoughtful, even a small gesture can mean so much for the people who support you all the year through. Don’t forget to show them how much you appreciate their hard work for you and your company.

 


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