Former Aviary bartender Charles Joly’s line of craft cocktails got an upgrade this year with this funky take on the old-fashioned: It combines two rums with chocolate bitters. Finish it with a citrus garnish to call to mind those old-school chocolate oranges. $19.95 for a 750-milliliter bottle. crafthousecocktails.com
Longtime Chicago salami maker Greg Laketek debuted a fancy new flavor this year: black truffle. He mixes fresh Italian truffles with heritage pork, wine, sea salt, and black pepper for an uncured salami that really classes up a holiday cheese board. $18. salumichicago.com
Chef Amanda McLemore produces field guides that highlight seasonal farmers’ market ingredients and how to use them — for instance, did you know that eggplant pairs well with cured meats? The guides are an outgrowth of her website, where she offers advice on sustainable eating and hosts online cooking classes. $20. baguetteandbutter.com
Snag a few jars of this cult-favorite sauce, which combines Cajun seasonings, lemon pepper, and garlic butter in a single delicious mash-up. Take a page from the South Side restaurant that makes it and use the condiment to dress up shrimp and lobster, or even try it on turkey. $10. twofishcrabshack.com
Small Axe sources vegetables from local community gardens for its line of hot sauces. This one features peppers from Little Village’s Semillas de Justicia Community Garden. It’s seasoned with the classic hot dog flavors: yellow mustard, dill pickles, spicy relish, and celery salt. $6.99.
Oak Park food writer and novelist Mary Anne Mohanraj explores the flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine in this cookbook, which includes both her mother’s recipes and Mohanraj‘s own twists on classics, like her buttery lime-masala mushrooms. $40. serendibkitchen.com
Revae Schneider, whom you might know from her home cocktail classes, recently came out with a line of cocktail-ready syrups in flavors like ginger zest and lavender honey. Her smoked salt version adds a savory dimension to a margarita or paloma. $15.95. simplicitesyrup.com
Chef Zach Engel’s version of this spice blend contains local hyssop, sumac, sea salt, and sesame seeds. He uses it to make a holiday side dish: Mix parsnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots with olive oil, za’atar, and salt, then roast until tender, drizzle with tahini, and sprinkle with fresh herbs. $13. galitrestaurant.com