Sorry to those who are trying to avoid it, but Christmas is coming folks, whether you like it or not. I for one LOVE Christmas, I adore giving gifts, spending time with family and more than anything I delight in being able to start drinking before midday without anyone batting an eyelid!
This post is not only for gin lovers, but is also directed at Christmas loathers…like my Uncle Malcolm, lets see if we can fill you guys with a little of the best kind of Christmas Spirit! So here you have it;
A Gin Lovers Guide to Christmas
The first step on my yearly Christmas journey is the tree and decorations, and I’m not ashamed to say they go up at the end of November! When decorating with a gin theme, here are some options to consider.
- Tree decorations – Gin baubles have become a recent Christmas craze and are ideal for hanging on trees or garlands. There are a few different distributers. Sipsmith have adapted their miniature bottles with ribbon, allowing them to be hung from branches as tree decorations. The presentation box, filled with six, 5cl bottles will only set you back £25 and provide that extra bit of Christmas cheer. This year Pickering’s are again selling their famous gin baubles, which are now being shipped internationally!!! A box will set you back £30 and contains six different, brightly coloured baubles, each filled with 5cl of delicious Pickering’s gin. If you haven’t watched their advert for the baubles yet, you really need to! If you’re looking for something a little less alcoholic, FromPeriod2Penthouse on Etsy are selling some gorgeous handmade, silver plated gin themed tree decorations, made using the bowl part of a spoon. These decorations are far more traditional and beautifully stunning.
- Lights – Every Christmas needs lights, and would you believe it, gin lights are actually available to buy. The gorgeous lovelies at Tatty Devine have created a fabulous string of gin bottle Christmas lights. They are battery operated, with each string measuring 4.2m and holding 16 mini gin bottles. These lights are absolutely adorable and a must have for any gin themed Christmas!
Arguably one of the most important parts of the day, the whole family gather together to eat food that has been cooking for hours. So lets throw some gin into the mix.
Many argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which surely then means that Christmas breakfast is the most important meal of the year! Hubby and I ALWAYS start with a morning gin, which comprises of gin and bitter lemon. However, if this is a little bit too far a leap, why not start the day with some tea and toast? Gin and Tonic tea of course, courtesy of Fortnum & Mason. A pack of 15 bags will set you back a mere £6.95, an absolute bargain in my eyes. For the toast, why not smother it in something ginsanely delicious…gin jam. Pinkster sell a yummy raspberry gin jam and fear not strawberry fans, for Fresha Strawberry Gin have just released their own jam too, I have been lucky to try this and it really is great, more on that coming up in a gin shot soon! If you’re anything like my Gran, and you’re more of a marmalade fan, then The Bay Tree have you guys covered with their lemon marmalade with gin and lime. Not a fan of toast, in which case grab yourself a tub of Rachel’s Organic lemon & gin yogurt which is now available to buy in Sainsbury’s.
The rest of the day can be filled with a selection of the following…
- Nibbles – Lidl are selling Gin and Juniper roast pork flavoured crisps or Joe & Steph’s can provide the Gin & Tonic popcorn.
- A sweet tooth – Gin & Tonic chocolate, by Coco Chocolatier, Tarquin’s Cornish gin fudge or Prestat gin truffles. Smith and Sinclaire have created the ultimate in grown up sweets, chewy edible cocktails, in the form of their gin selection and their gin cocktail selection.
- Mince pies – a staple at many a Christmas dinner table. Only this year, why not try a mince pie with a difference? Aldi are releasing Sloe Gin Mince Tarts as part of their new collection, and at only £2.29 for 6, this is a definite must have for any gin lover.
- Christmas Pudding – The big end to our festive stuffing is the Christmas pudding. Selfridges are selling a sparkling gin Christmas pudding and Meg Rivers has created a Christmas pudding with gin. If like me, you’re not a huge Christmas pudding fan, then fear not, for the wonderful people at Sacred Gin have liquified it for us…Christmas Pudding Gin, now this to me sounds far more in the spirit of things!
It is important to look the part on Christmas day, I always wear a Christmas themed dress and buy my father a hideous Christmas Hawaiian shirt, but this year, lets think gin!
- For her – I found an awesome little shop on Etsy called oflifeandlemons who have a fantastic range of gin products, but I was particularly drawn to their Christmas themed gin T-shirts and jumpers. The We Three Gins jumper and GINgle bells T-shirt are already firmly on my Christmas list. Matalan have also jumped on this year’s band wagon with their “gin is my Christmas spirit” jumper and “Gin-gle bells” sweatshirt.
- For him – Spreadshirt have got a great variety of gin themed T-shirts, but this one is a personal favourite of mine. I only drink gin on days that start with T… Available in a variety of colours and sizes, I think this T-shirt will fully convey anyone’s gin passion. Oflifeandlemons also do a variety of unisex Christmas jumpers, which are definitely worth taking a look at.
Small Gifts/Stocking fillers
When we were growing up, we always had one main present, then lots of bits and bobs crammed into a stocking…a book, a film, a small game. These bits were important because we were allowed to open them before breakfast and before the arrival of Uncle Malcolm…who was always late! So here are a few small gift ideas which would work perfectly as stocking fillers or as a pressie for your gin loving Secret Santa pick.
- Smellies – Everyone gets smellies for Christmas, so why not make these extra exciting with a twist of gin and tonic. Sting in the Tail have an amazing collection of gin and tonic toiletries, including soap, bubble bath, hand wash and bath bombs. that’s right folks, you can wash your cares away in gin! The Letter Room stock the full gin and tonic range, and is definitely worth checking out. I can personally vouch for the soap and bubble bath…I bathed in gin and tonic and it was fabulous!
- Toiletries – Once one has bathed in gin and tonic, it would seem only fitting to smother one’s body with the stuff too and thankfully, there are products available. Head over to BoozyBodycare for a Gin and Tonic Happy Hour wash bag, which contains Gin and Tonic body wash, hand cream and body cream. The Bath House also stock a beautiful Gin and Tonic hand cream and if you know someone who would want that gin taste lingering on your lips all day, then why not get them some Gin and Tonic lip balm by The Prohibition Company?
- Drinking – Sadly we cannot drink gin all the time, however, we can drink from someTHING gin related all the time. I don’t know about anyone else, but this “Gym? I thought you said gin” water bottle sums me up completely as does this Jolly Awesome “Might be water, might be gin” bottle. After a gin mug, then look no further than Supermug they have a HUGE selection of mugs, including gin themed designs. There is most definitely something for everyone here!
- Candles – I love a good candle and surely the best kind of candle is one scented with gin and tonic? Vineyard Candles have created an entire boozy candle collection featuring Prosecco, Pino Grigio, Shiraz, various cocktails and of course, our beloved G&T. The candles are available in various sizes and with beautiful gift boxes.
- Books – Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a book, and there are some fabulous gin books on the market. I have couple of personal favourites, one is Gin glorious Gin by Olivia Williams which takes you on a great tour through gin’s troubled past. The second is Shake, Muddle and Stir by Dan Jones and contains loads of great gin cocktail recipes which are beautifully illustrated.
- Games – Everyone loves a good game at Christmas, and Just Gin have come up witha good game…Just Gin – A Gin Card Game! In a nut shell, this game is top trumps, yup, you heard right, gin top trumps. Featuring 36 different gins, these cards have categories including number or botanicals, alcohol volume, distance to London and also state the distillers perfect serve. A great way to brush up on your gin knowledge whilst having some fun.
- Giniatures – If you’re looking to add a little Christmas spirit to a sticking then pop over to Just Miniatures, who stock a great range of gin miniatures. If you want something a little more special, Drinks in Tube now offer three great gin tasting kits as featured in a previous blog post. Eden Mill have come over all Christmasy and have created a candy cane gin. This 10cl bottle comes beautifully presented in cracker style packaging and can be found in John Lewis stores.
- Glitter – Christmas would not be Christmas without some glitter and sparkle, and for this check out Pop a Ball, who have an entire range dedicated to gin! When this shimmer powder is added to drinks, they immediately takes on a beautiful, sparkling shimmer, making them look like they have been breathed on by a unicorn…or fairy…or something equally as magical, perhaps a fairy riding a unicorn! Even better, all their products are suitable for vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs!
Larger gifts…for someone you really like
If you fancy getting something a little bit larger for your gin loving friend, why not treat them to a gin making kit? There are lots on the market including this one from Men’s Society, which is available at John Lewis. This six piece kit enables you to transform a bottle of vodka into a bottle of gin in just 36 hours and is priced at £50. Eden Mill have created a gorgeous gift box called “The Twelve Gins of Christmas” not only does it contain 12 gins, but also two beautiful glasses, a booklet which gives information about each of the gins and one gin tour voucher for the Eden Mill distillery. Similarly, there are so many distilleries out there now offering tours, why not buy your gin loving friend a day out to remember…or forget, depending on how much gin they try.
Once you’ve selected your gifts, you’ll need to wrap them. My quest for Christmas gin gift wrap wasn’t too fruitful, however, Brainbox Candy have some bright “Gin O’clock” wrapping paper which they sell in packs of four sheets, and Zazzle are selling rolls of “You are the lime in my gin and tonic” paper and well as rolls of “Keep calm and drink gin“.
What Christmas is complete without pulling crackers at the dinner table, and Drinks in Tube really have this one covered! Coming in packs of 6, these Christmas crackers are bursting with Christmas spirit, 50ml of Christmas spirit if you want to be precise. With three different cracker packs to choose from, and each containing some excellent gins, these little treats will be quite the talk of your table.
So there you have it, my guide to the perfect gin filled Christmas…only 47 days to go folks, Merry Gin-mas!!