I love this time of year. Sparkles, good food, lots of time seeing friends and family, and of course, BOOZE!
Us bloggers love gift guides and as the market is saturated with generic guides, I thought I’d talk about what I know best: drinks. All of the products included have been tried and tested by yours truly (it was tough I’m telling ya) and would make perfect gifts for anyone who enjoys a tipple, whether it’s your friend, your partner, a family member or that person in the office who is a bit of a foodie. Here are some of the best drinks to buy your loved ones this Christmas!
The Boozy Christmas Gift Guide for Drink Lovers
There’s no getting away from it – gin is in right now, and it’s more popular than ever before. With this new-found popularity, there has been a huge influx of new gin brands so it was hard to choose just a few for this guide but I think you’ll find this selection pretty special.
Blue Bottle Artisan Dry Gin – Drinks 21, £40
One of the things I was looking for when reviewing products was the WOW factor. What kind of bottle would make someone say WOW when they opened it on Christmas day? This bottle is the answer. This is the Blue Bottle Artisan Dry Gin from the Island of Guernsey. It’s an award winning gin and comes in one of the best designed bottles I’ve ever seen – this appears to be something that gin distillers do very well (and this particular design was inspired by the creator’s time researching flies at the University of Cambridge). The gin has scent of local gorse flowers, the sweetness of nutmeg and a hint of cubeb pepper. I absolutely adore this gin and I’m sad that my bottle is already half empty! (oops).
Brockmans Premium Gin, £34
Oh, Brockmans, the ‘gin like no other’, this gin is beautiful – it’s a very sweet tasting gin, with blueberry and blackberry notes, a hint of bitter-sweet Valencian orange peel and coriander and other exquisite botanicals such as angelica, lemon peel, liquorice, almond and orris as well as, of course, Juniper berries. It’s becoming incredibly popular and it is stunning on it’s own with ice, or topped with tonic and a handful of blueberries. This is an ideal gift for gin lovers who like it floral and fruity and the bottle is luxurious and looks more expensive than it is.
1616 Barrel Aged Gin – Cotswolds Distillery, £39.95
This gin is inspired by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. Is that not the coolest thing ever?? Just me? Regardless, this 1616 Barrel Aged Gin has been inspired by the gin drank at the time Shakespeare lived, and is made by redistilling Cotswolds’ malt whisky in a copper still and combining it with juniper, coriander, nutmeg, orange peel and other botanicals. This means it tastes quite different to many gins as it definitely retains that whiskey taste – it’s truly unique and this bottle would make an ideal gift for a drinks lover, especially if they’re also a history or literature buff.
Victoria Pink Gin – Gin Lane 1751, prices vary but around £20 (available at Aldi, Selfridges, Amazon, Masters of Malt and Drinks 21)
Gin Lane 1751 create a range of gins inspired by the Victorian era, a time when gin was very popular and commonly drunk. An authentically created pink gin, this is fairly similar to Brockmans in taste, and uses eight natural botanicals – juniper, orris root, Seville oranges, angelica, Sicilian lemon, star anise, cassia bark and coriander which come together to form a beautiful floral and refreshing gin with a lovely pink hue.
Vodka, Rum and Whiskey
Vodka, Rum and Whiskey are all classic drinks to buy drink lovers at Christmas time. These are some of the bottles they may not have tried yet….
Salted Caramel Vodka – The Lakes Distillery, £15
This vodka tastes of salted caramel with a swirl of white chocolate and hints of fire toasted marshmallows. It is honestly one of the nicest drinks I have ever tasted and a delicious treat for this time of year. You can drink it alone, as a cocktail or pour some into a mug of hot chocolate. It’s also pretty affordable at £15.
Absolut Lime Vodka, £19.45 (available from Waitrose, ASDA and Tesco)
Absolut Lime is the newest addition to the Absolut vodka family and is perfect for vodka collectors and cocktail lovers. It’s very refreshing and tastes great!
Koko Kanu Jamaican Rum, prices vary but around £20 (available from Sainsubrys, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon)
Koko Kanu is a coconut rum imported from Jamaica. This is great for making cocktails and for reminiscing about sunnier times, and would make a party-lover very happy at Christmas.
Four Roses Bourbon Whiskey, £27 (available from M&S)
This is a small batch Bourbon Whiskey from Kentucky and so that whiskey-lover of yours may not have tried it before! It has rich, spicy flavours along with sweet, fruity aromas and hints of sweet oak and caramel, and is ideal for creating an ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktail.
Loch Lomond Tasting Collection – Flavourly, £21.95
For the whisky fan, a tasting collection is a great gift – especially if you’re not sure which type is their favourite. Loch Lomond are one of the most popular malt whisky producers in the Scottish Highlands and this pack comes with three mini bottles of the Loch Lomond Original (46%), 12 Year Old (46%) and 18 Year Old (43%). Perfect for beginners too!
Liqueur, Port and Cocktails
All of these bottles can easily be drank alone and come under the category of liqueur, port and ready-made cocktails. These are really nice gifts, especially for Christmas time when we’re likely to drink more at home and fancy something a little special.
Tia Maria Christmas Gift Pack, £15 (available from many retailers)
The coffee lover’s favorite liqueur Tia Maria has been revamped this year and comes in a Christmas Gift Pack, compete with a chrome cylinder case that can be customised with the chalk included. I absolutely adore Tia Maria and I love that you can write a special message on the tin!
Brontë Liqueur, £17.50 for six 5cl bottles, £23.50 for a 50cl bottle and £29.50 for a 70cl bottle
A liqueur made in ‘God’s Own Country’ (that’s my home, Yorkshire) and inspired by the incredible Brontë sisters?!?! Amazing! This liqueur is a fruity combination of blackberries and sloes with a hint of jasmine, and a percentage of all sales of Brontë Liqueur will be donated to the Brontë Society to help ensure the enduring legacy of the Brontë family. Ideal for a proud Northerner or a literary fan.
Grand Marnier, various prices (available at most supermarkets)
Are you buying a drink for someone who loves all things French? Then look no further than Paris’ own Grand Marnier, an exquisitely cool orange liqueur that comes in a beautiful bottle and can be used in a huge array of cocktail, cooking and coffee recipes!
Fireball Christmas Gift Set with Shot Glass – Hi-Spirits, £14 (available from many retailers)
Hailing from Canada, Fireball is not a drink for the light-hearted! It’s a liqueur blended with cinnamon and whiskey, and it has a serious kick, highlighted by the fire-breathing demon on the label. The gift set comes with a free shot glass so this is would be the ultimate boozy gift for a party-lover.
Kopke 10 Years Old Vintage Port – E W Wines, £20
For the drinker who likes the finer things in life, this Kopke 10 Years Old Vintage Port will go down a treat. The port is the result of several wines kept in oak casks and aged for an average of 10 years. With a brown-tawny colour, it reveals dry fruits, honey and spice aromas – and it’s incredibly moreish! Our bottle didn’t last long…
Espresso Martini Cocktail – Tesco, £15 (currently on sale for £13!)
This Tesco Finest Espresso Martini Cocktail is ready-made so you can pour it straight from the bottle! Enjoy it over ice or on its own, this drink was originally created in 1980s’ London by a creative bartender who was asked by a famous model to make something to ‘wake her up’. It’s definitely the nicest Espresso Martini I’ve had, not too strong!
Negroni Cocktail – Tesco, £15 (currently on sale for £13!)
This is another of Tesco’s pre-made cocktails – Negroni is inspired by the classic Italian recipe from 1919 when a Count asked the bartender to strengthen his favourite cocktail, the Americano, with a splash of gin. I love these bottles, they’re very unique and so easy to drink!
If you’re looking for something smaller, a little cheaper or just something different, here are some creative stocking filler ideas for the drinks lover…
Ginger Syrup – The Ginger Party, £3.79
Ginger is one of the most popular festive flavours and this ginger syrup is perfect for including in cocktails or hot drinks. It’s also great for baking and comes with a really good recipe for gingerbread shortcake biscuits – I’ve tried it and it worked brilliantly! At just £3.79 this is a steal and it would look lovely in a stocking.
Mini bottles (assorted) – I heart Wine, £1.90
If you only want to spend a couple of pounds, these mini bottles of wine from I heart Wine are ideal. They’d work for a secret santa or as a little extra for the wine lover.
Old Mulled Hen & Rocking Rudolph – Greene King, various prices (available in many supermarkets)
Not everyone is into spirits and wine, so for the ale drinker these seasonal offerings from Greene King make an ideal stocking filler. Old Mulled Hen Festive Spiced Ale is a warming winter ale with rich clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavour – I really like it. Rocking Rudolph is a full bodied beer with redcurrant and blackcurrant flavours, along with a malted toffee taste. I’d be very happy to receive these, and available from most supermarkets, they’re very affordable.
Gin & Tonic Infusion Set – Sous Chef, £17.50
This set from excitingly-good foodie heaven website Sous Chef is a wonderful gift for anyone who likes their gin. The Spanish-inspired set comes with four garnishes: cardamon, star anise, timut pepper and rose petals, a set of tasting notes and cocktail mixing spoon. I love this, it’s one of the most unique sets I’ve seen and is good quality.
Blackberries with Gin and Black Cherries with Luxardo – Opies, £8.99 (available at Waitrose & Ocado)
If you’re looking for something a little different, then Opies have you covered. This special range infuses fruit in alcoholic drinks, perfect for cocktails, baking, adding to desserts or on their own, and all under £10! The blackberries in particular are my favourite!
- If you have a wine lover, I really recommend signing them up to a subscription for Le Petit Ballon, a French wine subscription service. If you want to see some examples of what comes in the boxes, I have reviews from June and November, and I’ll be reviewing the December box this month.
- For yourself, to bring to a party or as a gift, Cidrerie Stassen is a delicious sparkling cider from the makers of Heineken that is a great alternative to champagne.
I hope this has helped you find inspiration for Christmas, whether you’re buying for someone else or treating yourself, because let’s face it, it’s Christmas!
*Some products in this guide were sent to me to review, but I only include products that I love*