Waiting until December to do your holiday shopping is a bit of a nightmare, and even if you do it all online, there's a good chance the gifts won't make it to you in time to wrap and put under the tree. This is where subscription-style gifts are a no-brainer—and no, we don't mean magazines, Mom. Food and liquor is where it's at. There are tons of super cool companies out there that offer subscriptions services that will deliver items to your door that you otherwise may not experience. There's pretty much something for everyone, even that tough "man's man" in your life.
Photo Courtesy of Flaviar
Fancy yourself a liquor connoisseur or know someone who does? Then you should explore the many offerings of Flaviar. Offering three different subscriptions (the Two Months Test Flight for $94.99, the Quarterly Subscription for $48.99 a quarter, and the Monthly Subscription for $40.99 a month), Flaviar makes it easy to sample many different drinks in order to find your favorite. Each tasting pack comes with five different flavors, which is enough for three people to enjoy, and are categorized based on the type of spirit.
Photo Courtesy of Kitchen Curry Master
Kitchen Curry Master
Okay, so this one may not be a subscription per say, but it's a food kit that is mailed to you so we’re counting it. Plus, it includes a whole online community where you can share recipes and success stories. The Master Set ($59.99) from Kitchen Curry Master comes with 12 very key spices (many of which can be tough to find in the average supermarket) so you can whip up your very own authentic Indian food. Packaged in a brushed steel spice box that will preserve the spices, the set also comes with a step-by-step cook book full of cool recipes, like Chicken Biryani, Okra & Mushroom Curry, Steak & Ale Vindaloo, and Red Chutney.
Photo Courtesy of Vegan Cuts
For $215 you can give someone the Snack Box kit from Vegan Cuts for an entire year. The monthly collection of cruelty-free goodies features everything from chips to sodas, making it super easy to explore different vegan brands. The cool thing about Vegan Cuts, aside from making snacking easy, is that they also have a beauty box option that is full of unique cosmetics and skincare products.
Photo Courtesy of The Mantry Company
The Mantry Company
Promising to deliver a new and exciting food experience every month, Mantry (The Modern Man's Pantry) is designed around pleasing even the toughest guy—they would probably kill at the chance to use Nick Offerman as their spokesman. The monthly wooded crate includes six full-sized foods from all around America, promising that they will always be "painstakingly sourced and lovingly crafted" into the perfect themes. Some of their partners are little upstarts and others are award-winning chefs, so you're sure to get an interesting array of items. With stuff like bison jerky from the foothills of Montana and hotcake mix stone-ground in Nebraska, The Mantry Company is basically a hipsters dream food-of-the-month club. After all, they make it really easy to go around saying things like, "Oh, you haven't tried this hand harvested birch syrup from Alaska? I've been using it for years."
Prices range from $80 for one crate to $450 for a six-month subscription.
Photo Courtesy of skoshbox
Most of us have at least one friend who is obsessed with Japanese candy, and be honest, you've always wanted to try those green tea KitKats you've heard so much about. Sure, you could buy most of this in America if you know where to shop, but skoshbox just makes it so much easier. Plus, you won't know what you're getting each month until the kit arrives, which is a lot more fun. If there's something you really end up loving and want more of, you can also buy individual snacks through the company's online store. We recommend you go with the dekabox option, which costs $240 for a year, and includes a pound of full-sized candy.
Photo Courtesy of Imperial Tea Court
Imperial Tea Court
Imperial Tea Court's Tea of the Month Club is a great gift for any tea-lover, or even someone obsessed with BBC. Each month highlights a specific tea that the company deems the best and pairs it with a tea card that gives you some neat little details about your new favorite. Since Imperial Tea Court works off of a tea schedule, you'll know the type of tea you'll be getting each month, but not the actual blend. The October, November, and December months are a little different, since they feature a certain tea based on the best over the course of the past year. They have three different subscription offerings from $121 for the Four Seasons to $291 for A Year of Tea.
Photo Courtesy of The Fare Trade
The Fare Trade
We love The Fare Trade so much we've actually covered them before, but they're still one of the better monthly members' clubs you can find. Working to connect foodies with the leaders in the culinary industry (like Mark Estee), as well as with artisanal producers, the company offers monthly baskets ($65) that are curated by some of the nation's top up-and-coming chefs. With four to six goodies per box that are sourced from all over the country, members are able to check out the upcoming box so they can decide if they want to skip a month or not, ensuring that you won't be getting anything you don't actually want to try out. Though with offerings like Skillet Bacon Spread, Peppermint Bark, and Texas Grapefruit Shrub (just three of the items in December's basket), who would want to opt out? With all of the cool features on the site, like guest editor and meet a local features, The Fare Trade is pretty much a go-to source for culinary knowledge.
If you want to give it as a gift, you can choose however long you want the subscription to be, from one month ($50) to 12 ($468).
Photo Courtesy of The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club
The Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club
Of course, what food roundup wouldn't be complete without artisanal cheese? Promising that you'll discover cheese you wouldn't normally find on your own, the Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club sources their products from their place of origin, like Brie from Île-de-France and Leicester from English farms. Each shipment features an international variety and comes with detailed tasting notes so you will know exactly which wine works best with which cheese. Choose a full year and it's only $563.
Photo Courtesy The International Wine of the Month Club
The International Wine of the Month Club
Now that you'll have cheese, you will need all of the wine, which the International Wine of the Month Club can help you out with. For $69.95 a month, The Collector's Series subscription gives you exclusive offerings that can cellar for a more complex expression if you want. Compiling some of the oldest wines, many of the selections aren't available outside of their country of production, making the membership a pretty great one to sign up for.
Photo Courtesy of Try the World
Try the World
Travel and food cross paths pretty often, with some people even taking culinary tours through their favorite far-off cities, which is why Try the World is so much fun. Celebrity chefs from various countries select their favorite local delicacies so they can be packed up and sent to your doorstep every two months. This month, for example, is the Paris box which showcases seven to 10 French foods, and comes with a culture guide and recipes. Gift the 1 Year World Tour for just $210.