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I remember when I was little and the excitement associated with getting post. Grown-ups always got post, kids didn’t. So when an envelope or package did arrive for me I was completely beside myself, particularly if it wasn’t around my birthday or Christmas, well everyone gets post then. Now that I am a grown-up, (I use this term very loosely based solely on my age,) post doesn’t get me quite so giddy. Junk mail and bills aren’t really what I want to be seeing on a daily basis, but sometimes, just sometimes, my post is very, very interesting. Particularly when it comes in a box and makes a beautiful sloshy sound!
About a week ago I had one of these exciting parcels arrive at the house when I was at work. Hubby sent me a message to say that a package had arrived for me. Excitement levels were piqued because I really didn’t know what was inside. Often with sloshy post I do know what’s coming, but this parcel was a little different. The why behind it will become clearer a little later…
Now rewind to a couple of weeks before the delivery. I had a great chat with a lovely lady called Alex, who, along with her friend Jo run a business called Ice and a Slice. Ice and a Slice specialise in creating beautifully packaged gin gift sets, which make ideal pressies for gin-loving family and friends.
Alex and Jo met through their children when they were at nursery together. As the children became good friends, so did they. The first hints of Ice and a Slice came around April 2015, when Alex and her family went on holiday to Tenerife. After a long day at the beach, they headed to a sea front restaurant where they asked for a G&T. They were presented with a rather impressive Gin and Tonic menu, made their choice and ordered. A little while later rather than their drinks arriving, a gin waiter turned up with his gin barrow 8 gins and 4 tonics! What followed was a masterclass of how to make the perfect gin and tonic.
“The balloon glass had ice cubes added and swilled around to chill (given the warm climate the glass was hot), the water was then strained away. Each gin came with it’s own serve – peels of different fruit and then botanicals, these were carefully placed in the glass with tweezers and in the case of the cinnamon stick, warmed with a lighter before tonic was dropped down a bar spoon.”
When Alex and her family got home, armed with some ginny duty free purchases, they invited Jo and her family over to share their gin discovery. Alex and Jo began doing some research into the ever expanding craft gin market and discovered some beautiful bottles, which were not only available in the regular 70cl size and miniature 5cl size, but also in 35 or 20cl bottles. This got them to thinking about how lovely these middle sized bottles would be as presents and that was the birth of their Gin Tasting Sets. With the gin market moving at such a fast pace, the girls decided to act fast. Ice and a Slice was registered in August 2015, they attended their first Christmas market in December 2015 and their online shop went live in February 2016.
Now I don’t know about you, but early on in my gin journey I was caught out a few times with the beautiful bottle problem. I’d see a bottle and think “my oh my, that is simply beautiful, I must own it…NOW!” Only to get the bottle home, try the gin and think “ah…this isn’t really what I was expecting!” 70cl is a lot to drink if you make your purchase and realise you don’t like the taste, but 5cl (50ml) isn’t really enough to play with. So these 35 and 20cl bottles are a great option.
The Ice and a Slice products come in many different forms, from single bottles of artisan gins, to gin gift sets which include mixer, botanicals or glasses, they really do have all bases covered. You can make up your own gift boxes by first choosing the combination of sizes you want to buy, then scrolling through a comprehensive choose your gins. It’s that simple. If you’re not confident in the world of gin, there are some great gift set suggestions and the girls are always keen to help. They also have tonic and mixer gift sets which are a great way to try some delicious alternative brands and they have Gin Spa gift sets, the perfect pressie for someone who is crying out to be pampered. What could be better than a long soak in a warm bath with a delicious gin and tonic. These sets come complete with a balloon glass and specially chosen handmade soap to compliment the aromas of your cocktail. This really is a great place to shop for your gin lover.
Alex offered to send me a box through and asked what I would like to be put inside. My reply…
Ice and a Slice create gift sets, gifts are supposed to be surprises, therefore I’d like a surprise please.
…which takes me almost seamlessly back to the beginning of my story. On arriving home I found my exciting surprise pressie waiting for me.
Stopping to take pictures and videos was simply torturous because I had no idea what was inside and I was desperate to find out!
Outer box open and I was greeted with my first hint of what was inside. Imagining I had no idea at all what was going to be inside this parcel this would most definitely have tipped me off. In support of reducing the use of plastic, Ice and a Slice have swapped bubble wrapping their products in favour of new Geami Wrappak which is made from paper. The kraft paper is die cut and when stretched creates a brilliant 3D honeycomb structure, which acts just like bubble wrap to keep your gift super safe during it’s travels.
Once I got through all the Geami Wrappak my gift box was revealed. The presentation of this is faultless. The stunning, contemporary, black box, features the Ice and a Slice logo on the top and is sealed with a magnetic fastener, which in my eyes in infinitely better than using something sticky, which only damages the product. Now for the fun part, time to open it up and see what was inside.
My surprise gift set included 20cl bottle of Sir Robin of Loxley Gin, ABV 40.5%, a 200ml bottle of 1724 Tonic Water and a Dartington Crystal ‘Ice and a Slice’ branded stemmed balloon glass. Each component was in it’s own section of the box and was surrounded by zesty green shredded paper to once again ensure it’s safe arrival. This was most definitely a good surprise. I’ve never tried Sir Robin of Loxley Gin so that was a real treat and I am already a fan of 1724 Tonic. Plus that beautiful glass, really onto a winner here!
A huge thank you to Alex and Jo for sending me through this fabulous surprise. I really do love the thought behind Ice and a Slice and will definitely be doing a lot of recommending!
As Christmas is fast approaching, I really can’t recommend these gift boxes enough, and as an early Christmas treat to you all, Ice and a Slice are pleased to offer my readers a 10% discount on their next purchase, up to the end of November 2018. Just use the code GINOB18 when you’re at the checkout, no excuse now, best get shopping!!