Food Review

Christmas Drinks & Spirits Gift Guide

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Buy loved ones gifts they can imbibe this Christmas – because edible and drinkable presents will never go to waste. And with so many innovative artisan brands on the market, there are many ways to find an alternative version of a favourite tipple and her are some of our favourite spirits we have enjoyed this year.

Hennessy X.O Limited-Edition gift box and Bottle by Julien Colombier

Buy Hennessy XO Limited Edition by Julien Colombier Online

A bottle alone may not be sufficient for those wishing to present a more lavish gift. This Hennessy X.O Limited Edition comes in a stunning and artful presentation box, adding to a sense of luxury. By French artist Julien Colombier, the design is informed by graffiti, Japanese art and the work of Henri Matisse. The sensuous detailing is echoed in the intense, iconic and fruity liquor found inside.

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Aberlour 14-year-Old

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Distilled and bottled in Speyside, this single malt undergoes a maturation process using a combination of oloroso sherry casks and first-fill American oak casks. With a nose of cloves, cardamom, toffee, milk chocolate and orange zest, it provides a palate of black cherries, mocha coffee and mint, for a fresh, yet smooth and rich whisky that’s perfect for wintertime.

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Conker Coffee Liqueur

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Satisfy your recipient’s caffeine cravings with a spirit that’s not only bang on-trend, but ethically crafted too, supporting the farmers who produce its coffee beans. Espresso is contrasted with stoned fruits and vanilla, providing a cocoa and caramel finish that’s just made for an espresso martini (just add water and shake for a ready-made cocktail boasting a gorgeous crema).

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Don Julio Blanco Tequila

Don Julio Blanco is a luxury Tequila that has fresh citrus & sweet flavours best enjoyed in a Margarita Don Julio is the world’s original luxury tequila. The much-awarded Don Julio Blanco is made using the finest raw agave in a time honoured distillation process and is tequila in its truest form. With crisp agave flavour and hints of citrus, Don Julio Blanco is the ideal tequila for sharing with friends when the standard is simply not enough.

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Cambridge Distillery

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The first of its kind, Truffle Gin was created by the Cambridge Distillery. The digestif is made using white Piedmont truffle from Alba and offers a unique taste. Or give the one you love the ready-to-serve Cambridge Dry Gin & Tonic, crafted using fresh and in season botanicals and served in a champagne-style bottle for a pleasing celebratory pop.

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Drambuie

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A whisky liqueur, this aged scotch is combined with soft spices, fragrant herbs and Scottish heather honey. Named after the Gaelic ‘An Dram Buidheach’ which means ‘the drink that satisfies’, this was said to be Bonnie Prince Charlie’s beverage of choice. Take it to a dinner party to be enjoyed as a smooth digestif, or gift it to your host as a wonderful base for an Old Fashioned serve.

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The GlenAllachie 12-year-old Ruby Port Wood Finish

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Bottled in 2021, this innovative malt was recently released as part of the Wood Finish series by GlenAllachie distillery. The spirit has been matured in American oak barrels for 10 years, before being re-racked into Ruby Port Pipes adding depth of flavour, complexity and providing its namesake.

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Riverside Gin

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Buy this for a lover of the countryside. It’s been created in collaboration with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and has been made with hand-foraged botanicals sourced from the Trust’s reserves; freshwater mint compliments creamy notes from Himalayan balsam. It follows a similar and very popular 219 release, but with a new recipe. Each purchase includes a £3 donation to the charity too and is one of a limited edition.

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Ardbeg Wee Beastie

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Perhaps you’d rather purchase something that you know will be available time and again. Popular and creative distillery Ardbeg – who like to theme their bottlings on beasts – have just added this new five-year-old expression to their range. Unlike those with a longer maturation period, this one’s close to the still and untamed. Powerful, smoky and a little bit wild, it’s for those who like their tipples feisty and has been described as a ‘monster of a dram’

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Belvedere Heritage

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If you’re seeking a present that’s a little bit different, try Belvedere Heritage 176. It’s named after the method used to create the unusual spirit. Malted by heating the Dańkowskie rye to 176 degrees, it allows the flavour in this vodka to be released. Richer and deeper than many other alternatives on the market, it’s excellent served with simple ice and a slice.

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Volcan De Mi Tierra Tequila Cristalino, £62

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Agave based liquors are quite possibly the most a la mode beverages of this year. Buy your fashionable friends Volcan De Mi Tierra Tequila Cristalino, made from 100% Weber blue agave from the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It’s actually to different tequilas: añejo (aged) and extra-añejo. These spirits have spent time in cognac and whisky casks, before being carefully filtered, bringing forth complex notes of vanilla, caramel and chocolate.

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Ross

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