Christmas Gifts with a Twist for Grown-Ups.
Christmas is so easy when you are shopping for kids. In September, you get them to write a nice letter to Santa Klaus – you intercept before it goes up the chimney in a puff of smoke – and from that point on, you gradually buy the things on their list. OK, you may have to moderate requests a bit. And, you may be challenged when the version of a game you’ve bought already is superseded…But for the most part, you are buying for a recipient who will be very happy that Santa Klaus has got their letter. Grown-up presents are something quite different. There are the obvious ‘don’t go there’ gifts – don’t ever buy a vacuum cleaner or a subscription to weight watchers. There are the ‘I really don’t know what they like’ recipients – in-laws and brothers in my case. And there are the ‘should I or shouldn’t I gifts to friends.
I’ve got into a bit of a routine now when buying Christmas gifts for my own family. We all have an Amazon wish list. We all update it. And we all buy each other presents from there. What tempts me off-piste though are some of the lovely new things that I’ve been sent to check out.
Starting with something quite unique for a gin-lover like me who is trying hard to keep their alcohol consumption down a bit. The Cotswold Distillery has produced the perfect grown-up stocking filler in the form of a tiny 100ml bottle of ‘gin essence‘ It comes with a pipette dropper and undiluted it’s 46% proof. But, the idea with gin essence is that you can use it to make a low alcohol gin and tonic or to create a cocktail by adding just 5ml (that’s 5 pipettes worth). The magic of this is that it is made using 10 times the botanical concentration of their normal dry gin – which they say is 10 times the botanical intensity of most premium gins. But, because you are only adding 5ml to your G&T or cocktail, the end result has 90% less alcohol than a standard 50ml serve. And, fewer calories (just 14 per 5ml serve) too.
It looks a bit like a bottle of perfume in a rather swanky black bottle. And it is the perfect size for a last-minute stocking filler. It’s also very good value – just £14.95 for the bottle which should make 20 drinks!
I’d like to see more products like these and I think low alcohol cocktails will only grow in popularity through 2021. More coming soon when I make my own cocktails!
My next Christmas gift with a twist is one of the best tasting kits I’ve seen. This one comes from Masters of Malt and is the Pour and Sip Whisky Tasting Kit. What you get is a pair of proper whisky tasting glasses, a set of five very special whiskies from around the world including eight-year-old Talisker special release 2020, Jura 21-year-old Tide (which retails for around £120 a bottle) and an Irish Rye Whiskey from JJ Corry. There’s a comprehensive set of instructions on how to taste whisky – and tasting notes. It’s actually the welcome pack of a whisky tasting subscription kit which is the kind of present that any real whisky lover will appreciate! And, best of all, gift subscriptions start at £59.90
Finally, nothing says luxury quite like a top-quality hamper. Perhaps that’s why this year, Harvey Nichols Hampers are continually selling out! My ‘Festive Fancies’ hatbox with miniature champagne, Christmas cake, almonds and posh tea has already sold out. But what makes it so special for me is that it is delivered in a swanky hatbox, which I will use to store one of my finest! There are still Christmas hampers available, including a Champagne hat box which comes in the same swanky hatbox – but instead of one bottle of fizz has four of them! At £60 with free delivery, it would make a great last-minute gift for any lover of fizz!
Here’s hoping one of these ideas for Christmas gifts will work for someone you know!