Boozy advent calendars have to be the best addition to the Christmas festivities since a stuffed stocking first appeared at the foot of your bed! And, better still, 2017 has seen the line-up grow larger than ever. From rum and bourbon to absinthe and mezcal, there is something for every spirit lover. There’s even a Naga Chilli Vodka Escalation Advent Calendar with each of the twenty-four daily drams of vodka increasing in heat from 10,000 to 240,000 scovilles! But one of the newest additions to the market, and almost certainly the most beautiful, is That Boutique-y Gin Company‘s first ever Advent Calendar.
Anyone who’s watched Lost In Translation, in which Bill Murray plays an aging American movie star in Tokyo to film an advertisement for Suntory whisky, will be familiar with the wonderful world of Japanese whisky. Dekantā have been specialists in this field since 1985, and have been selling Japanese whiskies online to enthusiasts worldwide since 2015. But the gin revolution has recently hit the shores of Japan and, thanks to Dekantā, we can now partake in that too.
Gin-lovers, I find, are a friendly bunch and if there’s one thing we love almost as much as drinking gin it’s introducing our friends (and their friends!) to our latest discoveries and favourite tipples. So what better way to share the passion, and show the gin-lover in your life just how much you love them, than with a gorgeous gin gift box? Bottle in a Box offer just such a service and I was lucky enough to receive one of their beautiful boxes.
Gin is big in Spain. And so is the way they serve it. The instantly recognisable Gin Tonica is extravagantly served in a large fishbowl glass with generous mountains of ice and a tempting array of garnishes. Now one of Spain’s signature serves is making it big over here too with The Distillery’s Gin Tonica Bar launching last year. But if you can’t make it over to Spain, or indeed to West London, David T. Smith has just launched his own Gin Tonica book to help you make your very own Spanish cocktails at home.
Limited-edition gins were predicted to be big in 2017 and, just four months in, that certainly seems to be the case. However, producing and marketing such experimental gins can be an expensive gamble; one that, despite potentially offering great rewards, is often too risky for micro-distilleries to attempt single-handed. Increasingly, distilleries are turning to a third party to help produce their limited-edition gins by spreading their risk and providing a platform to market the end product.
So, Valentine’s Day. It’s all a bit rubbish really, isn’t it? As much as we all like to be swept off our feet occasionally, special occasions dictated by guilt and commercialisation aren’t actually all that special, are they? But happily (especially for those of us who suffer from FOMO), that’s where the gin industry comes riding gallantly to the rescue. Everything looks much rosier from the bottom of a decent G&T (even, in some cases, the gin itself), so pick up a cracking bottle for the gin-lover in your life (and if that happens to be you, well, make it a good one), holler “Bottoms Up!” and ring that bell! It’s Valentines’ Gins; Gin A Ding Ding!
As our enthusiasm for gin soars, so too does the range of gin subscription services on offer. Last year, I reviewed no fewer than five miniature gin services that had been launched in the first half of 2016. And, in the last six months, there has been similar growth in the number of companies offering full-size bottles. But all these services have one thing in common. Yes, they deliver gin to your doorstep but that’s also where they all stop. If you’re not in, your box of ginny delights will, hopefully, be delivered to a trustworthy neighbour or, less ideally, returned to your local sorting office. Until now. Now there is a gin subscription service that will make it through your letterbox. And if, like me, you receive a lot of gin at home, that can only be good news!
A recent poll I ran indicted that only 8% of my Twitter followers intended to attempt Dry January, with the vast majority opting instead for a boozy Ginuary! However, with more and more so-called millenials cutting down their drinking in favour of a more healthy lifestyle and plenty of other reasons to decline a double G&T – pregnancy, designated driver duties, marathon training or simply a nasty hangover – there is increasing demand for booze-free adult-style drinks.
I have a bit of a soft spot for Pothecary Gin; it was the first gin I formally reviewed, it comes from Dorset where my husband and I married, and its signature colour is my favourite too. It’s also a damn fine gin with a fascinating story behind it; a winning combination in my opinion. So you can imagine my delight when Pothecary collaborated with another local business, who produce another one of my favourite vices, and then asked me to review it!
I know it’s only October, but if you’ve got kids (as I do) they’re probably already writing their Christmas lists and what better way to get through the nagging than planning a few festive treats for yourself and your gin-loving friends? But why wait until the big day when you can start celebrating on December 1st with one of these amazing advent calendars!