Christmas Booze Guide
Whilst this Christmas might not be quite the social party we had all hoped for, there’s still reasons to be merry (or get merry). Here are some ideas that might help!
Bloom – Gin
Bloom London Dry Gin is a frequent inhabitant in our booze cupboard at home, as it’s a really tasty mellow gin that packs a lot of flavour, but is very easy going. It’s a perfect gin for a classic G&T with a standard tonic and slice of lemon. I’m a bit sceptical when it comes to flavoured gin, as lots of it tastes pretty synthetic, and I was hesitant in trying the Passion fruit and Vanilla Blossom Gin on that basis. I was pleasantly surprised as it had a delicate fruity flavour. It’s not one I would drink all the time, but I’m excited to come up with some fruity gin cocktails with it.
King of soho – London dry gin
Sticking with mellow and drinkable gins, The King of Soho is another crowd pleaser, with its delicate flavours, and laid back approach. This goes particularly well with a slice of pink grapefruit
Highclere Castle – London Dry Gin
Moving on from the mellow gin’s above, Highclere Castle is a much more serious gin and punches a lot more earthy flavours. It’s the perfect summer spirit with a slice of orange. This award-winning gin is well worth a sample.
Seven Hills – Italian Dry Gin
This is the last gin selection, and Included as it’s the perfect ingredient to make a classic Negroni cocktail. With citrus tones it’s a really nice gin for a classic G&T too.
Ver-Mo – Vermouth
No Negroni is complete without a good quality Vermouth! This is a real Italian Aperativo, with lots of flavours of lemon, orange and ginger.
Ophir – European Edition Gin
Again aimed at the Negroni fans, this new Gin from Ophir is well worth a try. Personally I think it’s very drinkable as a standard G&T, with a typically interesting mix of Indian flavours you would expect of Ophir, but in a much more toned down and delicate gin. It’s sold as having a bitterness to it, but I think it’s quite understated and shouldn’t deter anyone not keen on that flavour. I’m not sure this one will last very long in our house.
Primo – Negroni
Primo Negroni is a great place to start for a pre-mixed Negroni. It’s got all the components you would expect from a bold and punchy Negroni cocktail with Gin, Bitter, Vermouth and orange essence. Take the faff out of mixing your own drink with this bottle from Primo.
Four pillars – Bloody Shiraz Gin
I wasn’t expecting to like this at all, but this gin slash wine concoction is very tasty. Works really well with both standard tonic or something like a Fever Tree Lemon Tonic. It’s perhaps more in line with the Sloe gins, but I found it lighter and not as sweet. It’s well worth a try if you’re looking to revitalize your gin collection.
Jack Ratt – Lugger spiced rum
This is a Caribbean style spiced rum, made here in the UK in Devon by the Lyme Bay Winery. It has many of the characteristics of a spiced rum, and yet brings it’s own flavour with a slightly suppressed vanilla note, and more emphasis on the other spices. It’s quite sweet, but I would say this was a great one to mix rather than drink over ice.
Cranes – cranberry & blood orange liqueur
If anything is going to get you into the mood for Christmas, then it’s this Cranberry and Orange Liqueur from Cranes. It’s rich and fruity, yet only 17% so it’s light enough to use in a variety of cocktails. I found this goes down very well with a bottle of Prossecco.
Diplomatico Rum – Reserva Exclusiva
This Venezuelan rum, is a really interesting sipping rum, well worth considering if you’re expanding your interest in rum. I think rum is growing in a similar way to gin recently, and it’s thanks to bottles like this that rum is making a come back. It’s quite a sweet sipping rum, but it’s very tasty and has layers of flavour. If your looking to experiment with sipping rums, then this is a perfect place to kick things off. A perfect gift for any rum enthusiast.
Cranes – cider
Fruity and tasty, what’s not to like about a refreshing cider that tastes great. Cranes cider maintains it’s roots with an unmistakable cider with fruit as a component, rather than the sickly sweet alcopop’s that some cider ends up being. Cranes have put all three flavours into a lovely gift set with a branded pink glass, making it the perfect gift of any cider drinker. The cranberry and lime one is the stand out for me, what could be more festive than that!
Champions – Cider
Sticking with cider, these low alcohol options from Champions are half cider half health drink with fortified ciders with vitamins and CBD. I’m not convinced this is a drink the market really needs, but I’m also not the target drinker, as I prefer my drink to have some kick to it in the same way I want my coffee to contain caffeine. I think low alcohol options are more important than ever, and I have a few friends who have stopped drinking due to it becoming a crutch to get them through the Covid crisis, and this is the perfect drink to have in the fridge if you are expecting any guests who don’t drink.
Agua De Madre – kefir water
Kefir what? My thoughts exactly! I had never heard of Kefir water let alone tried it, so was intrigued to see what it’s all about. Made from cultures found on the Mexican Opuntia Cactus, it contains healthy live cultures which are great for your gut. The live culture is added to fruit and ginger and fermented to create a lightly fizzy drink. Whist not totally alcohol free, it is very low alcohol. It comes in four flavours, Original, Passion Fruit and Raspberry, Pomegranate and Hibiscus and Elderflower and Apple. You can order a starter pack directly from Agua De Madre to try out.
Silent Pool – Colorado High gin
Brighton – Gin
Mr Black – Coffee Liqueur
Glendronach – 15 year old Revival