In case you don’t get enough chow and booze at the holiday parties, here’s some extra deliciousness to put under your tree.
Naga Chilli Vodka, $51
The Master of Malt has created a vodka so hellish and unbearable that the Master of Malt recommends you don’t buy it. They even seal the bottle with industrial strength wire and a lead seal, so there’s no getting into it without wire cutters. Seriously. The Naga Chilli vodka ups the ante by 2.5x compared to their previous attempt, bringing the paltry 100,000 Scoville units to an agonizing 250,000. The comments section confirms the hype with such warnings as, “This is just ridiculous - just a sip and I can still taste this nightmare over an hour later” and, “24 hours later, I'm still quite fragile.” Obviously, you have to try this (or at least dare your friends to).
[pagebreak]Baseball Glove Oven Mitt, $13
We know, we know: You really had a shot at Nolan Ryan’s strikeout record if you only had your chance. Maybe your shoulder went south, maybe you were strong-armed off a team by a jealous teammate, or maybe you just weren’t as good at pitching under the influence as Doc Ellis was. Whatever the case may be, domestic life doesn’t mean the end of your career. So when the wife tells you to take the muffins out of the oven, tell her that “You’ll get them out, all right.” Little victories, my friend. Little victories.
[pagebreak]Death Star Tea Infuser, $20
Making tea is never cool (sorry, British and Chinese people, it’s true) but there are ways to bring it up a notch. You can get your water from the melted snowcap of Mt. Kilimanjaro after scaling it barefoot, heat it up in the flowing lava river of an active volcano, and share it with baseball great Wade Boggs, but who really wants to spend the winter in Tanzania (and how do you say “Merry Christmas” in Swahili?) Instead, just drop the 20 bucks on this gloriously geeky gadget and hum the Imperial March as the infusing begins.
[pagebreak]The Balvenie: 17-Year-Old Doublewood, $130
Two is always better, whether you’re talking about a double cheeseburger or the twins that you “almost took home” the other night. So when the already wonderful Balvenie released the 17 year Doublewood, a dangerously smooth, brain-meltingly delicious single malt Scotch aged in two different barrels, we were first in line. The stunning liquid starts in an American oak barrel and finishes in a European sherry cask. Aren’t foreign relations beautiful?
[pagebreak]Umami Spray, $7
There are five basic tastes – bitter (all of those beers you had at the bar), sweet (the leftover pancakes you had when you got home), metallic (drunkenly eating the foil the pancakes were in), salty (tears of pain after being hungover from all those IPAs), and sour (the lime in your recovery cocktail). That is, until the early 20th century, when Umami was added to the gang. Umami is hard to describe (although you undoubtedly taste it all the time: It’s essentially a taste so savory it makes your mouth water) and even harder to capture. That’s why we’re so googly-eyed over Adam Fleischman’s Umami Spray. Seriously, it’s hard to find something that we won’t spritz this magic-in-a-bottle on.
[pagebreak]Pig Roasting Box, $799
The Native Americans traditionally use every part of the animal - the skin becomes a pelt, the bones become tools or weapons – and we support that, but it sure seems like a hell of a lot of work. We’d prefer that our dinner pal ends up all in the same place: our stomachs. That’s why the La Caja China pig-roasting box is a winner. Just strap Miss Piggy to the top of this charcoal-bearing box whole and let the salty alchemy begin. This beast wins in practicality and pork-ticality!
[pagebreak]Doctor Who Tardis vs Dalek Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, $22.99
Britain’s longest-running sci-fi show has been getting more popular on these shores in recent years. Some say it’s because of the show’s finely balanced mix of humor and action, while others cite the ease of following the show now that it airs on BBC America on the same dates as it does in the UK. Personally, we think it’s mostly because of the Doctor’s companion, Amy Pond. Either way, when you’re tucking into your pie and mash at suppertime, you can exterminate your food’s intended flavor (or should we say “flavour”?) with these brilliantly nerdy salt and pepper shakers.
[pagebreak]Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, $23.99
As bourbon ages, part of the liquid evaporates and becomes what’s known as the “Angel’s Share.” Those greedy, drunken angels don’t take all the hooch though - a certain amount gets trapped behind in the wood. Instead of letting it dissolve out of the wood into the air (where NOBODY can get sloshed on it) the brilliant team at Jim Beam extracts it and blends it with 6-year-old bourbon until it’s smooth, woody, and oh, so boozy (90 proof). That’s the Devil’s Cut.
[pagebreak]Hidden Surprise Mug, $14
Look, just because we work at Maxim doesn’t mean we have some sort of Peter Pan complex (apart from our tendency to wear green pantyhose, but really, that’s more a comfort issue). We’re adults with real jobs and responsibilities, and just because the content on this site tends to lean a certain way doesn’t mean we should be pigeonholed into this juvenile stereotype. Anyway, buy this mug with fake poop in it, it’s hilarious.
[pagebreak]Sriracha Popcorn, $6
The very funny folks at The Oatmeal have proclaimed their love for the Vietnamese rooster sauce before, but recently they decided to put their money where your mouth is and release some products themed around the clutch condiment. And boy did they ever hit the mark with this snack: The popcorn is perfectly spiced, but not shy with salt and other flavors, and for that reason there’s always one (or four) bags in our desk drawer. Mostly empty ones, if we’re being honest.
[pagebreak]Omaha Steaks’ Ideal Gift Assortment, $59.99
Have you ever just wanted to gorge yourself on endless piles of bloody steak and not have a heart attack? Well, we can’t promise the latter, but with Omaha Steaks’ Ideal Gift Assortment, an infinite amount of red meat finally seems possible. This carnivore collection features two 5oz. Filet Mignons, two 5oz. Top Sirloin Steaks, four 4oz. Boneless Pork Chops, four 4oz. Omaha Steaks’ Burgers, four 5.75oz. Stuffed Baked Potatoes, and one six-inch Chocolate Lovers Cake. We’re drooling/having heart palpitations just thinking about it.
[pagebreak]Mini Express, $149.99
The Italians take pride in the things they do best: Cars, leather, pasta, and plumbing (“It’s-a me, Mario!”). So if you’re into one-touch espresso, why not do it the Italian way (or “Eye-talian,” if you’re our Grandfather)? That’s why Bialetti threw its hat into the ring and created the Mini-Express, a real beaut that features a 20-bar, high pressure system, 7-gram aluminum capsules and a bunch of other science-y stuff that makes us sleepily go “coffee taste good” to the sack of potatoes we drunkenly mistook for a girl last night.
[pagebreak]Beer/Shot Light, $19/set
A multi-tasker’s dream…the hybrid glass takes the phrase "bottoms up" to a whole new level. It will also do the same for your hangovers, so be warned.
[pagebreak]Frykat Mini Picnic Charcoal Grill, $50
Like electronics, grills are fun to use but a pain to travel with. But here’s the solution: A mini grill that fits on your bike and can still hold a couple of steaks. Now can we have a portable BBQ restaurant, please?
[pagebreak]Cowboy Rib Chops, $105
These two 24oz steaks will give you instant satisfaction, and will make your heart hate you even more than it already does. It's the perfect gift for your favorite steak-lover (or least favorite vegan).
More of the 2012 Maxim Holiday Gift Guide