The best drinks to buy as gifts this Christmas, whether they’re into in craft gins, honeyed pudding wines, Cornish rum or luxe low-alcohol aperitifs.
From beauty and interiors to food and chocolate, Christmas gifting in 2021 is all about finding those thoughtful, utterly personal presents that’ll truly resonate. And a bottle of something special is the perfect way to send some love, especially after the tumultuous 18 months that we’ve all had.
Investing in a drinks gift for a friend is pretty ingenious, too. After all, is there anything nicer than mulling a batch of wine while decorating the tree, taste-testing luxurious premixed cocktails or opening a bottle of prosecco on Christmas morning after a long wintery walk? No no no, as Santa would say.
Below, you’ll find Stylist’s guide to the best drinks to buy your loved ones this Christmas.
We’ve got cocktails that’ll transport you directly to the Dishoom bar (negroni or old-fashioned, anyone?); beautiful bottles of gin, tequila and vermouth to upgrade anyone’s drinks cabinet; and Christmas favourites including port and mulled wine.
You’ll also find chic natural wines and seriously good non-alcoholic spirits from small batch breweries – plus booze subscription boxes, virtual tasting sessions and bespoke stockings.
Read on, get inspired and have yourself a very merry Christmas…
This naturally sweet-tasting vodka distilled from Africa is definitely worth adding to your bar cart. Distilled in small batches using a copper still ‘Kagiso’ gives it a silky smooth finish, making it ideal for cocktails.
If you’re looking for the best hard seltzer to add to your Christmas drinks list. Goldling is the one to watch for its sophisticated and well-balanced flavour options including Sundown which combines premium vodka with Persian lime, pineapple and a hint of kaffir lime leaf.
Glenmorangie a tale of winter limited edition single malt scotch whisky
This warm and spicy single malt from Glenmorangie is the perfect spirit for the Christmas season thanks to its aromas of orange toffee, rose petals and overripe fruits with notes of cocoa powder, toffee, ginger and cinnamon that linger in the finish, creating that cosy “winter in a glass” feel.
Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum domino set
Rum and dominoes often go hand in hand, making this Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum domino set the perfect Christmas gift for any rum-lover or collector in your family.
Altitude alpine strawberry pink gin
Treat someone special to this Altitude alpine strawberry gin this Christmas. The truly unique pink gin balances the crisp, juniper taste of the original alpine dry gin with the sweetness of alpine strawberries, creating aromas of summer on the nose and light delicate gin on the palette.
Double Dutch cucumber and watermelon
Dutch twins Raissa and Joyce founded Double Dutch after realising that drinks could and should taste better – and this cucumber and watermelon flavour does just that. Whether paired with spirits or sipped solo, Double Dutch is on a mission to ensure that you never drink dull again.
Seignette VS Cognac gift pack
This Seignette VS Cognac gift pack is launching just in time for the festive season, for you to enjoy this Christmas.
The iconic Seignette VS is a cognac with notes of dried apricot, vanilla and hints of honeysuckle on the nose, followed by oaky vanilla notes, a touch of citrus and a long, creamy finish on the palate.
JJ Whitley Vodka cracker selection
These JJ Whitley crackers with a different flavour in each one will make for the perfect gift for cocktail lovers this Christmas.
World of Zing Mince Pie Rumhattan
When you think of Christmas, mince pies are always one of the first things that come to mind – and this flavoured rum is sure to keep you warm and toasty on the inside.
Sociovino the sustainable Christmas case
Wine and sustainability combine with this collection from Sociovino. Featuring six wines – two sparklings, two whites and two reds – each bottle is sourced from the most sustainably-focused wineries, so you and your loved ones can indulge in a festive tipple mindfully this Christmas.
The Deveron single malt whisky
With its notes of smooth toffee, crisp fresh green apple and creamy oak, this whisky is the perfect gift for those embarking on their whisky journey and looking for their perfect blend this Christmas
Santa Teresa 1796 rum
This unexpectedly rich yet dry rum is aged through a traditional Solera method, usually reserved for sherry production, making it particularly special. With its fruity aroma and notes of wood, nuts, leather, vanilla, cinnamon, dark chocolate, prunes and a hint of honey and pepper, Santa Teresa 1796 is the spirit this season to pair alongside a traditional Christmas pudding, laden with juicy vine fruits and candied peel.
Spirited Union spice and sea salt rum
Bring the feeling of the islands to use this festive season, as you sip on Spirited Union spice and sea salt rum, a smooth cask-aged Barbados rum infused with five delicate spices including Guatemalan cardamom, Madagascan cloves and vanilla for a sweet spice aroma.
Captain Morgan Sliced Apple rum
Captain Morgan lovers will love its newest sliced apple drink, which contains bold notes of apple carefully balanced with Captain Morgan’s unique signature taste.
With a variety of easy-to-create serve options, whether mixed with lemonade or simply over ice, it can also be heated up in a hot toddy cocktail on those colder nights.
Dead Man’s Fingers Black Rum
Kyrö tasting set
Spread some Nordic joy and give the gift of Kyrö spirits to your friends and family this year with this tasting set.
Containing a trio of gorgeous gins and their tasty malt rye whisky, this set is guaranteed to impress the lucky recipient (or treat for yourself!)
Sea Change chardonnay
This chardonnay is like sunshine in a glass, thanks to its light, yet fruity, taste. With nuances of white flowers on the nose and citrus fruits on the palette, it has a refreshing acidity and a long-lasting finish, which will pair beautifully with any salads or seafood dishes you’re preparing this season.
Diablesse clementine spiced rum
Now this is a Christmas drink: made with demerara rum from the Diamond Distillery in Guyana, it’s then flavoured with clementine and a Caribbean-inspired spice mix containing vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and clove.
Cotswolds cream liqueur
It wouldn’t be the festive season without a cheeky cream liqueur – this Cotswolds Distillery version is made with single-malt (unaged whisky) and gives flavours of vanilla and butterscotch.
Eko Brewery mix and match 12 pack
Eko Brewery is where British brewing meets traditional African palm wine and malts. This 12-pack of mix and match beers is the perfect introduction.
Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado NV
A big hit with sherry aficionados, Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado NV is complex and delicious – serve with tapas on New Year’s Eve.
Sipsmith build your own gin stocking
Each of these kits comes with a green velvet stocking and 20cl bottle of Sipsmith London Dry Gin to get you started: then add your own festive gin flavours including Mince Pie, Smoked Chestnut and Gingerbread.
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV
A champagne to celebrate the end of 2020? Let’s go for this Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV in a special eco box. The perfect balance of citrus and sweet, toast in the New Year.
Drinks by the Dram Tequila and Mezcal collection
Explore the world of agave spirits and seriously smoky mezcals via this box containing 12 specially curated drams, presented in beautifully wax-sealed 30ml bottles.
Shop Cuvée natural wine subscription
Uncover some of the finest natural wines with Shop Cuvée’s expert selection: choose from three or six bottles and expect a mix of red, white and orange. Yum.
Small beer company gift pack
For tasty but very low alcohol beers, the Small Beer Company is exactly what you need to try. This gift pack contains lager, session pale, steam and dark lager: the perfect Christmas gift for the sober and sober-curious.
Noughty alcohol-free sparkling chardonnay
With a crisp and ripe apple scent accompanied by a touch of sweetness, this alcohol-free sparkling chardonnay is an inspired aperitif for 2020.
Nc'Nean organic single malt
With a female founder and a sustainable ethos, Nc’nean Single Malt Whisky is produced in small batches for flavours of citrus, peach, apricot and spice.
Stargazy rum liqueur
A blend of aged rum, caramel and Cornish sea salt with subtle hints of gorseflower and coconut, Stargazy rum liqueur is produced by The Rum & Crab Shack in St Ives. It’s ideal served as a shot, sipped chilled or in an espresso martini, and you can get 10% off with the code STYLIST10.
Regal rogue lively white
Update your cocktail cabinet with the addition of Regal Rogue Lively White vermouth. Serve with tonic for a citrussy kick.
Distilled in Nairobi with 10 botanicals sourced from across Africa, including Madagascan pink pepper and Moroccan orris root, Procera Gin is the new bottle to buy for the gin aficionado in your life.
This rum comes in three gorgeous flavours: Spices (vanilla, tonka and clove), Dark Stone (cherry, plumb and blossom) and Exotic (mango, guava and passionfruit – our favourite). And it looks so pretty it doesn’t even need to be wrapped.
The perfect addition to a nice dry martini, Kavka Vodka is a Polish spirit that’s crisp, clean and joy to drink.
Crossip non-alcoholic spirits
In need of an alcohol-free spirit? Crossip’s new flavours are fabulous: Dandy is an alternative to mezcal, Pure is inspired by Italian bitters and Fresh is a fruit punch delight.
Waitrose mulled wine
Consistently voted the best supermarket mulled wine around, with notes of festive cloves and cinnamon. Simply warm this up and feel the festive joy flow.
Belgrove hazelnut spiced rum
For espresso martinis or a cheerful partner to ginger beer, this award-winning rum is from the Lake District and you need to try it.
Gordon’s special dry London gin
You can’t go wrong with a classic London dry gin and Gordon’s is our go-to. Serve with lime around the top of your glass, a slice, lots of ice and good tonic.
The Emissary Prosecco DOC Treviso spumante extra-brut
The perfect prosecco gift for anyone this Christmas comes courtesy of The Emissary – this is perfectly balanced and vegan to boot.
Tarsier oriental pink gin
Inspired by the founders’ travels around Southeast Asia, this gin has “the floral notes of red dragon fruit, the sweetness of lychee and the tartness of raspberry” – and is truly lovely.
Cooper King sharing selection box
With a dry gin, a berry and basil gin and a herb gin, this is the thinking letterbox gift for anyone in your life in need of some excellent drinks.
Images: courtesy of retailers
Francesca Brown is books editor for Stylist magazine and Stylist Loves; she also compiles the Style List on a weekly basis. She is a self-confessed HBO abuser and has a wide selection of grey sweatshirts. Honestly, you just can’t have enough. @franabouttown
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