30 Gifts Your Host Will Actually Be Excited To Receive
Candle or boring bottle of vino? Yeah, no thanks.
So you’re heading to a friend or family member’s house for dinner. Or maybe a barbecue, birthday party, or much anticipated post-vax reunion. Once you’ve tackled the whole “what to wear after a year-and-change spent in pajamas” thing, may we suggest diverting your attention to what to give your host? You know you can’t show up empty-handed, but a bottle of wine just isn’t going to cut it for that epic cookout. That’s why we scoured the internet high and low for fun, unique gifts to thank the kind folks feeding your stomachs and your Zoom-less souls.
Minted Custom House Portrait, from $58 framed
We can’t think of a sweeter way to help new homeowners in your life fête their new digs than with a unique line drawing. To order, all you have to do is upload a photo of the house (or, if there’s a special building you want to memorialize, go for it) and pick your frame, size, moulding, color theme, and borders and matting. If you’re not heading to a housewarming party but think your host could use a fun piece of art to grace their walls, we also love this custom map art (starting at $65 framed).
Has your buddy become a tier A plant parent in these strange times? They’ll love this eye-catching peperomia with stripes that resemble the juicy melon that gives it its namesake. Choose from five chic planter colors and throw in pruning scissors for good measure.
They had us at boozy jam. Be a gracious guest with these tantalizing jams made in New York’s Hudson Valley. Our personal favorite is Prosecco Strawberry, in which those sweet red berries are simmered with prosecco, along with a touch of lemon and elderflower. Other options include Bourbon Blueberry, Whiskey and Fig, and Blackberry Lavender Cabernet. ISO: Crusty French Baguette, please.
We feel you. A year without concerts was not fun. Now that music (and fun) are back, raise a glass and toast the audiophile in your life with these colorful coasters crafted from old records. They might not be ready for that whole 40,000-person amphitheater concert quite yet, but these will certainly be a functional addition to their household. All sets include a variety of music genres and contain six coasters, plus, no two sets are alike.
The 2 pm slump is real, y’all. But keep the festivities going for a pool party or daylight rager with this award-winning java-flavored rum. The notes of coffee, cinnamon, dark chocolate, caramel, and more hit just right when served on the rocks; but we also love pouring it into a dark and stormy or daiquiri. Life is short, so try it straight and mixed into your favorite rum cocktail recipe, too. Bonus: Your host can use any leftovers for a hot afternoon affogato break.
Uncommon Goods Custom Map Serving Tray, from $65
A particularly thoughtful gift for a housewarming party, this mango wood tray with a water-resistant surface makes the perfect vessel for drinks or snack bowls, while also showing off some neighborhood pride. Simply plug in the desired address and the cartographic terrain of the surrounding 3 miles will be displayed along with a star to designate the home base.
Onda Sparkling Tequila, from $3 a can (24-pack for $65)
For many, fun in the sun pairs best with tequila. We’re wholeheartedly in that camp, and this delightfully fizzy beverage is perfect for an afternoon drinking session with a 12-ounce can clocking in at 5% ABV. The '90s-inspired branding is also right after our heartstrings, and we hope your host’s, too. Watermelon and blood orange are the latest flavor releases, but we’re partial to the original lime and grapefruit versions.
It can sometimes be tricky to know what to give plant-based pals as a thank-you for hosting. Thankfully, Goldbelly's epicurean e-commerce platform has a dizzying amount of superb vegan options among its offerings like sweets from Erin McKenna’s Bakery or the fixings for a plant-based burger night from Impossible Foods. Surprise a vegan in your life with this crumb cake, and they’ll be so glad they don’t have to put another cake or cookie to waste because a friend forgot to scan the ingredient list for eggs or dairy. P.S. If they’re kind enough to share, we promise everyone gathered around the table will love it.
A good party likely means your host will be tired for, oh, the next 72 hours. That’s why we love this calming blend of herbal teas to help them catch a moment of zen in their post-cleanup state of exhaustion or as they recover the next day. The organic teas are excellent iced or served hot.
Got a waffle enthusiast on your hands? For the brunch-loving pal, you can’t go wrong with this handsome collection of maple syrups from Runamok, a Vermont maple syrup producer that definitely delivers on the quality front. In addition to making pancake dreams come true, these syrups work well with ice cream, in marinade recipes, and even in cocktails.
Misen Dutch Oven, $165
Everyone is over that quarantine cookies frenzy by now. Nobody is ever over mac 'n cheese, scalloped potatoes, peach cobbler, and the dizzying array of drool-inducing recipes you can make in a versatile Dutch oven. Available in five chic colors, this seven-quart Dutch oven is a workhorse any party planner will appreciate. Choose from either a traditional lid or a grill pan lid, which also can be used as an indoor grill on their stove.
Modica Superfood Cocktail Mix, from $14
Giving back to the friends who have been your drinking buddies since your college years is a given. After the health kick we’ve all been on after this year and change, why not up the ante with these delectable cocktail mixers made with ingredients you can pronounce and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants? Whether they're mixing them with club soda for a swoon worthy mocktail or whipping up a grapefruit jalapeño margarita, these will quickly become summer sipping favorites.
For the hostess with the mostess in terms of primo outdoor real estate, this stylish umbrella from The Novogratz xo Sarah Jessica Parker Collection will allow them to get some shade as they channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw. Choose from Rosewater or Aqua Haze Stripe. FYI: The umbrella stand is not included.
A bottle of wine? Lame. An assortment of single-serve wines with sleek packaging and bold flavor profiles? Sure to be a talking point of the party. Each box includes a different combination of wine made with certified-organic grapes, and you can choose from all whites, whites and rosés, all reds, or reds and whites.
It’s your obligation to give back to the guys and gals who taught you how to make a killer cheese board. That’s why we’re swooning for these attractive blank canvases from Fab Slabs, a line of natural antibacterial cutting boards and platters made of sustainable Camphor Laurel trees in Australia. The wood grains prove a beautiful backdrop for cheese, charcuterie, fruits, nuts, and more. If you’re feeling uber generous, tote along some grazing victuals, so everyone has something to snack on while the host gets to prepping dinner. For something more affordable, we also love this medium paddle board ($54.99).
Pineapple is the symbol of hospitality, and the unofficial symbol of tropical merriment. Bring the beachy vibes to your next gathering with this moonshine blended with fresh pineapple and real coconut for a 70-proof zinger that will teleport you to the ocean in just a few sips. We’ll also gladly guzzle their Ruby Red Grapefruit Moonshine made with organic grapefruits from Texas and California.
Finding the perfect bottle of olive oil isn’t easy. Thankfully, we did the grunt work for you to impress any gourmand in your circle. This two-pack of Turkish olive oil includes the Premium Everyday with notes of green almond and wild herbs and the Private Select, which hits your palate with fruitier flavors balanced by fresh cut grass and black pepper. Should they decide to share the joy, they’re the perfect addition to a tablescape, so guests can drizzle either of the fine oils on their plates as they please.
No, you don’t need to remember to order a monogrammed gift six weeks in advance. But you will look like you’re a planner extraordinaire and super thoughtful with these personalized highball glasses, which can be shipped off in just one-to-two days. Each glass is shatterproof, holds up to 18 ounces, and is personalized with a name, initial, or monogram in any of 32 colors and a variety of font styles.
Happy Cooking Cards, from $5
Whoops, you forgot to bring a gift to that barbecue you went to last weekend. We’ve got you covered: these darling greeting cards give you the chance to express your gratitude to your nearest and dearest, and the cards cleverly include a corresponding recipe to the watercolor painting of the dish on the cover. On the artist Evan Stevens’ website there’s also the option to subscribe to a weekly chef-made recipe card and art print. This month’s “menu” is a beet salad, tomato tart, and wild cherry sorbet and may very well give the lucky recipient inspiration to invite you over for another night of fun (here’s to hoping they get the hint).
This throw pillow from The Inside’s collaboration with CW Stockwell showcases the storied fabric and wallpaper company’s signature Martinique banana leaf pattern. A great gift for the most stylish host in town (who has coveted outdoor space), the pillow comes in hundreds of other fabric options if you’re looking for a different color scheme or design. A 16-inch outdoor pillow is also available for $49.
It’s summer. It’s sweltering. But when you’ve got a lactose intolerant host, you may fear they’re relegated to lackluster scoops. Fear not. Order this dairy-free, plant-based ice cream from Goldbelly in your choice of Blush Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cocoa Hazelnut, Cookies & Creme 2.0, and Malted Espresso (each order contains four pints) and everyone will be dreaming of these luscious flavors for months to come. Or, until, you know, they cave and splurge on a boatload of ice cream for themselves. Another great option for sweet tooths? Oaté milk ice crème truffles that arrive in a 24-pack assortment of mint chocolate cookie, double chocolate cookie, and peanut butter chocolate cookie.
When that champagne high is over, your friends or family will appreciate this wonderful diffuser that exudes the scents of ginger, grapefruit, and raspberry in a classy handblown glass vessel deserving of space on their coffee table or kitchen counter. The fragrance lasts up to a year, so they may very well think of you and smile for a whole trip around the sun.
Did your uncle Bob or college roomie Su become a quarantine mixologist? This book, available at Marshalls, will have them further refining their new skills with some 300 pages of cocktail recipes and beautiful photos of tantalizing libations. Next time you visit, don’t let them show you out the door without filling an airplane-sized bottle with their latest infused whiskey concoction.
Minted Table Runners, from $46
We don’t know about you, but we just have a thing for table linens. You’ll love the assortment of patterns available like these ice cream cones or Texas flora graphics, with plenty of basic geometric designs, too. And since they're designed by independent artists, your gift will help support creative folks around the world, to boot. (Also, how cheery is the colorful table runner pictured above from Fort Lauderdale artist Marissa Huber’s summer waves offerings?)
Everyone has that friend who is always drinking water. Maybe they’ve even lectured you about the importance of getting enough H2O one too many times. Well, this is the present for them, folks. This stainless steel pitcher uses sustainable materials and looks quite glam if we do say so ourselves, while the filter removes fluoride, chlorine, and chloramine, as well as heavy metals, while remineralizing the water to their health-buff heartstrings’ delight. Also worth noting: Invigorated Water donates a portion of their profits to Charity:Water, which helps provide safe drinking water in developing nations.
We all need something to believe in right about now. This summer, let it be this otherworldly pineapple dessert. Your host (especially the ones who always forget about dessert) and the rest of the guests will be so glad to sink their teeth into these layers of handmade crêpes and pineapple pastry crème, everyone will almost forget about the insanity of the world for a while. Or at least until they lick that final amazing bite of pineapple glaze, whipped cream, and white wine gelée and crêpes off of their fork.
What is happiness if not wooden bowls and people you love gathered at a table? When your BFF puts out a spread of a stellar salad or pasta dish, boost their table appeal with this chichi meets laid-back set from T.J. Maxx. In addition to the serving bowl, the set also comes with a serving spoon and fork, which they can mix and match with other bowls as they please.
The Atticco Scarves, from $30
This line of scarves and sarongs (which also double as chic picnic mats) are made with natural dyes to make veritable art out of cotton, wool, chiffon, and silk. Wrap a bottle of champagne in these dreamy block-printed designs, and you’ll have a very happy — and very fashionable host.
Coffee enthusiasts will rejoice when presented with this kit that gets them from zero to caffeinated with tasty cold brew coffee. The set includes a box of Sunny Spot Ready-to-Brew Cold Brew Pouches, a reusable metal straw set, and two mason jars. If you love a cuppa joe, do yourself a favor and pick this up for yourself, too.
Clorox wants to help give you confidence to get back out there. That’s why they’ve partnered with the Cleveland Clinic and CDC Foundation to form the Clorox Safer Today Alliance™, helping brands like United Airlines, Enterprise, and AMC Theaters create healthier public spaces for us all. Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes also come in convenient on-the-go sizes, so you’re covered wherever you go.