Bought the Christmas wrapping paper yet? Well done. And plenty of tape, we hope. You don’t want to run out again and resort to string from the shed, calling it a ‘vintage look’ to hide your blushes. We assume you’ve got plenty labels left over from last year. And you’ve booked an evening off from your busy drinking schedule to take care of wrapping duties? You’re all set then…
…what’s that you say?
You’ve not bought the presents?
Don’t panic because, yet again, we’ve scoured the globe in search of the finest gifts suitable for anyone who likes guzzling booze or pottering in the garden. Get your orders in and start wrapping…
The London No. 1 Gin
With gin currently being the coolest drink around, why not treat your pals to a celebrated London gin from the heart of the capital. Craft distilled in small batches its distinctive blue hue comes from the gardenia flower, while other botanicals in the mix include angelica, iris root and bergamot. We found this gin to have a crisp and light touch with delicate floral, peppery and orange blossom notes and is at its best served as a simple G&T.
Available from Ocado
Personalised Slate Door Sign
If Christmas is a time to get personal, then send a message written in stone. Slate, to be precise. These welcome signs add a touch of class to even the tattiest shed door and with room for two lines of copy you can comfortably include all but the poshest double-barrel names. (Note: we use our sign for events only. There’s no way we’re revealing the true identity of our brewing shed)
Available from Personalise.co.uk
Scapa Glansa Single Malt Whisky
Every year we like to recommend a bottle-shaped gift for the whisky lover in your life, and this time around our taste buds have decided that Scapa Glansa gets the tinsel-wrapped treatment. It’s a single malt from Orkney that has been finished in casks previously used for peat whisky, adding a subtle smokiness that drifts by as if the caramel and vanilla notes have been visited by a peaty ghost. Enough intrigue for the adventurous drinker but nothing to scare those that prefer their malts smoke-free.
Available from Master of Malt
The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters, Bar Pack
Cocktail enthusiasts should be familiar with The Bitter Truth and their high quality mixing bitters. For this pack, they’ve gone a bit off piste, conjuring up a flavour assortment that will open up a whole new line of cocktail sorcery. Just this one natty tin will allow you to mix and muddle with the concentrated essences of chocolate bitters, tonic bitters, olive bitters, cucumber bitters and our favourite, peach bitters. Release the liquid a few drops at a time and let the magic happen…
Available from The Drink Shop
Ginger Beard’s Preserves Fig & Sour Cherry Christmas Chutney
If you’re wondering how a jar of chutney managed to spread itself all over our boozy Christmas guide then it’s because THIS ONE HAS BEER IN IT. And not just any old supermarket grog but a barley wine that has been aged in whisky barrels and lovingly crafted by the fantastic Moor Brewing Co. It’s a superb stocking filler for any gastronome, particularly if you know they’ll be munching on strong cheeses during the festive break, with which it makes the perfect match.
Available from Ginger Beard’s Preserves
Sherpa Renzing Wooly Hat
Knitted by Sherpa women from the city of Bhaktapur, these hats are made from lambs wool and lined with polar fleece for itch-free comfort. One size fits all head/hair combinations – both Nick’s matted mane and Rich’s bald bonce remained warm and toasty during a recent allotment excursion to forage for frostbitten parsnips. Nick is so smitten with his new headgear, he’s considering it as a permanent replacement for his precious, moth eaten Nottingham Forest hat. High praise indeed.
Available from Sherpa Adventure Gear
Crackled Pear by Penkridge Ceramics
We tend to favour our fruits squashed, juiced and fermented, but our eyes glazed over with admiration when we spied this handsome ceramic pear dangling amongst the National Trust’s Homeware Collection. This masterful mantelpiece pome is 10 cm high and has a pewter stem running through its white, cracked glaze body. It’ll make a fine ornamental treat for the perry-maker in your life. For ciderists, ceramic apples are also available.
Available from The National Trust
Craft Metropolis Box of 12 Craft Beers
Beer boxes make a great gift for your ale drinking relatives, but choosing which one of the many on offer can be a struggle. Let us suggest this delectable dozen from Craft Metropolis. Every can and bottle is sourced from a London brewery, providing a unique range of popular favourites and unknown treats that would otherwise be hard to acquire without amassing a huge black cab bill. And for an added bonus, the city smog is not included.
Available from Craft Metropolis
Jim Beam Double Oak Bourbon
“Two shots of Jim!” Orders the robo cowpoke in Westworld, Sky Atlantic’s rootin’ tootin’ cyber-western. Admittedly he may have said ‘two shots of gin’ (the dialogue was slightly muffled during this scene), but let us not split hairs. If a sentient android cowboy was to order a bourbon to oil its synthetic throat, it’d order one of these. Double oak is the latest incarnation of Jim Beam’s Kentucky bourbon, and it’s an oaky, sweet-supping, toffee-tinged treat. Line ‘em up, barkeep…
Available from The Whisky Exchange
Drinks by the Dram Regions of Scotland Tasting Set
A gift to suit both connoisseur and novice, this terrific, tartan-tastic tasting kit contains five 3cl drams of malts that’ll take you on a whistle stop tour of the whisky making regions of Scotland. Along with the booze, the box contains comprehensive tasting notes so you can learn whilst you sup, – ‘aye’-ing and ‘och’-ing along in agreement.
Available from Masters of Malt
Stihl MSA 120 C-BQ Cordless Chainsaw
A punchy power tool pressie for the demanding horticulturalist. This low weight, low noise mini-beast runs off a powerful lithium-Ion battery and has a surprising amount of poke for something so compact. It’s just the ticket for sawing logs for firewood and for felling medium sized trees. In fact, Rich loves to regale a boring story of how he recently lopped and dropped a 30ft eucalyptus with an MSA 160. It wasn’t even his tree – the owners are furious.
Available from Your local Stihl dealership
Don’t forget our book!
For the ultimate digging and swigging gift there’s our book, Brew it Yourself. Packed full with booze recipes, many of them using home grown ingredients, your grateful recipient will be fermenting, infusing and mixing boozy magic throughout 2017.
Available from Amazon