Welcome to my 2020 gin gift guide! Even with #lockdown2 almost over all we have to look forward to is Christmas, and even the circumstances around that are uncertain. So cheer yourself, friends and family up with these gin inspired gifts!
The Gin-inspired Christmas Gift Guide 2020
This gin gift guide covers a range of different gift ideas:
- Gin & cocktail inspired books
- Christmas gins
- Gin gift sets
- Gin-inspired Christmas cards
- Christmas decorations including baubles
- Bonus: my gin advent calendar guide can be found here
Where possible I’ve tried to promote small craft gin brands and independent sellers, however for some items I’ve only been able to find them on larger retailers site’s. Please do think local and support small this festive season. If you know of a good brand or great deal with a local independent seller close to you, leave a comment at on this blog so that others can find them too! Sorry to my international readers, this one is UK focused, although you may be able to find some brands and products outside the UK.
Gin & cocktail inspired books
I’m happy to say that all the books I’m recommending this year are written by women! I hope you find them useful and entertaining.
Emma aka The Gin Monkey has pulled together a cocktail book that will keep you going all Winter with cocktail suggestions for every holiday from Halloween through to St Patrick’s day. Of course the focus is on Christmas and New Year, with loads of suggestions for celebratory cocktails and even hot punches made for parties (if we are allowed them again!).
If you’ve ever been to a gin tasting I’m sure you’ve heard a potted history of gin from the person leading it. In The Philosophy of Gin Jane Peyton, not only touches on the broad history of gin, from its roots in medicine to its influence on language, but she also discusses its current popular status. Jane even includes ideal flavour pairings for gin connoisseurs.
The Gin Clan by Fiona Laing £8.99 [affiliate link]
The Gin Clan is split into sections including The Distilling Clan and The Kith and Kin. Covering both distilleries and ‘cuckoo distillers’ who make their gin on other people’s still and makers who use compounding techniques to create ‘bathtub’ gins. The gin makers come from all walks of life – from farmers looking to diversify, entrepreneurs wanting to celebrate their hometown, gin enthusiasts having a go, to people who have founded distilleries to enhance and support their community.
Fiona also covers what makes a gin Scottish, natural resources and local botanicals. The book is a true celebration of Scotland’s signature gins and all the distilleries that make them. It makes a great gift, with great stories and lots of photos of Scottish gins and their distilleries.
Fiona has also written about Yorkshire’s gins. So if you have a friend or family member in Yorkshire, this is the book for them! The sub-title of the book is ‘The Spirit of the Moors, Cities and Coast’, demonstrating the breadth of variety in both the landscape and hence the gins made there.
While not specifically about gin, the Flavour Thesarus by Niki Segnit is all about flavour matching. Divided into themes like Meaty, Cheesy, Woodland and Fruity Floral, it’s sure to get you thinking about gin and food pairings, alternative garnishes and also provide inspiration for cocktails.
So many brands have developed special gins for Christmas, that either evoke the smells and tastes of Christmas day (think Christmas pudding or Brussel Sprout gin!), or even the general scents of Winter, that I’m sure this is NOT a complete list. However it is a list of a few brands that I know, love and highly recommend:
Tappers Figgy Pudding Gin £40 [prior partnership]
Figgy Pudding Gin is Tappers’ Christmas limited-edition, and the UK’s first and original gin based on the traditional dessert, made with a medley of fruits and spices. An all-natural amber hue reflects the traditional method of skilful cold-compounding, lending a full-bodied mouthfeel and festive flavours of Christmas pud.
Hrafn Winter edition £39 [gifted]
Not only is the Hrafn Winter edition distilled with Frankincense and Myrrh, but it also comes with a wee Santa hat on the bottle! That’s sure to bring you a smile before you tuck into this gin. Their suggested serve is as a French 75, so this one is perfect to celebrate Christmas Day or even New Year’s Eve. Check out the recipe and how to make it on my Instagram IGTV here.
Pickering’s are always inventive and their festive flavoured gin range is no different to that. From the classic Cranberry gin, to Gingerbread gin and Christmas Clementine, to the boundary pushing Brussel Sprout gin, they have all bases covered!
Gower Limited Edition Sloe Gin £24.95 [prior partnership]
A delicious fruity gin made with juniper, coriander seed, fresh citrus and pink peppercorns, infused slowly over several months with locally foraged sloes. Presented beautifully in their signature cotton bag, it would make a fabulous gift.
Mclean’s Something Blue £38.50 [gifted + affiliate link]
Whilst this gin was created for the founder’s wedding, its suitable for celebration at any time of the year! The tonka beans and buchu leaf botanicals add richness and interesting notes that come through even when mixed. Read my full blog post about Mcleans & Something Blue here.
Puddingstone Distillery PUD PUD gin from £36 – gift sets £50 [prior partnership]
Puddingstone Pudding Gin, or PUD PUD Gin for short, is their winter seasonal release. Hertfordshire made Christmas pudding is distilled in Isabella our 50 litre still. As the pudding vapour rises it passes through a vapour basket containing Macedonian juniper and sweet orange. This is a distilled gin so they capture the spice and fruit notes of the puddings rather than the sweetness (it also means the gin is gluten free!).
As well as PUD PUD there are two additional options – PUD PUD Cask gin. Aged for 4 weeks in ex-bourbon barrels, which are then filled with port and then the gin is aged again in the barrels with the port finish – adding a gentle pink hue. And there is PUD PUD Cherry where the gin is aged with fresh cherries. There is no added sugar – so this is still very much a gin and not a sweet liqueur!
You can choose any of the Puddingstone Distillery range to have in their gift sets with 2 Campfire Gin branded gin glasses too.
I tasted this gin at a Lucky White Heather Scottish gin tasting. This tasting set includes three different Scottish gins, paired mixers and garnishes (depending on which option you choose).
The South Loch Cranberry, Clementine and Spice gin has lots of lovely cinnamon and ginger spices coming through with the orange notes from the clementine. It can be served with tonic or ginger ale for a different twist, but definitely garnish with orange and a cinnamon stick if you can!
Warner’s Christmas Cake gin £38 [prior partnership]
The recipe is inspired by their mum’s traditional homemade Christmas cake: sweet, rich & syrupy. Uniquely distilled with real dark chocolate, ginger, juniper, and festive spices, then expertly blended with cherry juice. They suggest to serve with Coca Cola, however I’d be more inclined to try out the cocktails, including pimping your hot chocolate with a shot, or an espresso martini with a Christmas (cake) twist!
Martin Miller’s Winterful £27.95 [gifted + affiliate]
The second special edition to celebrate Martin Miller’s 20th anniversary this year, Winterful is based on all the Winter flavours. (The first edition was Summerful!). Full of delicious zesty mandarin, bitter orange, cinnamon, cassia and nutmeg, this will warm you up. I loved this gin in a negroni, where the vermouth brings out mulled wine notes, and the orange worked so well with the Campari – truly delicious on a dark Winter’s night.
If you fancy a ‘ginny’ gin and not one with Christmas spice/other flavours then check out Zeiver:
Zeiver Gin £41.95 [gifted]
Zeiver is a very unique gin. Not only is the base made from polished rice Japanese style (similar to how they make sake), but also the botanicals are also very different to your usual gins. Think peach, aloe vera, cherry and pistachio, rather than classic coriander, cardamom and orris root/angelica. However the flavour is classic gin and juniper loaded, making for a very satisfying gin and tonic. At 47% the flavours are concentrated enough to carry through when mixed with tonic, or in any other cocktail. A fab present for a serious gin lover.
And lastly a cheat if you don’t want to make your negronis from scratch:
Rock Rose Winter Spiced Negroni £25 [prior partnership]
Working with the fabulous Bottle Bar and Shop Catford Rock Rose have set out to bring you a deliciously festive tipple. The Winter Spiced Negroni has been allowed to rest with orange and pink grapefruit zest for eight weeks. This brings the perfect balance of flavours and just the right amount of bitterness to the drink. A rock rose heart in this festive Negroni with a warming mix of winter spices, I really want to try this! Get in quick as there are limited bottles.
Gin gift sets
If a bottle is not enough and you need something extra pretty to gift; or you can’t decide which gin and want a tasting selection; or you want to include some gin glasses or cocktail ingredients, these gin gift sets have you covered:
Isle of Butte have these fabulous gift tubes for their 20cl bottles which showcase artwork of the key botanicals in each gin. Try the Gorse gin – it just won a Gold Medal for Best Distilled Gin at the Scottish Gin Awards in November!
Inverroche Three Gins tasting pack £16.75 (but on Black Friday discount to £14.23) [gifted]
I was invited to an online tasting with South African Inverroche recently and I was very impressed with their gins, as well as founder Lorna. This tasting pack is a 50ml of each of their gins, great to try them side by side. The Amber is something very special and that was the focus of the tasting – so check out my Instagram Story highlights for some cocktail ideas with that! The pack is modelled on a perfume presentation and makes the ideal present to go under the Christmas tree.
Sipsmith Build Your Own Stocking from £22 [prior partnership]
Sipsmith’s have brought out their build your own stocking concept for 2020. You can buy the stocking from £22, which includes the Green Velvet Stocking, a 20cl bottle of Sipsmith London Dry gin and Christmas gift wrap. However should you feel generous you can also add up to six additional products, priced from £5 for a Sipsmith enamel mug, up to £30 for their copper cocktail shaker. Be as generous or not as you like!
[There are some Black Friday codes available: GINSHOP for free delivery and if you spend over £40 on your Stocking you will get free delivery and a 20cl Christmas gin included for free – ends 1/12/20]
A fab secret present – it looks like a book, but hidden inside are three 5cl miniatures. These include Chase GB Gin, Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin and Seville Marmalade Gin.
You can buy yourself a Christmas jumper to match your gin’s one! I love this limited edition gift set from Chase gin – one for the truly cheesy!
Sacred Christmas Negroni bundle £74.95 (or Christmas Pudding gin from £33.95) [prior partnership]
Made with real Christmas puddings, steamed for 8 hours to distiller Ian’s Great Aunt Nellie’s Victorian recipe, this gin has a rich cakey mouthfeel with notes of candied peel and raisins. Perfect as a shot, a gin and tonic, or served in a negroni. Sacred also make an English Spiced Vermouth and their own version of a bitters – Rosehip Cup, so get this bundle for a spiced festive Negroni with extra pudding!
Graveney Gin is a nano distillery based in Tooting and they have a selection of different hampers this year, starting from £16.50 for an espresso martini hamper, going up to £129 for all the gins for Christmas! Get a taste of all three Graveney gins with the Three Small Gins of Christmas hamper for £36:
The medium gin hamper with a branded glass and matching tonic is also a fab gift set from £27. 10% of Graveney gin’s profits are donated to Gearing up for Gorillas, with £7,500 donated so far. Even better all the gins are organic, so a great gift for the picky eater/drinker on your gift list.
Forest Gin have a great selection of gifts on their website. Buy their beautiful porcelain bottles of Forest Gin or Earl Grey Gin from £55 for the bottle (hat not included!). For £60 you can get the gin with a branded gin glass in a gift box. The blanket shown below is £35. So basically it’s all the ingredients for a socially distanced gin picnic!
As well as buying Chew Valley gins – they have a London Dry, a Navy Strength and an Apple and Blackberry gin – you can also buy their branded gin glasses. They have both a 24oz Copa Glass and a 16.5oz tumbler. If you buy a bottle of the gin, you’ll get 25% off the glass too!
Colwith Farm Distillery Cornish Cocktail Trio pack £25 [prior partnership]
A great concept perfect for gifting via the post! Individual pouches of cocktails are delivered in letterbox friendly boxes of three. Simply chill, open and pour. The difficulty is in deciding which three cocktails to get. The selection uses the Colwith Farm spirit range and includes a Negroni, Vodka Martini, Dry (gin) Martini, Vesper Martini, Seaberry Vodka Sour and a Christmas Gin Sour.
GWYR six pack £27.95 [prior partnership]
If you’ve never tried Gower gins, or if you want to introduce a friend or family member to them, then this six pack of their gins is the perfect gift! 6 50ml minis – one each of the Gwyr original, Pinwydd, Rhosili, Bara Brith, Rhamanta and Dragon Strength (60%) gins. Definitely worth it – and look at their fab stripy styling, so cute!
One for the flavoured gin lovers, Cariad gin has a selection of different gift boxed for you to chose from, showcasing their range of gins. Boxes start at £12.50 for 100ml of gin with matching tonic, garnish and 2 hay straws. Why not try their Marmalade & Bay Leaf gin, shown below? They also have a range of candles and candle & gin gift boxes.
If you’ve been inspired by the recent coverage of International Scottish Gin Day to try more Scottish gin, then this is the tasting club for you. There are live online tastings each Thursday and samples of 3 gins to taste. There is a gift box you can buy for £17.95 which includes 3 premium craft Scottish gins. You can add the paired mixers for an additional £5, so your recipient has everything they need to enjoy the gins.
This year Edinburgh have come up with a selection of ‘Books’ that include different cocktails, gins, perfect serves and even glasses and bar ware. For Christmas I was quite taken with The Winter’s Cocktail £35, which includes Edinburgh Mulled Gin Liqueur, a bag of mulled spices and 2 x Edinburgh gin glasses.
Bathtub gin gift pack with enamel mug £34.95 [gifted + affiliate link]
This gift pack is perfect for making a hot gin toddy or pimping your hot chocolate with a splash of gin! Bathtub gin is a classic cold compounded gin presented in it’s distinctive brown paper wrapped bottle.
With the news that a lot of the country will emerge from Lockdown 2 and head into Tier 3 restrictions, it’s more important than ever to support our hospitality industry. Atlas Gin bar in Manchester have diversified to offer you their gin range at home! This year’s Christmas Home Gin Experience includes Tarquin’s Figgy Pudding, Four Pillars Christmas Edition, Bols Genever and Ferdinand Saar Quince gin – a great selection! The tasting pack comes with four Double Dutch tonics, a ginger beer, botanicals to complement your gins and a link to an online tasting and additional information about the gins. All this for £25 – a bargain!
This gift lets you choose from three different gins distilled locally to Bakewell and three different handmade baked Bakewell products – there’s choice aplenty! These special small batch gins are made at the White Peak Distillery in Derbyshire. You can choose from the Citrus, Floral or Bakewell Pud gins and either an Iced Bakewell Tart, a Flaked Almond topped Bakewell Tart or a Bakewell Pudding (top tip, I’ve tried the Bakewell pudding and it is THE BEST!! I’ve not tried the Bakewell Pud gin though, but the Citrus and Floral gins are lovely!).
Maclean’s Hot Gin Punch Gift Set £27.95 [affiliate]
Brand new from McLean’s Gin, the Hot Gin Punch Kit allows you to create 4 stunning winter cocktails at home. All you have to do is add apple juice! Using McLean’s Spiced Gin, which gives all the flavours and aromas of Christmas in a bottle, this is the perfect warming Christmas cocktail.
Full Kit Contents:
- 20cl McLean’s Winter Spiced Gin
- 10 oz. McLean’s Branded Enamel Mug
- Hot Gin Punch Fruit/Spice Mix
- Recipe Card
Including 3 x 200ml cocktails the Three Kings Set has a Gold Martini, Frankincense Manhattan and a Myrrh Negroni – enough for 2 generous servings of each. Each cocktail uses the Asterley Brother’s products, plus partners and has a festive twist, so something special for the big day indeed!
Gin-inspired Christmas cards
A brief round up of some of the ginspired Christmas cards I’ve found this year:
Of Life and Lemons
Of Life and Lemons is a fab shop for little gifts for all people. Even better they like gin as much as I do!
GINgle bells – their classic design comes on aprons, Christmas jumpers (I’ve got one!) as well as coasters, T-shirts and mugs. See the full GINgle Bell range here (cards from £3.50)
Gin is for life, not just for Christmas! Card from £3.50 for a single, packs of 6 and 12 also available.
Season’s Greetgins! On discount from £1.50 for a single card
The best thing about Etsy is the unique designs. These Gin Bottle Christmas cards come with a choice of 5 well known gin brands, so you can find the best one to suit any gin lover. Cards start at £1.25 and can be bought in A6 or A5 sizes – mixed packs also available from £5.
Sketchy Print Co
I love this cheeky design from Sketchy Print co, with the Queen and her favourite drink (maybe?!). £3.85 for a regular size they also do giant sized cards.
Another tongue in cheek card, especially made if you have kids that need to leave a drink out for Santa – just make sure that they leave the right drink *wink wink*. £3.29 with free UK delivery.
Luckily it sounds like we will be able to actually see close family in the UK this Christmas, but just in case someone need to know your thoughts on the matter… By Do You Punctuate and exclusive to Thortful a single card starts at £3.29 plus p+p, see their full Christmas range here.
Gin Christmas decorations
Hidden Curiosities gin is a delight and this year again founder Jenny has made gin bauble kits with both her Hidden Curiosities gin (£10) and the stronger (and lovely!) Aranami gin (£12). She will send you all the parts to make your own Christmas baubles (for safety they are best posted unassembled). I think you’d agree they look pretty good on the tree?!
Biggar gin crackers £6.95 each [affiliate]
The Biggar Original Recipe Christmas Crackers are the perfect for stocking fillers, Secret Santa gifts or place setting for any gin lover. Made using a combination of traditional and locally handpicked botanicals, Biggar Gin includes fresh orange peel, fresh lemon peel, rosehip, rowan berries, nettles and coriander. Each cracker contains a 5cl miniature bottle of Biggar Original Recipe Gin.
You can either mix and match your crackers from the 9 gin and tonic pairings available, or order the set of 4 pre-selected. The pairings make the most of the craft gins selected and the showcase the whole Fevertree tonic range. There is literally something for everyone, from an alcohol free pairing with Seedlip and Clementine tonic, a whisky ginger combo, a pink gin combo and even a Christmas gin turns up in there!
Glaswegin crackers £7.50 each [affiliate]
Glaswegin is a delightfully smooth gin to celebrate the City of Glasgow which is made using a total of 8 botanicals including locally grown Scottish milk thistle as well a traditional botanicals such as Italian juniper and pink peppercorns. The contemporary miniature bottle of gin is presented in a Christmas cracker.
Silent Pool are known for their pretty bottle design and these candle holders are no exception. As well as these holders made for tea lights, they have a range of gift sets and cocktail bundles – check out their Rare Citrus negroni bundle for £73!
Keep up with how many Scottish gins you’ve tried with this scratch off poster and have something to decorate your walls! I’m not sure how many I’ve tried to date, maybe 25?!
Not a cheap option, but one if you like a little luxury. Bring a stellar glow into your home with this intriguing melody of juniper berries, metallic and woody notes. Like a gin:
Top notes of juniper berries, metallic notes and mint.
A heart of orris, woody notes and guaiac wood.
A base of sandalwood, musks and patchouli.
I’d love a luxe candle like this <hint hint>!
I’d love to know about your local craft gin companies & their Christmas gifts. Please leave your local independent gin-spired links in the comments below!