This guide features items sent for inclusion in my gift guides
Regular readers will know I love a back story behind a distillery and this gin has a cracker. It is named after Jacobus “Bobby” Alfons who arrived in the Netherlands from Indonesia in the early 1950s. Bobby loved Dutch Genever still gin but missed the flavours that reminded him of home so he started making his own home brewed gin. All would have been forgotten if Bobby’s grandson, Sebastian, hadn’t found a bottle of it in his mother’s house and decided to set about recreating it. Teaming up with a local distillery Bobby’s Gin finally hit the market in 2014 after taking two years to perfect. Rosehips and lemongrass hit you as soon as you smell it, cloves and coriander seeds following when you taste. After the first mouthful you get a lingering after taste from the juniper and cubeb pepper. This is a fragrant, exotic gin that would fabulous as the base for a warm Christmas punch (think mulled wine with slices of orange, a cinnamon stick and some cloves), or as long gin and tonic. You can buy it on MasterofMalt for £37.99 for 70cl
This gin screams St Tropez to me. The botanicals are taken from the wine estate that has already given us Mirabeau Wine, in the south of France and is made from a grape based neutral spirit rather than the usual grain vodka-like base as is usual with most gins. It contains lemons, coriander, orris and Angelica roots, rose petals, lavender and jasmine. There is a floral taste to this that I absolutely love and I can’t wait to drink this neat with lots of ice in the summer. Even the bottle, reminiscent of old perfume bottles as the area has a strong connection to the industry, makes me smile as it stands out on my gin shelves. An award winning gin already this is a firm firm favourite. Available online for £35 there is currently a “Festive Special Offer” where you receive 8 x 200ml bottles of Fever Tree aromatic tonic with every bottle of gin purchased.
When I mentioned my quest for my 100th gin on Instagram, Jonathan from Norfolk gin was one of the first people to get in touch to say “can I send you a bottle of Norfolk Gin”? Not only that be he also sent me a sample of his prized, only 20L in the world and you can’t buy it oak aged homage to Ginever made from whisky, which is incredible. Norfolk Gin is run by a husband and wife team in Norwich and each Wade bottle is sealed by hand. The gin features cardamon and coriander and has a sweetness to it that I really liked. Citrus notes make it perfect for serving with lemonade, or of course your favourite tonic. You can buy from their website for £44 for 70cl, or £18 for a 10cl bottle. There is also a link on their website to a local company that will make a personalised bottle for you!
I am a huge fan of Mermaid’s products and have followed their story for a couple of years. I recently tried the Mermaid Pink Gin and fell in love with it, but I didnt know they had started producing a vodka. Made on the Isle of Wight this vodka contains a pinch of sea salt to give it a real air of the sea to it. It makes the most amazing dirty martinis. This would make a fabulous present for any vodka fans in the family because not only does it taste amazing but the bottle is gorgeous too. Available to buy on line from Master of Malt for £36.
Independent Wine is an online wine retailer specialising in Italian Wines. They sell a whole range of wines and gifts and offer free next day delivery in the UK AND a free gift wrapping service. Wines are split by regions on the site so if you want to find a fruity red from Puglia then it couldn’t be easier. Alternatively you can search by grape variety and find everything from a Pinot Grigio at just over £10 to a Vermentino that has won multiple awards for £38. I dont know much about Italian wines but the two bottles I was sent were both fabulous and after rummaging on the website we will certainly by placing an order for our Christmas wine from them.
Beer brewed by the Fallen Brewing Co is made in Stirlingshire in the old Kippen railway station that can trace its roots back to 1856. Bought by husband and wife, Paul and Karen who spent 12 months renovating the site before filling the mash tun in 2014. Not only do they make a wide selection of beers but they are doing their bit for the environment too. Electricity comes from renewable sources, hops are composted and the spent mash is used to feed cattle. If ever there was a time to think about the green credentials of the products we gift then it is now. There are a variety of gift packs on the website and a 20% off code is currently available too.
Unable to serve cocktails in their “underground five star dive bar” Ladies and Gents came up with the idea of doing cocktails by post. They are all inspired by 1970s cocktails and are made with high quality named spirits. The range includes an Old Fashioned, a Pimped G&T, A Pina Colada, a Cherry Sour and a Pornstar Martini. They come in individual serve pouches for a fiver, or multi serves for £25 and are, quite frankly, genius. They even fit through letter boxes and you can order up until December 21st, making them the perfect gift this Christmas!
Featured image made using a garland photo from Shutterstock