10 Incredible Made-In-Chicago Hostess Gifts

‘Tis the season for back-to-back partays. (Yes, we said partaaaay!). And, while entertaining is fun, cleaning up tinsel, scrubbing off wine stains, and splurging for fancy finger foods don't make for the merriest of tasks. So, show gratitude for your hosts and hostesses this season by picking up one of these 10 made-in-Chicago gifts, most of which you can purchase online.
From boozy sips by Few Spirits to Jo Snow's foodie-approved handcrafted syrups, we've rounded up the best tokens of appreciation in town, Scout's honor. Even if you’re not a Martha Stewart in-training, we can help you become the most popular gal at every ball—or White Elephant swap.
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Did you volunteer for bartending duties? While spiked eggnog is pretty tasty, the natives may get restless with same the old holiday tipples. Enter the “Barkeep! Recipe Box“ from Suitor and Glossed & Found. The vintage-style recipe cards — printed on thick, creamy stock — list ingredients for cocktails recommended by the likes of Bobbi Brown. And, you can compound your buzz with a fuzzy feeling: Proceeds from the sale of each box go to Prescription Well-Being, a nonprofit that supports women and children with cancer.

Barkeep! Recipe Box, $22, available at Suitor.
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Any hostess loves a little more sauce for her bar, and who can resist a stiff one that’s locally made? Get the good times flowing by picking up a bottle (or two) of Few Spirits. Made in Evanston, the handcrafted liquors are available at local retailers such as Binny’s. Flavors include handcrafted American Gin; White, Rye, and Bourbon Whiskey; and specialty spirits such as Barrel-Aged Gin. Adorned with Ferris wheels and vintage labels, the cute bottles (which can be used as vases post-party) were inspired by the World’s Fair.

Few Spirits Bourbon Whiskey, $39.99-$59.99, available online at Binny’s.
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For something a little more sobering — and to brighten your hostesses’ morning-after cleanup — bring by a bag of locally made Intelligentsia Coffee. The preferred bean of Windy City coffee snobs comes in handy gift sets this season.

We get a jolt from the “Pour Over” box set, which includes a dripper, a box of filters, a custom coffee mug, and a bag of the House Blend brew. The set comes in cozy, winter forest-themed packaging, so if you can scrounge up a bow you’re off the hook for wrapping duty.

Intelligentsia Pourover Gift Box, $65, available online at Intelligentsia Coffee.
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Shopping at Mojo Spa is like raiding a baker’s bathroom (this is a good thing). There’s soap shaped like cupcakes, sugar-scented soy candles, and gift sets like the cutely packaged “Scrub Sampler.” With face and body scrubs in scents like “Lemon Lust” and “Sugar Me Sweet,” the products are candy for your shower caddy. Pretty sweet.

Mojo Scrub Sampler, $30, available at Mojo Spa, 1468 North Milwaukee Avenue (at Honore Street); 773-235-6656.
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For a sweet gift with a cheeky edge, pick up some pie pops from Cheap Tart. At the Chicago-based bakery, staffers (in darling aprons, no doubt) bake up pies and tarts using organic produce and dairy. The mini pies — “real miniature pies, not just pop tarts on sticks,” say company reps — come in festive flavors like lemon-ginger, maple-pecan, and classic apple. The party-perfect snacks are portable, can be gobbled up in two bites, and look adorable on the dessert table. There’s no retail location just yet, so staffers deliver the cutesy treats right to your door.

Cheap Tart Pie Pops, $36 per dozen, available online at Cheap Tart Bakery.
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Dust your hostess’s knuckles with stackable rings from Jules. The local jewelry designer — whose personality, by the way, is as sparkly as her work — personalizes the rings with initials. Make the gift extra festive by getting rings with “M” “E” “R” “R” “Y.” (Too much?)

Jules Initial Stacking Rings, from $44, available at Cityblue Apparel and Denim, 1444 North Wells Street (at Schiller Avenue); 312-664-2222.
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Gorgeous flowers always go over well, and our favorite place for picking up bouquets is Pistil & Vine. The Wicker Park flower shop is filled with snowy white blooms and other ripe-for-the-season flowers, and the friendly staffers will assemble an arrangement for you on site.

Pistil & Vine, prices vary, 1924 North Damen Avenue (at Homer Street); 773-698-7287.
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If Stevie Nicks were a candle line (we ponder such things — don’t you?) she’d be Tatine. Local artisan Margo Breznik says her small-batch creations are “candles from a rock 'n' roll heart.” The soy and beeswax products come in scents with lyrical names like “Creeping Moss” and “Forest Floor.” They’ll totally light up your hostess’ day.

Tatine Candles, starting at available at Jayson Home and Garden, 1885 North Clyborn Ave (at Wisconsin Street); 773-248-8180.
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Your pal has some washing and drying to do tomorrow; and, since you can’t be there to help out (insert muttered excuse), at least you can be there in spirit. Local company Tartella creates screen-printed tea towels that make darling hostess gifts. Screen-printed onto cotton flour sacks, the towels have whimsical prints of tomatoes, ice cream cones, and (our favorite) colored whisks. There’s something so Betty Draper-chic about gifting someone with tea towels.

Tartella tea towels, $15, available at Tartella.
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Don’t hate us: We have one more sweet snack you won’t be able to resist at the party. But these suckers are so good. Based in Pilsen, Chocolat Uzma Sharif churns out handmade chocolates with an “east-meets-west” sensibility. Exotic confections include jasmine tea truffles and hazelnut-coriander pralines, and gift sets range from teeny two-candy boxes to the crammed-with-sweets “La Grande Hatbox.”

Chocolat Uzma Sharif Gift Sets, $5-$89, available online at Chocolat Uzma Sharif.

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