Unique treats, gifts and baskets for unique people.

The Mercantile in Toronto's Roncesvalles Village is your go-to shop for everyday luxuries, with a thoughtfully curated selection of gourmet food items, kitchen accessories, gifts and gift baskets to help you live, give, and entertain in style.

Home Mixology

Bittermilk Cocktail Trio

At the last cocktail bar we went to, it took about 15 minutes to choose from among all the enticingly described options in the lengthy menu and another 15 just to make the drink. Various ingredients were scorched and twisted and filtered and rinsed and squeezed and stirred. The bartender wore a pharmacist's coat, wire-rimmed spectacles and all de rigeur tattoos and facial hair. It was all quite the show and the drink was priced accordingly. Lots of fun but not something for every day and certainly not the kind of effort you want to have to expend while also greeting your guests for a night in!

Enter Bittermilk - a small operation out of Charleston SC founded by restaurant and bar veterans dedicated to making your home cocktail experience as interesting as your special night out. As any mixologist will tell you, every cocktail is about balancing the characteristics of your ingredients: acid, sweet, smokey, salty, earthy, floral, bitter, herbaceous, etc. etc. Bittermilk has done that balancing act for you so all you need to do is add booze, shake with ice (or not), strain and serve. Lab coat, spectacles, tats and hipster-beards optional.

You'll find these beautifully packaged cocktail mixers just underneath the bitters section as you enter the store on your left: Tom Collins with Elderflower and Hops, Smoked Honey Whisky Sour and Charred Grapefruit and Sea Salt Tonic.

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Secret Flavour Weapon

Our Better Than Bouillon collection

Looks like the rink in Sorauren Park is about to see some action with a spate of hard cold weather. Which may mean your soup and stew pots are about to see some action as well. As always, the ever-widening selection of soup-kits from SoupGirl is a healthy and easy one-jar solution for your stove-top that doesn't spend much time on our shelves come winter.

But whether you're looking to deepen the flavour and aroma of those soup kits, start your own soup or stew from scratch or lend some oomph to a sauce or risotto stock, there is no better secret weapon for your pantry than this line of flavour bases from Better Than Bouillon. Each of these offers supremely concentrated flavour and will go a long way to getting you through a long winter. Less than a teaspoon in a mug may be just the belly warmer you need after shovelling the driveway.

The chicken, beef, vegetable and mushroom options are all organic and we've just introduced a new addition to the line up: lobster (you remember that risotto stock I was mentioning earlier?)

Done. You may now go ahead and throw out the dried out bouillon cubes in your cupboard!

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Cheesy New Year!

Seriously Cheesy Puffs

At this point it's probably been a week's worth of over-indulging and you are already contemplating a new regime of kale smoothies and sit-ups. But there's still one last blast to get through this weekend and we have everything you need: tonics, sodas, bitters, chocolates, chips, napkins - you name it.

But if you're looking to bring the ultimate snack to a New Year's party or provide bowls of deliciousness to your own guests at your NYD levée, you seriously have to check out these cheesy puffs from Portland. Face it, you can put out plates of the finest charcuterie and paté at an upscale party and spend hours making caviar blinis and devilled quail eggs and what will be the first thing to be demolished? The bowl of cheezies (or cheezits or cheese puffs or whatever your preferred brand calls them) always needs refilling. It's a guilty pleasure with strong echoes of childhood and you need only scan the fingertips of your guests to see who has just gone down a rabbit hole of nostalgia. These ones from Fuller in Oregon take the cheesy to the next level with a decidedly adult dimension: Sriracha-Cheddar, Asiago-Black Pepper and Blue Cheese-Jalapeño are your options. 

Your guests (or hosts, as the case may be) will curse you for having introduced them to something so irresistible it's going to seriously challenge their New Year's Resolutions. 
You're welcome.

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