Need help with your holiday gift list? The big stuff is all on you, but we’ve got a few ideas for stocking stuffers, and many of them are local. You’re welcome.
Oso Rojo Hot Sauce
Grab a three-pack of delicious hot sauces from Denver’s Oso Rojo Hot Sauce, which you can build to your tastes from a selection of a six total. We recommend the Habanero Jellyfish, Habanero Mustard and Orange Ginger. $21 per three-pack. osorojohotsauce.com/s/order — Lily O’Neill
B Fresh Gear
Some of the freshest gear in Colorado these days is also some of the most retro. B Fresh Gear, which was founded in Denver in 2012, sells 1980s- and ‘90s-style windbreakers, fanny packs, sunglasses, visors and other apparel emblazoned with loud graphic designs, neon colors and an early digital feel. One of the coolest items: a wide-ribbed corduroy hat with an 8-bit Tecmo graphic of an NFL quarterback dressed in orange and wearing No. 7 on his jersey. The hat puts a new-old spin on the nostalgic glory days of John Elway and the Denver Broncos. $33. bfreshgear.com — Jonathan Shikes
Casa Bonita Sopaipilla Scented Candle
When Casa Bonita reopened in May, it came with a new gift shop offering some creative and quirky souvenirs. One of the most popular is an all-soy, 8-ounce custom-made candle produced in Denver by Wooly Wax to mimic the aromas and flavors of the restaurant’s most famous dish: the honey-covered sopaipillas. Scents of honey, caramelized sugar, citrus and cinnamon mingle together in a way that will make you close your eyes and imagine Black Bart’s Cave. $28. shop.casabonitadenver.com
These Joybiles cannabis products look and taste exactly like Skittles and each candy has a manageable 2.5 mg of THC. They are also sold in smaller packages sometimes so they are extra cute. $20-$27 per 40 pack (total of 100 mg THC per package) at dozens of Colorado recreational and medical dispensary locations. joyibles.com/joy-bombs — Tiney Ricciardi
Tingly Crisp from Pho King Rapidos
If you’re a fan of chili oil — that lightly textured, spicy and often nutty addition that melds with Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and other live-giving foods, share the flavor of Pho King Rapidos’s Tingly Crisp. As the name promises, the $14 bottle of handmade hot sauce is perfect for Asian and Latin food, full of tang and bright personality but not overpowering. Bonus: It’s vegan, relying on sichuan peppercorn, lemongrass, thai chili, red chili flake, garlic, onion, brown sugar and salt for its profile. Visit pkr-denver.com (the main site) or bit.ly/3SI4ldl (the ordering link). — John Wenzel
Uncle Tim’s Cocktails
Toast the craft-distilling aficionado in your life with a sample pack of pre-batched tipples from Uncle Tim’s Cocktails. The Denver company sells so-called “series” of miniature libations, such as the Negroni and Manhattan, which feature true-to-form classic recipes along with original takes. The Negroni series, for example, includes a classic rendition, a white Negroni and a Boulevardier, all ready to drink over ice. Each series includes three, 100 ml bottles for $30. Uncle Tim’s Cocktails is also debuting an Old Fashioned series in November just in time for the holidays. If you want to try before you buy, head to Uncle Tim’s tasting room at 1150 S. Lipan St. in Denver. Bottled cocktails, including sampler series, are also available for purchase at uncletimscocktails.com. — Tiney Ricciardi
Indie bookstore gift cards
For the readers in your family or friendship circle, a gift card to Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store (make that a digital card) or any one of dozens of independent bookstores across Colorado will fit nicely in that stocking. Check out this list of some of them to help you choose (bit.ly/40DXdR0), and read up on local authors, book reviews and more Colorado literary news at denverpost.com/things-to-do/books. Various gift-card values available. tatteredcover.com — Barbara Ellis
“Iron Flame” and more Colorado fiction
It’s easy to find Colorado authors making national headlines these days, such as fantasy-lit megastar Rebecca Yarros, who has a new book out called “Iron Flame.” It’s also high time to introduce yourself to even more of our New York Times best sellers and buzzy, critically acclaimed titles (some just now in paperback). That includes national award winners Kali Fajardo-Anstine (“Woman of Light”), Vauhini Vara (“This Is Salvaged”) and Mario Acevedo (genre anthologies, “Cats in Quarantine”), as well as classics from Coloradans Kent Haruf (“Our Souls at Night”) and John Williams (“Stoner” and the recently adapted “Butcher’s Crossing”). $15-$35 at local retailers. — John Wenzel
Colorado Wildflower Seed Mix
There’s nothing like wildflower season in Colorado. Catching a meadow or forest trail in full bloom is truly a breathtaking moment. But these moments can be fleeting, which is why it’s also fun to plant your own. Boulder’s BBB Seed has been operating for nearly 40 years and sells wildflower seed mixes that you can buy online or in small and mostly independent retail stores around the state. Each mix includes annuals and perennials designed to grow in our climate, like blue flax, purple coneflower, Shasta daisies, baby blue-eyes and blue columbines. $6-$42. bbbseed.com/product/colorado-wildflower-mix — Jonathan Shikes
Vinyl Me Please, please?
Based in Denver, the fast-growing Vinyl Me Please makes and annually sells dozens of reissued, all-time classic titles as well as new albums and critical darlings from tons of musical genres, ranging from Dolly Parton and Stevie Wonder to Taylor Swift, OutKast, and Caroline Rose. While a double LP won’t necessarily fit in a stocking, a gift card ($10-$500) or subscription to its high-end, record-of-the-month club (starting at $128 for three months) certainly will. It’s sure to thrill your resident audiophile, especially if you pair it with a portable, rechargeable turntable from Denver-based Victrola ($60 and up). vinylmeplease.com or victrola.com — John Wenzel
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