Drinks of the Month
8 great bottles to give for Christmas 2022
Bottles might seem like a bit of a cop-out but they're a treat that the recipient is unlikely to buy for themselves. Here are some that are a bit out of the ordinary ...
Black Cow Christmas Spirit £25 for 50cl
Sherries are often described as liquid Christmas pudding but this vodka-based spirit really is - full of raisins and cinnamon and cloves. I’m not sure I’d top it up with champagne, as suggested, but it’s lovely to sip on its own. (Not so much for drinking this spirit but they have some incredibly cute highball glasses with little cows frolicking over them too.)
We all want to do our bit for Ukraine but here’s a way of building it into your ‘gifting’ as we must now call it. So well done Sainsbury’s for stocking this smooth Ukrainian vodka which I would keep in the freezer over Christmas.
Sainsbury's is also selling a 50cl bottle of Krupnik for £11.50 (and their cherry vodka for just £9.50)
The latest release from the innovative distiller, One, flavoured (rather deliciously) with fresh sage, citrus and vanilla. You might think that makes it a gin but it doesn’t include juniper.
What I love about this range - which also includes a gin - is the beautifully embossed bottles which they encourage you to recycle as a water carafe - or you can buy them separately for £12). £3 from every purchase goes to The One Foundation which helps to fund clean water projects.
Tamdhu 15 year old 46%
I was going to recommend the Macallan’s special Christmas bottling until I discovered it was £950! Crazy like everything Macallan but if you fancy a special bottle of whisky can I suggest the Tamdhu 15 y o which I discovered on my road trip to Scotland this summer. Not cheap, I know at £77.50 (Master of Malt) though some places are charging nearer £90 but a real treat. Sherry cask without being too heavily sherried.
Veuve Clicquot, Smeg edition
Champagne is always a great gift but Veuve Clicquot have taken it to another level packaging it in a bright orange, fridge-shaped tin, thanks to their collaboration with Smeg. Totally cool and still cheaper than Krug! £58 Clos 19, £68 Fenwick. Selfridges has one with the rosé and a pink fridge tin for £71.99.
Specially Selected 8 year old muscat dessert wine 18% £9.99 Aldi
This Aussie alternative to port is absolutely luscious - think liquid burnt toffee. A great bottle to take to a Christmas lunch or when you go round to the neighbours for a few mince pies. Would also go with the Christmas pudding. Good value too.
Saicho sparkling tea
I love this range of sparkling teas which are a great alcohol-free alternative to champagne or other sparkling wine. You can also buy them individually. Darjeeling and jasmine are probably going to be the most popular flavours but I personally like the Hojicha which is made from roasted green tea. It has a slightly nutty flavour - they recommend it with sushi which I can imagine would be ace. The whole set in a gift box comes to £55.99 or you can buy a mini collection pack for £14.99
Innis & Gunn 06 Vanishing Point 11%
I know it is infuriating to include it when this amazing beer (think bittersweet chocolate with notes of espresso coffee, treacle toffee, and prunes) which was matured in 18 year old Glenlivet malt whisky casks is sold out (unless you know a specialist beer shop who might have a bottle) but the 05 which underwent a similar maturation is still available.
Or go for another imperial stout. In a recent Twitter exchange prompted by this request from beer writer Pete Brown …
Can anyone recommend an Imperial Stout (8%+) currently available in the UK, that is made out of BEER, with no cake ingredients, nuts, coffee, vanilla, spices, fruit, berries, rum, coconut, maple syrup, jam, biscuits, vienetta or trifle in it? You know, like, a BEER?
(Totally with Pete on this but would be nice to see some of these in a bigger, more impressive bottle)
Anyway hope that helps with your present-giving this year. Do post any other bottles you think people might enjoy!
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