Looking for some inspiration for Christmas gifts for the gin-lover in your life? Or just for your own wish list? If it’s simply spirits you’re after then check out my gin reviews and subscription guides. Or even last year’s festive favourites. But if you’re looking for something a little different then look no further, here’s my pick of the best books, prettiest jewellery and a few other gorgeous gifts for the gin-obsessed!
Charity gifts have been gaining in popularity since Oxfam’s first goat herds went up for grabs. Alongside this, we’ve seen an increase in brands that do good, and gin is no exception. There’s Ginerosity, the profits from which go towards helping young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds; One Gin, which funds water projects in the world’s poorest communities; and Graveney Gin, which gives 10% of its profits to conservation charity Gearing Up For Gorillas. But what if you’re looking for a gift that’s a little more generous or rather more tangible? Well, The National Trust for Scotland, the country’s largest conservation charity, have just launched the Love Gin Hamper and it could be just the thing you’re looking for for the gin-lover in your life.
When I first came across Turncoat Gin, and met its founder – Terry Langton – at the small and intimate Catford Gin Festival earlier this year, I was intrigued. At first its seemingly simple bottle didn’t particularly leap out at me, but it did grab the attention of my somewhat geeky husband. And the more I chatted to Terry, learnt about, and tasted, Turncoat Gin, the more it grabbed me too. From the backstory, to the brand, to the bottle, this gin is different.
Since I first wrote about Craft Gins in April 2017, the company has continued to go from strength to strength. They recently added 58 Gin’s Navy Strength to their online shop and are also the first online stockist of Australia’s Underground Spirits Gin. But, more excitingly than that, they have also just launched their second limited-edition gin, this time in collaboration with Masons Yorkshire Gin.
When so many new gins are launching every month in the UK and further afield, how do we bloggers and enthusiasts keep up? I like to keep a close eye on Instagram and Twitter where I share my finds with a #newginalert, while gin festivals are also a great way to not only hear about new releases but taste them too. I can still walk into a bar or pub and spot a gin that I’ve yet to try, but it’s pretty rare that I’ll never even have heard of it before. But that was how I first came across Inshriach Gin, and that was just the beginning of this serendipitous story.
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.
If there has ever been a gin festival in a more incongruous location, I’m yet to hear of it. The newest addition to the festival scene opened its doors in Catford in south east London; a priority area for regeneration in the Borough of Lewisham. More unusually, those doors opened into an empty retail unit located in Catford Shopping Centre, which was purchased by the council in 2010 as a sign of commitment to the transformation of the local area. And things got stranger still when you made your way into the bar on the top floor, which opened out directly into the enormous shopping centre car park where the festival’s street food vendors had set up stall!
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.
In a recent interview with The Gin Guide I was asked what my top tip was for people just starting to discover gin. My answer? Get yourself to a gin festival; quite probably the most fun and relaxing way to learn about gin and discover what you like, love and occasionally even loathe! There are, thankfully, plenty of festivals taking place up and down the country nowadays, and each one tends to have a slightly different set-up, but one of the newest and most exciting has got to be The Catford Gin Festival in south east London.