HEART LONDON MAGAZINE’S CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE – Perfect Party Tipples
Tis the season to be jolly and a little tipple goes a long way. If you are stuck what to buy a friend or loved one as a gift, you can never go wrong with a a beautiful bottle of their favourite drink. We have sourced some great tipples whatever your budget and think you will find something here that you will love.
Sodastream Play Black, £69.99, available at sodastream.co.uk
Sodastream have certainly changed their product since I was a young girl, the design is has become very sleek and the Sodastream itself is easier to use. A notable difference is also the huge range of flavours available and many are sugar free. This fun gift can be work well in a home bar, a gift for a family or just someone who loves a glass of delicious fizzy pop. There is a reason Sodastream have been around so many years, the product is fun to use, saves money and the drinks taste delicious.
Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur £22, bottle, £30 gift set, available at cooleswan.com
Cool Swan is a beautiful drink that tastes out of this world, this creamy liqueur is a real treat and light enough for you to drink more than one and believe us, you will want to! The cool flavour is beautifully creamy, with a hint of Irish Whisky. They have also created a stunning gift set, with a frosted glass to match and they have also created stainless steel drink shakers, making this delicious drink a perfect gift.
Highland Park, 12 year old single malt, £35, available at highlandpark.co.uk
A real treat for the whisky lovers among us, is the Highland Park single malt. The 12 year old Scottish delight has a rich butterscotch and cinnamon flavor. The whiskey is a light golden colour with a lavish vanilla and caramel scent. The smokey honey finish has a little spice to it which makes it is just what you need during those cold winter nights.
The Scotch Spice Holiday cocktail
- 1½ oz Highland Park 12 year old
- ¾ oz cinnamon syrup
- 1½ oz lemon juice
- 3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice for 20-25 seconds. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and there you go, a holiday cocktail that will make you cheer!
Chivas Regal, 12 year old blended whisky, £27.50,
available at tesco.com
This whisky has a light golden glow and is sold in an elegant bottle. The Chivas Regal has a pleasant aroma of butterscotch, vanilla and lemon grass. It is a very well balanced and beautiful to sip. The whiskey has an almond and slightly spiced flavour. This is a smooth and rich single malt, with just the right amount of spice.
Blood and Sand Cocktail
- ¾ oz Chivas Regal 12 years old
- ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
- ¾ oz a cherry brandy
- ¾ oz blood orange juice
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice for 20-25 seconds. Garnish with a flamed orange zest.
This Spanish treat is a beautiful yellow and the perfect party drink. The liquor has a rich aroma of vanilla and cream with hints of orange and honey. The finish is a smooth vanilla taste, with hints of cinnamon spiciness and citrus. The thick versatile texture makes it great to add to your favorite cocktail.
Key Lime Pie Cocktail
- 1 oz Licor 43
- ¾ oz Vodka
- ¾ oz Lime juice
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice for 20-25 seconds. Easy and delicious in just a few seconds!
Beinn Dubh, single malt Scotch Whisky, £49.95, available at thewhiskyexchange.com
The Beinn Dubh whisky is interesting, it is black coloured with a welcome fruity smell. The flavours are very port based, with a slight taste of burnt oak and chocolate. It is a very smooth and fruity drink, which is full of flavour and perfect for a cozy evening with friends or just by yourself. Our advice is to enjoy a lovely Beinn Dubh neat or on the rocks, as the delicious rich flavours could get lost in a cocktail.
The Famous Grouse, £15.25, available at experience.thefamousgrouse.com
This is one of the UK’s favourite whiskeys and it is easy to see why. The blend is semi sweet, with a slight sour edge to it and has a beautiful spicy aroma. It tastes sweet and smokey, with a medium finish. This delicious whiskey is great value for money at only £15 and makes a great present for a Whiskey lover.
The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold, £19, thefamousgrouse.com
The Mellow Gold edition of this whiskey brand has a higher proportion of sherry casks than the Famous Groose, this to give it a smoother well rounded whiskey. The autumn gold color is a fair bit darker than the standard blend and has a sweet smell with a vanilla aroma. Overall, this is a sweeter and mellower edition to the brand and perfect to mix in your favourite cocktail.
Flying Scotsman Cocktail
- 2 oz Italian Vermouth
- 3 oz The Famous Grouse (Mellow Gold)
- 1½ oz syrup
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice for 20-25 seconds!
Wild Vodka Liqueur – Toffee/Caramel, £21.95, available at shop.raisthorpemanor.com
This is an absolute must have. Raisthorpe Manor’s vodka is a smooth and rich caramel drink. No mixes are needed with this one as the flavour alone is outstanding. It comes in a funky bottle with a leopard print on the label. The vodka has a lush toffee smell and tastes like you are eating your favourite toffee candy. Perfect for an after dinner tipple with friends. Our advice is to not mix the vodka, just add some ice and you are good to go!
Blackdown Vodka, £27.99, available at blackdowncellar.co.uk
This is great vodka for parties or any other get together. It has a mild and fresh aroma. The taste itself is full of flavour and balanced well, which makes this an ideal vodka to mix or even to drink straight. This delicious vodka is British and made in the heart of Sussex.
Espresso Martini Cocktail
- 2 oz Blackdown Vodka
- 1½ oz Coffee cream liqueur
- 3 oz Coffee
- ½ Honey
Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice for 20-30 seconds and you’re ready to drink!
Jack Daniel’s – Single Barrel, £55 (with complimentary engraving), available at jackdaniels.co.uk
Jack Daniel’s single barrel whiskey is ideal for the real bourbon fans among us. The dark almond colored drink, has a pleasant and slight caramel and cinnamon scent. The whiskey gives a well-balanced taste of light smokey cinnamon, orange and spices. The bourbon has a strong finish of wood and maple sugar. We recommend drinking Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel with ice or as the main ingredient in your cocktail. Celebrate the festive season by gifting a personalised bottle of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. Once reserved as a gift for the Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller himself, you can now personalise a bottle of this rare and hand-crafted whiskey with a special message, and gift it to someone that matters to you.
The Green Gimlet Cocktail
- 60ml Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel
- 30ml lime juice
- 20ml sugar syrup
- 3-4 basil leaves
Combine the ingredients and add ice, shake for at least 15-20 seconds. Serve garnished with a basil leaf and just enjoy your amazing cocktail.
This stylish looking liqueur is a great gift for the fruity tipple lovers among us. The liqueur has a mild fruity smell, which resembles port. Chambord has a heavenly fruity flavor of blackberries and blueberries, with a light honey taste in the background. A very sweet and rich flavored liquor, add some vodka and pineapple juice for a delicious cocktail.
Spiced Pusser’s Rum, £21.25, available at pussersrum.com
Imagine white sand, blue sea, the sun beaming down on your face and a glass of Spiced Pusser’s Rum on ice. That is the feeling you get when you drink this smooth and sensational rum. It tastes divine on ice, however, it also tastes great with lemonade of coca cola. The spices are sourced from the Caribbean and make a delicious cocktail, as the beautiful aroma of culinary ginger and cinnamon fill the air.
- 50ml Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
- Ginger beer
- 2 Lime wedges
Blue Nun Original, £5.50, available at Sainsbury’s
Christmas dinner pairs beautifully with a cool glass of wine or two. Blue Nun wines come in many different varieties (Cabernet, Pinot Grigio, Rosé) and are sourced from several countries, so there really is something for everyone. If you love white, the Blue Nun Original could be the one for you and it makes a great Christmas present. It is easy-to drink, refreshing and may be consumed on its own or matched with seafood, white meats and spicy dishes, making it perfect pairing for your Christmas meal.
New Amsterdam Vodka, £12, available at newamsterdamspirits.com
The ladies at Heart London Magazine have a soft spot for Vodka, so when we heard about the New Amsterdam Vodka, we couldn’t wait to try it! This smooth vodka is five times distilled from the finest grains then filtered three times. It’s so smooth you can create a perfect cocktail or drink it straight. It tastes particularly good with this delicious cocktail.
- Lemon wedge
- Lime wedge
- New Amsterdam Vodka 2 oz
- Tomato Juice 4 oz
- Tobasco Sauce 2 dashes
- Prepared horseradish 2 tsp
- Worcestershire sauce 2 dashes
- Celery Stick
- Ground Black Pepper 1 pinch
- Celery Salt 1 pinch
- Smoked Paprika 1 pinch
Pour some celery salt onto a small plate.
Rub the juicy side of the lemon or lime wedge along the lip of a pint glass. Roll the outer edge of the glass in celery salt until fully coated. Fill with ice and set aside. Squeeze the lemon and lime wedges into a shaker and drop them in. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake gently and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a celery stalk and a lime wedge.
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Sparkling Rose, £24.99, available at englishwineshop.co.uk
No need to pop to France to shop for bubbles when Ridgeview have created a perfectly balanced Sparkling Rose, which tastes divine. This beautiful wine is a Chardonnay dominant and the rich colour is created from added handcrafted red wine. As soon as this delicate wine passes your lips, you taste the beautiful flavours and whilst you can mix it into a cocktail, we recommend you drink it chilled and just the way it is. Celebrate Christmas or New Year in style, with this quality British Sparkling Rose.
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, £29.99, available at englishwineshop.co.uk
Whilst we love vodka, bubbles top our list for the perfect party tipple and Nyetimber have created a drink that oozes sophistication. The Classic Cuvée has shareso fresh citrus fruit and toasted-brioche flavours, matching your stunning Christmas outfit with this elegant and enlivening English sparkler. This special Cuvée makes a wonderful gift, that can be opened as Big Ben strikes midnight or shared on Christmas day.
Penfolds Bin 389, Cabernet Shiraz (gift sets available at Harrods)
Penfolds are offering a personalisation service for their gifting sets. The award-winning wine makers responsible for creating the Grange will be partnering with Harrods to celebrate this festive season with their bespoke offerings. This red balances fruit and oak combining the structure of Cabernet with the richness of Shiraz. A beautiful drink that you will remember long after the party season ends and can enjoyed anytime of the year.
The Lakes Vodka, £29.99, available at masterofmalt.com
A quality vodka can be enjoyed on ice or in a cocktail, this can be said of The Lakes Vodka. This British made vodka is very smooth, clean and is triple distilled giving it a welcome richness to the flavour. This delightful tipple is created in the Lakes Distillery in Cumbria and made from water from the River Derwent. This special Christmas cocktail, tastes divine with The Lakes Vodka.
- tbsps double cream
- 2 tbsps The Lakes Vodka
- 2 tbsps peppermint schnapps
- 2 tbsps white creme de cacao
- 1 ice cubes (cupful)
- 1 candy canes (small)
Pour the double cream, vodka, schnapps and white creme de cacao into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a candy cane to serve.
For those on a budget Aldi have an excellent range of tipples available this party season and the Tamova Voka is only £10.25. It certainly is value for money and works well mixed as a cocktail. Why not try serving it frozen in a shot glass, for those who don’t like tequila, Tamova Vodka makes a great alternative if you love to have a shot with friends.
Jack Daniel’s No.27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey, £95, available at Harvey Nichols
”October 2015 marks the launch of a brand new expression by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, known as No. 27 Gold. This special liquid is double barrelled and double mellowed to create a refined whiskey that’s perfect for both celebrations and moments of indulgence”.
The Jack Daniel’s No.27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey is a special liquid indeed, as it is barrelled and mellowed twice, which gives it the exceptional rich and luxurious taste. The golden coloured drink has luscious hints of maple and spice lingering on the background. The lovely and exceedingly smooth finish makes it perfect for a get together with friends. The Jack Daniel’s No.27 Gold edition is advised to enjoy with ice or for the cocktail lovers among us, the whiskey will be a great addition to your favourite mixers due to the sweet hints of maple.
Blackberry smash Cocktail
– 2 ounces Jack Daniel’s No.27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey
– 4/5 blackberries
– 6/8 mint leaves
– 1 small red plum, peeled and diced
– half an ounce simple syrup
– half an ounce Cointreau
Muddle the int, blackberries, plum and simple syrup until it’s broken up. Add ice, Cointreau and the whiskey. Shake for 20-30 seconds and there you go, a sweet Christmas cocktail treat!