10 Mail-Order Gifts for 2009

Big Basket of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Dark Chocolate–Rum Raisin Mini Bundt Cake for Two Exotic Jam Gift Crate

11800 Tequila Essential Artists Series ($34.95). Tequila is a good gift. 100 percent agave silver tequila, packaged in bright, modern bottles designed by 12 graphic artists, is extremely giftable.

2Big Basket of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate ($80). Everyone knows someone who’s obsessed with chocolate, as in likes it a lot. This basket is full of bars from Taza, the only company in the United States that stone-grinds its organic chocolate to make bars, and trendy Mast Brothers out of Brooklyn. Both companies start with raw beans to create their products instead of buying premade chocolate and remolding it.

3Panettone Genovese ($18 to $32.95). This Italian Christmas bread is made by hand at Emporio Rulli in Larkspur, California. It’s buttery, not too sweet, and filled with raisins, pine nuts, and orange peels.

4Wisconsin Cheese Mart Artisan Collection ($64). The Wisconsin Cheese Mart puts together some of the state’s hard-to-find award-winning cheeses in a wooden box, including dry and nutty sheep’s-milk Dante, sharp aged Gouda, and raw-cow’s-milk Green Fields.

5Dark Chocolate–Rum Raisin Mini Bundt Cake for Two ($9.50). The Great Spirits Baking Company makes all-butter Bundt cakes like this chocolate one that’s soaked in aged Pyrat Rum.

6Bellwether Hard Cider ($11.95 to $13.99). Made in upstate New York, Bellwether’s dry cider (sparkling or still) is a good winter apéritif.

7Exotic Jam Gift Crate ($15 to $25). Sunchowder’s Emporia makes small batches of jams and preserves in Florida—including a few surprising flavor combinations such as Pineapple Tangerine, Zucchini Ginger, and Tangerine Ginger Rum—which come packed in a crate with craftsy packaging and labels.

8Sassy Sauces Sampler ($20 to $34). We’re usually skeptical about buying products like dessert sauces, but these won us over when we tried them (and went back to eat more by the spoonful). The sampler comes with rum caramel, peanut butter fudge, spicy dark chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate flavors, which are made in Massachusetts by an ex–Café Boulud staffer.

9St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (about $30). A perfect addition to winter drinks, this rum-based liqueur (once known as pimento dram) will add warm spice flavors to anything from mulled wine to holiday cocktails.

10Murray’s Salumi Selection ($50). The always-reliable Murray’s out of New York puts together a sampler of small-batch cured meats—including La Quercia prosciutto, Fra’ Mani salame rosa, and Creminelli wild boar salami—and ships it out to your lucky giftee.