How to Make Gourmet Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are a thoughtful gift for family and friends for any occasion, especially when it includes food and drinks! Creating a gourmet gift basket on your own is often times not only more affordable than purchasing a pre-made one, but provides a unique opportunity to truly personalize the basket with the tastes and interests of your recipient.

The keys to making the perfect gourmet basket are to: 1) know the recipient, 2) know the occasion, and 3) know the feeling you wish to convey through the gift. These three factors will help you create the theme, which is the first step.

Ask yourself what tastes, dietary preferences and/or restrictions, and general interests your recipient has. Identify the occasion, as a birthday themed basket will give a different impression from that of a retirement themed basket. Choose what type of feeling you wish to convey with the gift. Do you want your basket to be silly, serious, congratulatory, or thankful?

Next, find a container that will fit the theme. The container will set the parameters which will determine the number of contents needed. Your container doesn’t have to literally be a basket. It can be any type of container: a wire bin, a metal tin, a unique bag or even a lunch box. You can find containers nearly everywhere: online, at home goods store, or even at a discount or second-hand store.

The next step is to select the contents. For food and drink ingredients, expand your mind beyond the typical wine and cheese (while these contents are absolutely encouraged!).

For food, consider including fresh fruits, unique candies, special honeys, artisan breads and exotic treats. For drink, think about including bottled juices, rare teas , craft beers, and alcoholic ciders. 

Finding these contents is relatively easy. Not only can you find these items at your local farmer’s market, liquor retailer, and grocery store, but also online where your options expand tremendously to include imported goods.

Another content options are non-edible culinary items. These items could be a wine opener, dish towels or a cook book.

For instance, if your recipient is a tea lover, include a tea infuser with some tea. Or if your recipient is an avid cook, include a spoon rest. And if your basket’s theme is about beer, consider including a unique beer glass.

When assembling your gourmet gift basket, remember the presentation. Consider how to place the contents in a manner that gives the best visual.

Don’t be afraid to use tissue paper or discretely placed bubble wrap to prop up contents for the best appearance.  If you’re using an open container, consider placing the taller items in the back, then graduate lower in height to the front.

Wrapping the container and contents in cellophane tied nicely with a bow is a lovely way to keep the creation in place while looking grand.

Let’s take consider at a few examples while remembering the key points: personalize for the recipient, occasion and theme.

For instance, your recipient is a dog-loving, health-conscious person who you wish to thank for dog-sitting while you were on vacation. You want your basket to have a thankful, dog theme.

To fit the dog theme, you find a cute container in the shape of a bone. Knowing your recipient, you select fresh fruit (pineapple, oranges, and grapes), a bottle of organic wine, organic matcha tea, and some healthy snacks (nuts, granola bars, and kale chips). Perfect!

Another example is if you recipient is a snack and chocolate-loving couple who just bought their first home. You want your gourmet gift basket to have a congratulatory theme.

To fit the theme, the container you select is a cute glass canister. To fit the recipients’ preferences, you find unique imported chocolates, nougat, and cookies to fill the jar. Not only is the “basket” targeted to the recipients’ likes, but it’s useful for their new home.

With a little creativity and personalization, you can easily make a gourmet gift basket your recipients are certain to love and remember.