I know it’s only October, but if you’ve got kids (as I do) they’re probably already writing their Christmas lists and what better way to get through the nagging than planning a few festive treats for yourself and your gin-loving friends? But why wait until the big day when you can start celebrating on December 1st with one of these amazing advent calendars!
The original Ginvent Calendar from the folk at Gin Foundry contains a 3cl sample behind each window of 24 fantastic gins, including Nginious! Smoked and Salted Gin, Ballyvolane‘s Bertha’s Revenge Irish Milk Gin and Pothecary Gin. It’s a bit of a stunner too! (£124.95)
Of course, it’s such a great idea that Gin Foundry are no longer the only people producing gin advent calendars and you can now take your pick from Drinks By the Dram‘s Gin Advent Calendar containing, among others, Rutte Celery Dry Gin, The Lakes Gin Explorer Edition and Bimber London Dry Gin or their Botanical Ginvent Calendar, which takes you on a 24-day journey through 23 botanicals, in addition to the base gin to which each is added. (both £124.95)
Finally, there’s Origin’s Single Botanical Advent Calendar which contains 24 different 3cl drams of Origin gin, each one made with juniper taken from only one location, allowing gin enthusiasts to explore the effects of terroir on a gin. (£99.95)
Slightly smaller, and hence more affordable, is this 12 Days of Christmas box from Eden Mill containing twelve Eden Mill 5cl gin miniatures including Candycane, Apple & Cinnamon, Spruce & Cranberry, and Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire. In addition to this, you receive two crystal tulip glasses and one voucher for the Eden Mill gin experience. (£69)
If that’s still too expensive for you, you could make your own Ginvent calendar like I did last year! This time I might upgrade to Fever-Tree tonics though…
There’s no excuse for forgetting the gin when you’re decorating the house either, with these amazing crackers to adorn your table.
I had the pleasure of receiving some of these Drinks by the Dram Gin Crackers last year and everything about them was brilliant, especially the jokes! They really did add something special to our Christmas dinner. They also do a spirit and liqueur selection if not everyone in your party is a ginthusiast! (£39.95 for 6 crackers)
Alternatively you could try Gin Tales’ Christmas Crackers, each containing a 5cl bottle of their Christmas Pudding Gin plus a hat, snap and the customary bad joke! (£55 for 6 crackers)
And to adorn your Christmas tree, I just love this simple laser-cut Drink More Gin Bell from The Bath Gin Company! (£7.50)
And then there’s the booze. The proper, full-sized bottles of booze! But with a festive twist of course.
Edinburgh Distillery’s Christmas Gin is distilled with frankincense and myrrh to add a fragrant aroma and finished with note of nutmeg for genuine yuletide warmth. (£35 for 70cl)
Sacred’s Christmas Pudding Gin is made by distilling whole Christmas Puddings baked according to a family Victorian recipe! Sacred recommend you serve it as a shot straight from the freezer after your turkey as an alternative to Christmas Pudding which sounds pretty awesome to me! (£33.85 for 70cl)
Kent’s Anno Distillers are also producing a limited edition Christmas Spiced Cranberry Gin which they suggest you add to champagne or sparkling wine for an alternative festive fizz.
(£35.49 for 70cl)
Soon to be released is Dunnet Bay Distillers latest seasonal edition which, in addition to the Rock Rose Gin base, will feature wintery botanicals such as local spruce tips lending the gin fresh lemon pine notes. Their stunning ceramic bottle has also had a fabulous festive makeover! (£37.50 for 70cl)
Not quite full-sized, but equally exciting, is Sipsmith’s limited edition Mince Pie Gin. The beautiful box contains a 9cl bottle of Mince Pie Gin alongside a Sipsmith London Dry miniature. (£20 including postage)
Or if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a gin obsessive how about a gin subscription? There’s a wealth of choice now from full-size bottles from Craft Gin Club and The Juniper Club to miniatures galore from Gin Explorer, Tipple Box, Little Gin Box and I Love Gin. If you want to give a one-off box as a gift that’s usually possible too (but be sure to check terms and conditions before signing up). Or for something really special check out Sipsmith’s Sipping Society; members receive a stunning box containing four 9cl bottles of experimental gins, such as Hot Cross Bun Gin and Phantom Negroni, every quarter. (£160 for annual membership)
But what about the gin lovers who might not be indulging this Christmas? Don’t forget the designated drivers and the pregnant!
One of the toughest questions at this time of year (or indeed any time of year!) is what to drink when you’re not drinking. But this year Seedlip have come to your rescue with not one but two distilled non-alcoholic spirits which are being met with great acclaim. (£27.95 each for 70cl)
Alternatively non-drinkers might appreciate one of these other gin-related gifts:
Bath House Cracker containing a gin and tonic lip balm and bath salts (£10)
Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Gin and Morello Cherry Jam (£5) or Chocolate and Gin Gift Box (£20 – contains alcohol)
Twisted Twee Gin Hot Water Bottle (£30 – other colours available)
Twisted Twee Gin and Tonic Twinset (£32)
Pothecary Gin and Chocolates By Miss Witt Gift Box (£25 – contains alcohol)
Good luck surviving the festive period and don’t forget to let the gingle bells ring – gin a ding ding!