The ultimate food & drink Christmas gifts
If the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, a food or drink festive present is a no-brainer at Christmas. Here’s some of the top gifts we’ve had the pleasure of tasting over the last few weeks.
The Best of Piemonte
A contemporary gift of Barolo and Extra Dark Hazelnut Truffles. The Piemontese take food seriously. Step out of the Barolo zone in the Langhe hills and the grapes grown there can’t take the Barolo name. It’s the same with the Piemonte hazelnuts in Carluccio’s Truffles – there are strict rules about where, how and when they’re harvested.
Available to buy from Carluccio’s. RRP: £35.
Doisy & Dam Chocolate & Gin Night In Hamper
Creators of superfood chocolate, Doisy & Dam, have teamed up with Rock Rose Gin, to create the perfect gift for chocolate and gin lovers. Each hamper contains all ten of the truly unique Doisy & Dam chocolate bars plus a bottle of the multi award-winning, hand-distilled Rock Rose Gin.
Available to buy from Doisy & Dam. RRP: £65.
A Taste of Tuscany
The fruits of the Tuscan soil. Hand picked olives are cold pressed to produce a fruity and peppery oil. The olives are grown side by side with the grapes used to produce this soft, silky red wine.
Available to buy from Carluccio’s. RRP: £30.
Jim Beam Double Barreled Bourbon Whiskey (70cl)
With all the pride and heritage of the Beam family’s history dating back to 1795, the twice barreled Bourbon takes Jim Beam’s innovative portfolio to the next stage. A permanent addition to the lineup, Jim Beam Double Oak is a new take on Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon crafted by maturing the signature whiskey in not one, but two different American oak barrels. Drinkers will discover rich aromas of vanilla and hints of toasted wood that lead into deep char and oak flavours with rich caramel and toffee notes. The finish is notably balanced with a distinct spiced oakiness lingering on the palate.
Available to buy from Waitrose. RRP: £20.
La Hora Azul – Blue Hour Tequila (70cl)
This super premium certified Mexican Tequila uses the traditional and time honoured process of natural filtration and distillation to deliver the finest Tequila tasted by man. Three award winning genres based on aging: Blanco, Anejo and Reposado.
Available to buy from Drinks21.com. RRP: £40.
Dark Matter Spiced Rum (70cl)
Pushing the boundaries of science and art, Dark Matter – from Scotland’s first and only purpose built rum distillery – has won a Gold Medal in the 2016 Global Rum Masters. This molasses-based spiced rum features full bodied notes of long pepper, fresh ginger, green peppercorns and allspice. It has smooth body with a warm spicy finish, perfect as a winter warmer.
In the words of its creators, the taste is the equivalent of “warping into a liquid black hole but without every atom in your body being crushed to an infinitely small point”. It is recommended to mix with a good ginger beer/ale and a slice of lime.
Available to buy from Master of Malt. RRP: £31.95.
Panettone alla Crema di Prosecco (900g)
New for this year; a regional twist on an Italian favourite. Venetian producers mix local prosecco with a light custard, before pipping it into the Panettone for a decadent treat!
Available to buy from Master of Malt. RRP: £19.95.
Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (70cl)
This Christmas, embrace the icy cold of the darker months thawed by a dram of the world-acclaimed ‘Darkest’ whisky created by the oldest distillery on the isle of Islay, located off the west coast of Scotland. Having been matured in ex-bourbon casks in the cool cellars of the legendary Bowmore No.1 Vaults, this precious whisky has spent its final 3 years in Oloroso sherry casks to give its signature darkest colour and warming finish, with a flavour profile of treacle toffee, hazelnuts and figs that perfectly matches the festive notes of the season.
With Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, breathe in seasonal notes of rich dried fruits, dark chocolate, and a hint of Bowmore whisky’s signature smokiness before the palate is enveloped with the merry taste of toffee, raisins and gentle smoke leading the way to a deliciously rich centre that is befitting for all yuletide celebrations. Finally savour its robust and complex finish with a hint of sherry for a taste evocative of festive fruitcake in a glass.
Available to buy from The Whisky Exchange. RRP: £54.45.
Glen Grant 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (70cl)
Glen Grant 12 Year Old was added to the core range in 2016. The only release regularly seen in the UK was previously the 10 Year Old, so this is a welcome addition to the distillery’s range. Light and fruity with notes of apple pie, caramel, vanilla and subtle spice.
Available to buy from The Whisky Exchange. RRP: £42.45.
Boodles Mulberry Gin (70cl)
Perfect for sipping both warm and cold, this brand new British gin combines delicate mulberries with notes of raspberry and currant to create a sweet and subtle medley that’s perfect for the festive season and beyond.
Available to buy from Marks & Spencer. RRP: £23.
Courvoisier VSOP (70cl)
Courvoisier VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a distinguished cocktail. This blend of Courvoisier is an elegant mix of cognacs that are up to 10 years old, from two of the finest crus in the Cognac region. This skilfully crafted cognac is a blend on several crus with a perfect balance between Fins Bois, Grande and Petite Champagnes.
Available to buy from Waitrose. RRP: £26.50.
Rock Rose Gin: Winter Edition (70cl)
Dunnet Bay Distillery will release a Winter Edition of their multi-award winning Rock Rose Gin this December. It features the same base botanicals as Rock Rose Gin but with some seasonal tweaks. The hero botanical is spruce tips which Hanna, the distillery gardener, collected basketfuls of in December last year.
The Winter Edition has been created with thoughts of bracing walks, roaring fires and dark nights in mind. The original Rock Rose elements have been scaled down to allow the delightful earthy and slightly citrusy notes from the spruce tips to shine through.
Available to buy from Dunnet Bay Distillery. RRP: £37.50.