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 2020 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 when the usual social whirl has been replaced with warming drinks by the tree.
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 with friends over Zoom or opening a bottle of prosecco on Christmas morning after a long wintery walk? No no no, as Santa would say.
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Below, you’ll find Stylist’s guide to the best drinks to buy your loved ones this Christmas – whether you’ll be raising a glass together in person or toasting one another over FaceTime.
We’ve got cocktails that’ll transport you direct 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…
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.
Chateau Lafon Sauternes 2017
This half-bottle of Chateau Lafon Sauternes 2017 is the perfect pudding wine, bringing honey, peach and oak to after-lunch celebrations.
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 & 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 & 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 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.
Dishoom Permit Room Collection
Transport yourself to a busy restaurant on a Friday night, with a bar helmed by a mixologist who knows their stuff. This batch of pre-made cocktails includes Dishoom’s legendary Permit Room Old-Fashioned, Sonia’s Negroni and the India Gimlet.
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.
Quinta da Pedra ‘Alta No 10’ Ten-Year-Old Tawny Port
The ultimate Christmas drink is a little glass of port with the cheeseboard. This Quinta da Pedra tawny port will not let you down with fruit, toffee and caramel notes.
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.
Fever-Tree Virtual Tasting Masterclass
Sign up for the Fever-Tree Virtual Masterclass on 17 December, and the drinks brand will send you and your friends or relatives boxes of special pairings in advance. On the day, expert mixologists will guide you through their knowledge online – and £5 from the cost of each ticket will be donated to the charity Malaria No More. Brilliant.
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.
Served x Selfridges Christmas Gift Pack
Served hard seltzer is British sparkling spring water that’s been gently infused with fresh wonky fruit for a fresh, eco-conscious drink. This gift pack has been designed by Alexandra Hartford and includes raspberry and lime flavours.
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.
Chapel Down Classic Non-Vintage Brut Magnum
A gorgeous English sparkling wine is exactly what this Christmas needs and this 1.5l magnum of brut is the perfect fizz to share with your bubble.
Lost Years Rum
Lost Years is a rum with a purpose: Caribbean and Latin American rums devoted to saving endangered sea turtles. Also, they taste amazing.
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