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Here are the very best alcoholic drinks to enjoy this Christmas

By Natasha Heard on 9th December 2018

The party season is upon us (for some of you perhaps it never ends!) and with a surge in flavoured spirits and new brands popping up from all over the world, it’s high time we spiced up our parties with some fancy new (and top quality) beverages. We’ve been pouring, mixing and sipping and have found some of the most interesting – and delicious – choices to make your party legendary, for all of the right reasons!

Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’

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This gorgeous, clean cut gin made in the depths of South Devon would be a welcome addition to any dinner party or Christmas soiree. Add a little Fever Tree tonic, a slice of grapefruit and lashings of ice and you have a fine drink indeed to sip on. You could also treat a gin-loving friend (or yourself) to the ‘ultimate gin experience’ at the Salcombe Gin School – learn about distillation and develop your very own bottle of gin at the distilling laboratory in Salcombe for £100 (available at salcombegin.com).

Price: £40 for a 70cl bottle of Start Point Salcombe Gin
Where to buy: Fortnum & Mason, Harrods & Selfridges, Independent retailers and Salcombegin.com

Crystal Head Vodka

Crystal Head Vodka

Presented in a spectacular skull-shaped bottle, Crystal Head vodka will turn heads with its unique design, and perhaps make them sore too with the delicious drink inside.

John Alexander, a renowned American artist, created the signature bottle – a design that is an exact rendering of the human skull alongside founder, Dan Ackroyd. This bottle is sure to stand out on any drinks cabinet and happens to taste really good too, most probably due to the fact that the vodka is quadruple-distilled and seven times filtered. The crisp and clear liquid will be the perfect addition to any vodka based cocktail.

Price: £39.95 for 70cl
Where to buy: 31dover.com

Lindores Abbey Distillery’s Aqua Vitae

The first release from the historic site in Fife, Scotland, Aqua Vitae is a tribute to the origins of Scotch as we know it today. The earliest ‘Aqua vitae’ that was made at Lindores abbey as long ago as 1494, was thought to help ‘sloeth age’ and ‘abandoneth melancholy’.

Today Aqua Vitae is a malt spirit distilled in pot stills. It is then infused with a blend of spices and herbs including cleavers, lemon verbena and sweet cicely. All these herbs and spices are grown in the garden amidst the grounds of the ancient abbey.

Price: £40 for 70cl
Where to buy: lindoresabbeydistillery.com

Conker Cold Brew

Conker Cold Brew is the ideal post-dinner tipple and perfect for espresso martinis. It is a complex, dark and fruity brew that celebrates the espresso and owns the glass. This quality, coffee-based product contains a true espresso kick that will truly please caffeine lover. It lets the coffee beans do the talking without the need for the usual additives, flavourings and thickeners.

By brewing the liqueur cold, Conker Spirit don’t extract any of the acidic, bitter elements of the bean, thereby creating a heady and hearty concoction that’s as wonderfully dark as it is delicious. it’s time to darken your glass with Conker Cold Brew and toast the arrival of the true espresso liqueur.

Price: £30.00 for 70cl
Where to buy: Harvey Nichols, Borough Wines, independent stockists and at conkerspirit.co.uk

Citadelle Réserve Gin

The most awarded gin from France has created a unique and unusually aged variety produced in very small quantities in the heart of Cognac, Citadelle Réserve. Hand-blended and matured in acacia, mulberry, cherry chestnut and French oak wood barrels, Citadelle Réserve is then refined in an eight-foot tall, egg-shaped oak barrel – only used by Japanese Whisky producers to date – creating a truly elegant, smooth gin that’s incredible in a classic gin martini.

Price: £43
Where to buy: thewhiskeyexchange.com

1800 Coconut Tequila

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Tequila is not just for shooting – it’s the most versatile spirit around, gloriously smooth in texture and great for concocting cocktails. 1800 Coconut is a 100% Blue Agave Tequila that is triple distilled for the purest, smoothest taste and infused with fresh coconut water. This tequila can be enjoyed straight, chilled, as shot. Plus, it is the perfect drink for the popular cocktail Coconut Crusher -just take one part 1800 Coconut and one part pineapple juice, shake it over ice and add a squeeze of lime.

Price: £40
Where to buy: Amazon

Cranes Cranberry & Blood Orange Liqueur

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This delightfully smooth liqueur has those typical Christmas flavours, making it perfect for adding to a glass of Prosecco to create a ‘Cranbellini’ for your seasonal party. Created by twin brothers and hand crafted in Cambridgeshire, this is made with the finest cranberries from Wisconsin, USA along with blood orange juice and orange rind. Try adding to cranberry juice, vodka and a squeeze of lime for a classic Cosmopolitan.

Price: £20 50cl
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com

Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin

Add a little twist to your gin with this blood orange offering. Harnessing the iconic scents of Sicily, zesty Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin offers a refreshing, intense orange aroma, followed by a hint of liquorice and lastly coriander, for a smooth finish that effortlessly balances citrus with spice.

Price: £26 for 70cl
Where to buy: Morrisons

44°N Gin

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The epicentre of world perfumery, Grasse, nestled in the Côte d’Azur, has a new claim to fame with the release of 44°N, the first flagship product from creator of spirits, Comte de Grasse. This gin, which has been created using age-old perfume extraction techniques melded with cutting edge distilling technology, is set to challenge conventional thinking on both flavour creation and sustainability in the world of luxury drinks. It tastes wonderful.

Price: £66 for 50cl
Where to buy: shop.comtedegrasse.com

Diplomático Single Vintage 2004

A deep and complex rum, this has spent 12 years ageing in ex-bourbon and ex-single malt whisky casks, developing toasted, spicy notes, before being carefully blended and aged for a further year in sherry casks for the perfect finish. Slightly more dry and oaky than the previous releases, it shows an aromatic profile with notes of vanilla, coffee and chocolate.

Price: £95
Where to buy: thewhiskeyexchange.com

Pierre Ferrand Cognac 10 Générations

World-renowned for creating cognacs in a style that is now rare in the spirits world, by using vines solely from the Agneac terroir in the heart of Grande Champagne, Ferrand create what many consider to be the Premier Cru de Cognac. The new 10 Générations is made from unique Ugni Blanc grapes from Grande Champagne and aged in French oak, this cognac is a connoisseur’s dream with flavours of baked pear, honey, muscat grape, pineapple and cloves, and fruity spice cake and raisin aromas, it has a real pedigree and strikes a wonderful balance between delicacy and opulence.

Price: £35
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com

Dead Man’s Fingers Spiced Rum

Created in Cornwall, Dead Man’s Fingers is a premium Caribbean rum with less sweetness and more punch than other spiced rums. Founded in St Ives’ Rum & Crab Shack, it is one of the most versatile spiced rums on the market, making it suitable for sipping, mixing and as a cocktail base.

Price: £22 for 70cl
Where to buy: ASDA

Amarula Vanilla Spice

This indulgent cream liqueur combines creamy vanilla and complex spicy notes to produce a luxurious treat that will be a big hit at any festive dinner table or party.

Amarula Vanilla Spice is made from ethically sourced, uniquely African ingredients – distilled Marula spirit, vanilla extract from Madagascar, and a Nigerian Ginger root, all expertly blended with the finest quality cream for an indulgent taste sensation. Best served over ice to let the potent flavours speak for themselves.

Price: £23.00 for 70cl
Where to buy: Amazon

Tequila Corralejo 1821 Extra Anejo

1821 was produced with the finest 100% Blue Weber Agave tequila at Hacienda Corralejo in Guanajuato, Mexico and has been aged for 36 months to yield a tequila with impeccably smooth flavour. Corralejo employs the 400-year-old Charentais method of distillation, the same method perfected by the French in distilling cognac, which is what sets this apart from other tequilas. The agave is slow cooked in stone clay ovens for 27 hours, then rested for 12 hours before going to the mill to be double distilled in copper pot stills. A fine selection of small American oak barrels provides roasted hints that add to the tequila’s excellent flavour.

Price: $129.99
Where to buy: qualityliquorstore.com

Whitley Neill Quince Gin

Whitley Neill Quince Gin

A premium handcrafted dry gin inspired by the timeless flavours of Persia – the first gin of its kind in the UK. The gin features a complementary blend of heady, exotic botanicals and real quince juice, and boasts a distinctive and alluring taste. Botanicals include juniper, lemon and orange peel, orris bark, angelica root and coriander seeds. This gin has complex flavours and aromas, and a smooth, sweet flavour.

Price: £26 for 70cl
Where to buy: Sainsburys

Smokehead Sherry Bomb

A heavily peated Islay single malt that has been boldly blasted by sherry casks, this follows hot on the heels of Smokehead High Voltage, which was unveiled in April. Smokehead fans will enjoy a full-bodied, 48% abv peaty whisky that’s heavily influenced by Oloroso Sherry casks to create a smoky, spicy and rich flavour.

Price: £64.99
Where to buy: drinksupermarket.com

Dingle Distillery Vodka

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This vodka is unique in its quintuple distillation process, which creates an incredible purity and a finish that boasts a creamy texture with a touch of sweetness.

The family owned distillery, which sits just outside of Dingle on the west coast of Ireland creates spirits, which are hand crafted throughout, from the immensely manual mashing process, to hand labelling and bottling.

Dingle Distillery Vodka is produced in small batches of 500L using a still charged with the purest grain alcohol, the vodka is distilled for a fifth and final time using the purest of water, drawn from a well 240ft below the distillery.

Price: from £30.50 for 70cl
Where to buy: boroughwines.co.uk & masterofmalt.com