Let the festivities continue! This time I’m talking gifts. It’s that time of year when we’re all thinking ‘oh god, Christmas is getting awfully close isn’t it? What am I going to get so-and-so?!’. Unless you’re one of those incredibly well organised Christmas gift buying bosses..which I most certainly am not. So for anyone who’s starting to think about their Christmas shopping now but has absolutely no clue where to start, don’t worry. I’ve put together the ULTIMATE list of the best alcohol gifts to give this Christmas. We’ve got wines, spirits, ciders and more. I promise you’ll find something on this list to give to a friend, co-worker or loved one this Christmas! This post contains items that were gifted to me. They’ve been marked with an asterisk. All opinions are of course my own.
Best Alcohol Gifts: Ready-Made Cocktails
As we enter Lockdown 2.0 here in the UK, I think we’re all looking to try and figure out how to make the current circumstances feel a little bit normal. For me one of my favourite things to do back in “normal times” was walk to my local pub/restaurant and treat myself to a delicious cocktail. Even though I make cocktails all the time at home there’s something special about going out for a cocktail rather than making them yourself. So to kick off my alcohol gift guide I thought it’d be fun to talk about a few pre-mixed cocktails that are bar standard in quality.
Karl’s Ready-Made Espresso Martini**
First up is a delicious ready-made espresso martini made by Karl from Cocktail In A Bottle. Cocktail In A Bottle was launched in June 2019 to help bars sell quality cocktails to their customers quickly and easily. Earlier this year, Karl himself began delivering his hand made cocktails to his local community and not long after that he expanded the delivery service to make it UK-wide.
Karl’s Espresso Martini is part of a virtual hamper put together by Produced In Kent. The idea behind the hamper is to promote local Kent businesses and products and encourage shoppers to shop with local independents, which is so important to do – especially now! I for one will be trying to support my local Liverpool businesses whenever I can, and I encourage you to do the same if you’re able to. And if you’re local to Kent I’d recommend checking out Produced In Kent’s virtual hamper. I’ve also included a few more drinks from the Produced In Kent virtual hamper in this post which have been marked with a double asterisk**.
My Thoughts On Karl’s Espresso Martini
Oh wow this was a proper espresso martini. I was blown away. It was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter coffee for me. Smooth and full of delicious coffee flavour. It’s much sweeter than the likes of the Jagermeister espresso martini that I’ve featured on here before but it was equally as tasty. And just look at that froth!!! I couldn’t believe how incredible the froth was from a pre-mixed cocktail! Seriously impressed. If you’re looking for a super easy at-home bar quality cocktail to order then this could be absolutely perfect. To serve, just pop the mix into your cocktail shaker with ice, give it a quick shake and then strain into your chilled martini glass.
RRP £28.00, you can order your bottle of Karl’s Espresso Martini from Cocktail In A Bottle here.
Tom Savano Ready-Made Cocktails*
Next we’ve got two stunning ready-made cocktails from Tom Savano. Like Karl’s Cocktail In A Bottle, Tom Savano is a UK-wide cocktail delivery service bringing bar standard drinks to your door. All of the drinks are handmade and use only the finest, hand-sourced spirits so you know you’re getting a really great drink.
Tom Savano Lychee Martini*
First up is the Tom Savano Lychee Martini. Made with delicious small batch organic elderflower vodka, the lychee martini is a light and sweet cocktail. Despite its overall lightness, you do still get the alcohol flavour coming through perfectly. There’s nothing watered down about this cocktail. It’s full of flavour and super simple to serve at home. For me personally it was slightly sweet but if you’ve read any of my cocktail blog posts before then you’ll know that I’m just really into bitter cocktails. That being said I could tell that it was a really high quality drink and, despite being a bitter cocktail lover, I still really enjoyed it. If you’re a fan of a no fuss, light and sweet cocktail then you’ll love this one. For the perfect serve you’ll want to start by chilling your martini glass. Then fill your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, pour in the Lychee Martini mix, shake it all up and serve in the glass. Serves 2.
RRP £12.00 for a 200ml (serves 2), £27.00 for a 500ml (serves 5). You can purchase both directly from their website here.
Tom Savano Margarita*
The second Tom Savano cocktail is a classic Margarita. If you follow me on Twitter then you’ll know about my love for a good margarita. It’s up there as one of my all-time favourite cocktails. So when it came to trying out Tom Savano’s ready-made cocktail I was pretty bloody excited. And boy did it meet (and exceed!) my expectations. It’s made with their Jalisco single estate tequila and to be honest the only way to describe this drink is to say that it’s everything I love in a margarita. It was honestly the perfect margarita. I can’t fault it at all. If you’re a margarita fan then you seriously need to try this. To serve, rim your margarita/martini glass with lime juice and salt (they recommend pink Himalayan salt). Then fill your cocktail shaker with ice, pour in the margarita mix, give it a shake up and serve in your salted glass. Serves 2.
Ready-Made Cocktails: A Few Old Favourites…
As well as the drinks above, I also have a couple of old favourite ready-made cocktails to share with you. I say these are ‘old favourites’ but I actually discovered them a few months back, right at the beginning of lockdown.
Pre-Made Cocktails by Lollipop
Lollipop are a London-based hospitality group known for their immersive cocktail bar experiences. With lockdown having meant the closure of many companies in the hospitality industry, Lollipop decided to launch Cocktails by Lollipop, a home cocktail delivery service. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites from their range of bottled cocktails that I thought could make really great gifts this Christmas.
1. The Paloma – Similar to a margarita, it’s bitter-sweet, tangy and very drinkable
2. The CRT – Light, sweet with a chilli kick. This one is similar to a G&T but with an elderflower twist.
I’ve done a full review of Lollipop’s range of bottled cocktails so if you’re thinking about giving them a try for yourself, or if you need anymore info about them then head over and check out my review.
Best Alcohol Gifts: Spirits
Spirits are a classic Christmas gift for me. I actually think gifting someone a bottle of their favourite spirit, or a bottle of spirit that you think they’d love, can be such a personal gift. I always think it shows that you know a bit about the person you’re buying a gift for. Anyone else with me?
Isle Of Wight Distillery’s Mermaid Salt Vodka*
The first spirit that I want to introduce you to is Mermaid Salt Vodka from Isle Of Wight Distillery who are a completely net zero distillery. Now I want to just start things off with a disclaimer…and that is that I’ve actually never been a vodka drinker (*gasp*). I’d managed to convince myself that vodka just wasn’t for me at all, without ever really exploring the world of it (and having only ever tried the cheap stuff). It wasn’t until I tried proper vodka (for lack of a better word) on holiday last year that I realised that I actually really quite like it. So I’m super excited to talk about the incredible Mermaid Salt Vodka.
Firstly, lets just all marvel over the stunning bottle that the vodka comes in. It looks like a mermaid tail! And secondly lets all appreciate that not only is it glam but it’s ALSO vegan and gluten free. It looks the part, but what does it taste like? Well it’s just the most smooth vodka I’ve ever had, which is down to the sea salt infusion. There’s absolutely nothing harsh and chemically about this vodka. It’s pure class. I tested it both straight and alongside a tonic and I have to say it was honestly the best vodka I’ve ever tasted, hands down.
RRP £35.84, you can purchase it from Master of Malt here.
Black Fire Tequila*
The next spirit is Black Fire Tequila, a UK-based independent spirit brand. Bringing together coffee, tequila and a kick of chilli Black Fire is sure to give you a buzz this Christmas! Made with 50% less sugar than your average coffee liqueur, Black Fire is the perfect base for a cocktail or as a standalone drink to sip on in front of the fire. What stood out to me about this tequila was that it didn’t have the syrupy texture that other coffee liqueurs have. It was a lot more liquid in texture. As for the smell and taste, I was getting quite a deep chocolatey scent at first, and the same thing went for the taste too. But then the coffee tequila flavours came through. Right at the end you get hit with the chilli kick. So good.
RRP £20.95, you can purchase Black Fire Tequila on Amazon here.
Best Alcohol Gifts: Spirits, Miniatures
Christmas is the perfect time for trying out different drinks to your go-to’s. And one of my favourite ways to try out a few different drinks without breaking the bank is by buying miniature versions of spirits rather than full sized bottles. Here are a couple of great minis that’d make lovely gifts this Christmas.
Maidstone Distillery: George Bishop Gin**
Named after George Bishop, who installed the first ever distillery in Maidstone in 1785, George Bishop Gin is an award-winning London Dry Gin from Maidstone Distillery. Light and citrusy, this felt like a classic London Dry to me. I was getting lemony citrus flavours at the end which I think would make it absolutely perfect for use in a classic gin fizz cocktail. It’s delicious and refreshing just with a simple tonic as well though.
RRP £29.00 for full sized bottle, £15.00 for 20cl and £5.00 for 5cl. You can purchase your bottle directly from The Maidstone Distillery website here.
Anno Distillers: Winter Miniature Gift Set**
Founded in 2011 by Dr’s Andy and Norman, Anno Distillers was the first gin distillery to open in Kent in 200 years. Bringing together Andy and Norman’s love and passion for craft spirits, Anno Distillers distils a variety of different gins, whiskeys and vodkas. This Christmas I wanted to share the Anno Distillers Miniature Gift Set of 3 festive gins. What I love so much about these minis are that they’re all lovely Christmas flavours. Sometimes it’s nice to embrace the full Christmas feeling and you can definitely do that with Anno Distillers miniatures. My favourite of the three was the Cranberry Gin. The scent instantly reminded me of mulled wine, which is one of my favourite Wintry drinks. So we were off to a great start! The taste was actually quite mulled wine-esque as well. Overall it was just so so Christmassy and I loved it.
It’s still got a bitterness to it, which you expect from a gin, but its got the sweet cranberry flavour too. And, although it’s a sweet gin it’s not super sweet. When it comes to Christmas I find that so many drinks get turned into super sweet drinks. So it’s nice to have a slight sweetness to an otherwise bitter drink rather than a sickly sweet gin thats nothing like gin itself. After all gin should, at the end of the day, still be quite bitter.
RRP £16.50, the minis are available to purchase from the Anno Distillers website here.
Spirits: A Few Old Favourites…
Okay so these are actual OLD favourites. Here are three of my all time favourite spirits. All of which will make the perfect gift for someone this Christmas.
1. Plantation Pineapple Rum
Plantation Pineapple Rum is one of my go-to drinks whenever I take a trip to my local pub. You just can’t beat a dark rum and Diet Coke at the end of a night. I love how smooth this dark rum is, which comes from the sweet hit of pineapple. I love a standard Plantation Rum but the pineapple twist just about takes the win for me. Hopefully it’ll be a winner for you this Christmas! RRP £33.95, you can purchase a bottle from Master of Malt here.
2. Brockmans Gin
Like Plantation Rum, Brockman’s is a spirit that I always order when I’m out. Again, my local pub stock Brockman’s behind the bar (honestly I’m spoiled for choice with the range of drinks they have) so it’s a go-to of mine whenever I’m there. What makes this stand out against your standard fruity gin is its use of dark berries. If you’re looking for a darker gin to try out this season then make it this one. RRP £30.95, you can purchase a bottle from Master of Malt here.
3. Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin
We love a locally distilled spirit! And I’m very happy to share my love of the lovely Liverpool distilled Whitley Neill with you. Their Rhubarb & Ginger Gin is a spirit that I’ve been drinking for years. And I love it just as much now as the first time I tried it. While the others are drinks that I pretty much only drink when I’m out at the pub, Whitley Neill’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin is a spirit that I like to keep in stock at home. It’s the perfect blend of sweetness and spice. A favourite flavoured gin of mine for sure. RRP £24.95, you can purchase a bottle from Master of Malt here.
Best Alcohol Gifts: Wine
You know how much I love a good wine. And this Christmas I’ve got plenty of amazing suggestions for wine gifts. Whether it’s red, white or rosé that you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a delicious bottle below!
Chapel Down Bacchus Wine**
Based in Kent, England, Chapel Down is one of the leading winemakers in the United Kingdom. As well as their passion for wine, Chapel Down also produce beautiful gins, vodkas and award-winning beers and ciders. I tried out one of their lovely wines, their Bacchus White Wine. Described as England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc, Chapel Down’s Bacchus White Wine is a light and fruity blend with a hint of acidity at the end. It’s sharp yet fruity and has a really strong flavour of tropical fruits. Crisp and delicious.
RRP £14.00, you can purchase a bottle directly from the Chapel Down website here.
Meophams Signature Red**
Established in 1991 by David and Pauline Grey, Meopham Valley Vineyard is a family owned vineyard based in Kent, England. They make all different wines from rosés to whites to reds but for this Christmas I wanted to share their award-winning Signature Red. I have to say that this was completely different to the sort of red wine that I usually go for, but I absolutely loved it. It’s a light-medium red but it’s full of flavour. It’s one of those reds that you know will appeal to every wine drinker. Which makes it the ultimate gift for Christmas!
RRP £13.95, you can purchase a bottle from the Meophams site here.
El Tesoro de Las Montañas*
El Tesoro de las Montañas (meaning The Treasure of the Mountains) are a wine brand known for their outstanding range of award-winning wines. Their name, El Tesoro de las Montañas, comes from where their wines are produced and grown, which is in the stunning landscape of the Andes. They have a great range of wines in their collection but for this post I’ve picked out a red and a white to share with you.
El Tesoro de Las Montañas: Merlot*
If you’re looking for the perfect all-rounder in a bottle of merlot then this is it. Spicy, rich and fruity, it’s ideal for sipping on especially at this time of year. El Tesoro recommend trying their Chilean merlot alongside pork loin, roast lamb or any tomato-based dishes. I have to say that it was delicious by itself as well as when I paired it with food.
RRP £7.99, you can purchase a bottle from Ocado here or in store at the Co-Op.
El Tesoro de Las Montañas: Chardonnay*
As well as their merlot, El Tesoro de Las Montañas also have a great Chilean chardonnay. From this you can expect tropical flavours and lovely citrus notes. El Tesoro recommend pairing it up with seafood, chicken or creamy risottos (yum!).
RRP £6.99, you can purchase a bottle from Ocado here or in store at the Co-Op.
Cucielo Vermouth Bianco*
Next up is an amazing Vermouth Bianco from Cucielo. Cucielo are an artisan spirits company known for their range of quality vermouths, which are fortified wines. As a huge negroni fan (honestly what a drink that is!) I’ve really gotten into my vermouths recently. So I wanted to share my new found love for vermouth with you and introduce you to Cucielo’s Vermouth Bianco.
Honestly this drink is my new obsession. It’s light yet syrupy and almost reminded me of a white port. Although it’s a lot smoother and a bit sweeter than a white port. An easy drinker for sure! I served it with my favourite Fever Tree tonic and it was absolutely delicious. If you’re thinking of getting into vermouths then you need to get yourself a bottle of Cucielo because it’s honestly incredible.
Wines: A Few Old Favourites…
Maaan, where do I even start? I could probably list about 20 different favourite wines of mine. But don’t worry, I’ll narrow it down to just three.
1. Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier
The first is Cono Sur’s Bicicleta Viognier which is a really lovely fruity white wine. There’s nothing overly acidic about it, and I’d even go as far to say that it’s a creamy white. Super smooth and super fruity. RRP £7.50, you can purchase it online from Sainsbury’s here.
2. Casillero Del Diablo Merlot
Then we’ve got Casillero Del Diablo’s Merlot which is a red that I’ve been drinking for years. I really love a merlot and this will forever be my go-to when it comes to picking up a bottle of red in the supermarket. RRP £8.00, you can purchase it online from Tesco here.
3. Freixenet Still Italian Rosé
This one you’ll recognise from my Wine Wednesday feature. Freixenet are one of my all-time favourite alcohol brands so of course their rosé is in my favourites. This wine in particular is part of their fairly new range of still wines, and it’s bloody gorgeous. Not only is it a delicious bottle of rosé but *BONUS* it comes in the most glamorous bottle ever. You won’t even need to bother putting it in a gift box, the bottle is enough! RRP £9.00, you can purchase it online from Sainsbury’s here.
Best Alcohol Gifts: Cider from Cider Is Wine*
To finish off my alcohol gift round up I wanted to talk about some of the amazing ciders that Cider Is Wine have available this season. You might remember Cider Is Wine from my post all about how to make the most of a weekend at home. And if you haven’t seen that post yet then definitely go and check that out after this! But for anyone who hasn’t seen that post, and so might not be familiar with Cider Is Wine, I’ll give you a little intro to them as a company. Cider Is Wine are a UK-based company who’s aim is to bring the highest quality cider and perry to their customers. Their ciders are all not from concentrate and are exclusively fermented from 100% apples and pears making them the finest of ciders and perries!
Cider Is Wine are getting into the festive spirit this year with the very exciting ’12 Ciders of Christmas’ which is a list of 12 of their picks of ciders and perries to try for yourself this Christmas. There’s a really great variety within the 12 different drinks so there’ll be something for everyone in there for sure. For this post, I’ve picked out three of the ciders on their site (one of which is part of the 12 Ciders of Christmas).
Cider Is Wine: Once Upon A Tree Dabinett Pinot Noir Co-Ferment (2018)
The first of the three is a rosé cider called Once Upon A Tree from Dabinett & Pinot, which are based in Herefordshire. Reddish brown in colour (similar to that of a brandy) this cider was the perfect balance of sweet and bitter. It had an almost syrupy texture to it which felt really luxurious and overall it was slightly sparkling. Taste-wise it was super fruity but still slightly dry.
RRP £11.95, order Dabinett Pinot Rosé Cider directly from the Cider Is Wine website here.
Cider Is Wine: Abel Méthode Cider (2017)
Next up is the Abel Méthode Cider from New Zealand based Abel. The cider itself is completely gluten free as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly, so it’s one that everyone can enjoy. As for the taste it’s crisp, tart and tangy but definitely not too acidic. I was getting a really strong mix of both apple and pear flavours with this one which was delicious. It’s light, sparkling and all-round amazing.
RRP £16.00, order Abel Méthode Cider directly from the Cider Is Wine website here.
Cider Is Wine: Brännland IsCider (2018)
We’re finishing off with something sweet and delicious, Brännland IsCider. Brännland are a Swedish company who make their ciders from only the finest Swedish apples available. And this totally comes through with the taste. I’ve tried one of Brännland’s IsCider’s before and absolutely fell in love with it, and I have to say this one topped the last! Their 2018 IsCider is so amazing, sweet and syrupy. They recommend trying it after a meal either by itself or alongside desserts or cheeses. I had it at the end of a meal and was absolutely blown away. This is such a special drink. I cannot express enough how much you need to get yourself a bottle of this for Christmas day. I can just imagine cracking this open after my Christmas Dinner and sitting in the living room with the tree lights on (most likely whilst watching Love Actually). Honestly I’d recommend ordering yourself a bottle as well as as a gift. It’s just too good to not gift to yourself.
RRP £20.00, order Brännland IsCider directly from the Cider Is Wine website here.
Phew! That was a long one wasn’t it? But there you have it, the best alcohol gifts for this Christmas. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of ideas in here when it comes to choosing the perfect alcoholic gift for this Christmas. Maybe there’s even a few treats in there to add to your own Christmas list. Treat yourself! I think we all deserve something special this year in particular. Which drinks sound like a bit of you? Let me know in the comments. And if you have any other suggestions send them my way!
Want to carry on with the festive spirit? Check out my recommendations of the best foodie advent calendars for this Christmas!