Christmas drinks guide 2019

Reader's Digest Editors

From whiskey and gin to champagne and wine, a nice bottle of something special is always a gift that's bound to please. Here's our roundup of the best Christmas booze on the market 

For whiskey lovers: J&B Whisky, £22.50

This crisp yet subtle whisky is just the thing to warm you up while you're snuggled up under a blanket during the coming winter months. A smooth, blended Scotch that’s not too musky or overpowering, it goes down easy and is bound to be enjoyed by any palate, which makes it a perfect and easy gift for the whisky lover in your life.

With a price tag of £22.50, it’s also great value for money, boasting a sophisticated flavour that stands up to even the most expensive, top-shelf bottles without breaking the bank.

 

Rampur Single Malt Select, £49.95

This excellent single malt is the perfect treat for serious whiskey connoisseurs due to its unique taste and interesting backstory—it is the first single malt from the Radico Khaitan Distillery in the north of India, which dates back to the 1940s.

Flavour-wise, it’s a rich, fruity and well-rounded whiskey, featuring notes of toffee, honey and hints of spice. It’s distinctive and characterful but never full-on, and very easy on the palate. Best enjoyed neat or with a single ice cube, with some good company or just your favourite record playing in the background.

 

Nikka Whisky From the Barrel, £38.99

For fans of whiskey with big bold flavour and even bigger personality, this Japanese blended whiskey might just hit the spot. From its unconventional, uncompromising packaging to the complex, unforgettable flavour, everything about this beverage is strong, confident and destined to leave a lasting impression.

Taste-wise, it juxtaposes caramel sweetness with biting spiciness and soft fruitiness with a touch of robust musk. Class and personality through and through.

 

For gin enthusiasts: Barentsz, £32.95

A premium distilled gin, infused with Jasmine flowers from China, Barentsz is sure to excite and enliven your taste buds. It’s a combination of two different grain spirits—Winter Wheat and Golden Rye—a concoction that gives it a soft and smooth, pure flavour—smooth enough to sip neat!

If you’re more of a cocktail enthusiast, however, Barentsz mixes wonderfully with tonic water or a Dry Vermouth for a toothsome Martini. Fine, versatile and easy on your wallet, it’s bound to become a staple of your drinks cabinet.

 

Kokoro London Dry Gin, £29

Kokoro may be a London gin but its heart and soul are most certainly Japanese. This beautifully bottled, premium gin is distilled with nine botanicals, including its core ingredient, Japanese Sansho berries which are one of the world’s oldest seasonings with a unique citrusy flavour.

With its stylish bottle design and a memorable, standout flavour, it’ll make the perfect and thoughtful gift for your gin-loving friends and family.

 

For champagne connoisseurs: Champagne Devaux—Ultra D, £53.99

For a touch of elegance and luxury, try this extra-brut champagne from a selection of Pinot noir and Chardonnay plots, that blends together several vintages. Boasting a crisp, mineral flavour, the Ultra D features a gold-yellow colour and fine mousse.

Its exciting yet subtle combination of aromas will make a perfect accompaniment to any seafood dish or even chicken or partridge, and a great way to celebrate a special occasion or a cosy weekend night in.

 

For beer buffs: Adnams Beer Advent Calendar, £54.99

What better way to spend the run-up to Christmas than treating yourself to a new, unique little beer every day? Adnams offer a nifty way of doing so with their beautifully packaged, festive beer advent calendar.

Hidden beneath numbered lids, are 17 cans and bottles of various beers, from citrusy IPAs, to sprightly lagers, via quirky surprises like the refreshing Cucumelon. A collection that won’t disappoint any beer enthusiast!

 

Brick Brewery, starting from £2.10 per can

This craft beer microbrewery started out in founder Ian Stewart’s garden shed in Peckham. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength, eventually becoming a wildly popular production brewery under Peckham Rye station that is known today as Taproom. 

Covering a wide range of beer types, amongst Brick Brewery’s highlights are a wonderfully citrusy pilsner, a fruity pale ale and a spicy red ale, which all come in colourful, funky cans, in gift packs of six, making it a wonderful Christmas gift.

 

For dry-drinkers: Richard Juhlin Jubilée Blanc de Blancs, £15.00

If you or your loved one is trying to stay dry over the festive period, here’s a gift idea that’s bound to please. Crisp, refined and refreshing, Richard Juhlin’s sparkling wine proves that you don’t need an alcohol percentage to enjoy a good wine.

Aged carefully for a short time in oak barrels, this non-alcoholic wine preserves the natural aromas and characters of the grape and makes for a delightful aperitif or an excellent accompaniment to a seafood or salad dish.

 

Real Kombucha Royal Flush, £29.99 for 12

royl flush

 

If you're looking to take care of your gut as well as your taste buds this festive season, Real Kombucha has you covered. Our favourite flavour, Royal Flush, is a fantastic alternative to prosecco or champagne with delicate notes of white peach and rhubarb. Great if you're not drinking, or your head is simply feeling sore from one too many Christmas parties.

Created from fermented tea, kombucha has been drunk for thousands of years but is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity, thanks so craft companies such as Real proving just how much flavour a health drink can offer. Brewed from First Flush Darjeeling, known in India as the Queen of Teas, we find Royal Flush is best served chilled, and straight out of the bottle. 

 

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