The Little Luxury I’m Buying for all My Loved Ones’ Pantries

updated Oct 21, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

Every year it’s the same: I promise myself I won’t scramble to buy last-minute gifts for the holidays. Instead of paying extra for shipping to get something to my parents’ house on time, I’ll buy (thoughtful!) gifts in October. I’ll take my time wrapping each item. There will be bows. I won’t be stressed. I’ll make cookies in my spare time.

Reader: This never happens. Or at least it hasn’t happened yet. However, I really, truly think that this year might be the year I turn things around; I might actually be able to achieve my gift-giving goals, because I already know what I want to get everyone on my list. Brightland, one of Kitchn’s favorite olive oil companies, recently came out with two different vinegars, and both of them are unlike anything I’ve had before. They’re fruit-forward, well-balanced, and make everything I put them on feel a little more special.

Credit: Ariel Knutson

Let me break down the two options for you. Brightland’s RAPTURE is a raw balsamic vinegar blended with Triple Crown blackberries. It’s so deeply luscious and has a nice body to it, without feeling heavy. You get the blackberry notes right away, with the added tang of the vinegar. Salad is the obviously vehicle for this, of course, but I’ve also been dreaming about all the ways I can use it in dessert this summer (some sort of macerated strawberry situation?).

PARASOL is a raw Champagne vinegar blended with navel and Valencia oranges. This is California in a bottle: It’s so bright and crisp and citrusy. I recently tried it in this panzanella salad and it made the whole dish sing. I also could seriously drink the stuff, so I’m thinking up cocktail ideas that would be a nice fit for this vinegar.

Buy: The Pair from Brightland for $44

You can buy the vinegars separately or in a pair. And if you want to make this a more substantial gift, you could throw in one of Brightland’s olive oil bottles, too. I’m planning on getting the pair for my mom, my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law, and a couple of cooking-obsessed friends. It’s a small, thoughtful (and tangy!) way to give the cooks in your life a little more joy in the kitchen. Something we could all use this year for sure.

Have you started thinking about holiday gifts yet? Share your great ideas in the comments below!