It’s the most wonderful time of the year and that calls for our Luxury Christmas Drinks Guide 2018! Within the guide you will find a spectacular whisky gift set, English sparkling wine with truffles, a selection of food-matched festive wines, suggested experiences and a gin from Ryan Reynolds!
Limited Edition Royal Salute Masquerade Gift Set
Our favourite drink related gift set of 2018, the limited -edition Royal Salute Masquerade Gift Set is a treat for all of your senses and it is the gift for any whisky lover this Christmas. Aesthetically beautiful, the set also provides a stunning experience for the nose and taste buds also! Just take a look…
Inspired by the famed royal Masquerade Balls held at the Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens in London, this gift set packs a wonderful sense of the regal and the luxurious. Within the eye-catching laser cut, collector’s edition gift box, you will find Royal Salute’s 21-Year Old Whisky. A deep golden amber in colour, the nose is hit with sweet pears and citrus fruits. On the tongue there are waves of marmalade, spices and hazelnuts which give a warming and intricate flavour profile. But that’s not all, the set also comes with a miniature collector version.
Sumptuous, elegant and exceptional! This is one for any Whisky love this Christmas! £160 at Selfridges.
Chapel Down Rosé Brut & Truffles Gift Set
A wonderful gift for any rosé or sparkling wine fan, the Chapel Down Rosé Brut & Truffles Gift is the perfect blend of indulgence and elegance. The Chapel Down Rosé Brut is absolutely bursting with ripe strawberries and raspberries. Fresh, vivacious and highly quaffable!
Plus, and here comes the indulgence, you will find 16 delicious, handmade L’Artisan du Chocolat sparkling rosé wine truffles! Presented within a gift box, each truffle develops on the flavour of the sparkling rosé and offers a chocolate twist. For under £45, this is a must-buy this Christmas and the ideal addition to your Christmas drinks shopping list! Rosé not your thing? Why not try the Brut & Truffles Gift set instead!
Available for £44 at ChapelDown.com. Price includes delivery and a personalised message.
Edinburgh Christmas Gin (£35)
Edinburgh Gin have really taken the UK by storm over the last 12 months and this festive flavoured gin is a testament to their ability to create unique gin offerings. This Christmas gin is flavoured with a very festive set of seasonal botanicals, including frankincense and myrrh! It doesn’t get more Christmassy than that! Each drop carries a sense of Christmas spirit and the balance, as we usually find with Edinburgh Gins, is perfectly executed!
Ideal for sitting in front of a fire with, it is warming, spicy and aromatic. Cinnamon and nutmeg give another yuletide twist and gives the gin a very well-rounded feel. To give the gin freshness, there is also a hint of citrus, thanks to underlying orange. Edinburgh Gin suggest this is perfect for a Negroni, but we loved it with a premium tonic, ice and a roaring log fire!
You can buy Edinburgh Christmas Gin from their website for £35.
Matched wine suggestions from Jeroboams
To help get your Christmas off to a flying start, we have a trio of wines from London wine specialists Jeroboams, who have shared with us some details on which wines match venison, beef and turkey for the most wonderful time of the year!
Venison match – 2015 Barbaresco Ronchi, La Bioca (£25.95)
A gorgeous ruby coloured red, this wine has a dark cherry and raspberry character on the nose, which works superbly with rich meats such as venison. On the palate, we enjoyed the earth notes, which are evocative of the forest floor. Fine tannins, rich and ideally matched for venison. Beautiful!
Turkey match – 2017 Kaho Roa Sauvignon Blanc, Winemakers Selection, Hunter’s, Marlborough (£17.95)
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the world’s favourite grape varities at the minute. However, this particular Sauvignon, with roots in Marlborough, New Zealand, is one of the best we have tried this Christmas. Heralding from the Wairau River Valley, this wine has achieved international acclaim, with over 80 wine awards under its belt. It’s easy to see why… a vibrant and yet balanced acidity gives this wine the freshness you associate with the grape. However, there are also oaky notes and hints of passion fruit here, which elevates this wine above many run of the mill Sauvignon offerings.
Beef match – 2015 Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia (£29.95)
This Western Australian wine is a super stylish Cabernet Sauvignon, with an array of seasonal spicy and leafy notes. Blue and black fruits combine with a full and intense tannin finish for a truly memorable wine. Fully of powerful fruit flavours, chocolate and tar are all at play. Yet, this red is balanced with a grace and elegance for a wonderful result. One to consider!
Aviation Gin (£28)
World renowned Actor Ryan Reynolds, judges Aviation as “hands down, the best damn gin on the planet!”. Although, he may be the owner of this super stylish gin, we do have to agree – it’s certainly up there with the best! A take on London Dry, Aviation Gin aims to be softer, smoother, and far more sippable than more traditional gins. Whereas London Dry is usually juniper led, Aviation focuses on fresh citrus and floral flavours, with juniper playing a supporting role. Super smooth and well balanced, it is quite refreshing to find a gin without such a strong focus on juniper. We also love the elegance and style of the bottle, which evokes a sense of early American commercial aviation and its imitable style.
Here are some serving suggestions from the brand itself “Its soft yet distinct flavour profile makes Aviation Gin the perfect partner to any cocktail, creating a balance in which the spirit calls the shots. Simply mix Aviation Gin with vermouth and orange bitters for a first-class cocktail, guaranteed to take your party to new heights this Christmas. Or, for those daring to step into the unknown, let the liquid fly solo and appreciate neat over ice, just like Ryan does.”
We have to say Ryan Reynolds certainly has great taste in gin!
Adnams Ghost Ship Alcohol-Free
One for the drivers out there, Adnams, the Suffolk-based brewery that has recently launched an alcohol-free version of its Ghost Ship beer. If you have ever had Ghost Ship before, you will know it’s an exemplary pale ale with superb, deep and rich flavour. In fact Adnams uses advanced production techniques – one of just two breweries in the whole of Europe to use such advanced technology – to ensure that all the fantastic flavour of the pale ale remains, without the alcohol content.
Baileys Almande (£16)
Baileys Almande is a brand new offering from this world renowned brand! Almande blends sweet almond oil and almond essence (crushed almonds), cane sugar, purified water and a touch of real vanilla. The result is a take on the traditional Baileys flavour, which dairy free and vegan friendly! Baileys have really put their finger on the recent trend for dairy free alternatives with this one! Available in supermarkets this Christmas! Best enjoyed over ice or in a cocktail.
Captain Morgan The Original Rum
Captain Morgan The Original Rum is a rum that embodies the spirit of those backstreet tavern parties – with a rich and full-bodied taste perfect for the modern day buccaneers who seek real, authentic fun with their crew. This rum is intensely deep and rich taste, with a smoky cask finish.
Learn the subtle intricacies of cheese and wine matching with this fun and educational tasting course in Regents Park, London. Experienced in-house culinary experts provide tuition on how to pair the distinctive and sometimes understated flavours of cheese and wine. During the course, taste six carefully selected wines and experiment with six types of cheese, such as soft, hard, mild, strong, young and mature. Conclude with an interactive group discussion based on everyone’s cheese and wine matching discoveries from the session.
This experience is available from Red Letter Days.