As the festive season approaches, the time to start hoarding your stash of Christmas tipples has arrived. With at least a week surrounded by your friends and family members, it's safe to say, you're going to find yourself reaching for a bevvy to pull you through. Looking for something a little different? Read on for a list of our favourites.
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Christmas Drinks: Idle HQ Favourites
Whisky / Whiskey
The Naked Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky
The Naked Grouse is a small batch, craft whisky that's been carefully curated by selecting aged whiskies from quality distilleries and then double maturing them in small batches in first-fill sherry casks. In keeping with the Christmas theme, The Naked Grouse is an incredibly smooth and sweet blend with notes of cherry, plums, cinnamon and vanilla - often leaving it comparable to a Christmas cake in a glass - perfect!
Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
Their first mash recipe since 1866, Jack Daniels new Rye Whiskey was created in celebration of their Lynchburg distillery's 150th anniversary. With bold and complex flavours, you can expect notes of fruit, vanilla and caramel - all topped off with a smokey oak undertone. This is a big, bold rye that does not overpower - perfect as that special Christmas bevvy choice.
Appleton Estate Signature Blend
A great all rounder, Appleton Estate Signature Blend is a full-bodied, medium-sweet rum blend. Combining over 15 uniquely aged rums, the amber coloured liquid gold combines notes of woody citrus, peaches and molasses to name a few. This complex combination makes for an incredibly drinkable, well-rounded choice that's just as suited to a rum cocktail concoction as it's to a simple rum & coke.
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
A favourite at Idle HQ, the Kraken Black Spiced Rum is a Caribbean import named after the legendary, mythical beast; the Kraken. An intricate blend of 13 spices, Kraken is a sweet, smooth rum with subtle notes of coffee, vanilla and caramel - all complimented by a spicy kick at the end. The bottle alone is a work of art, and we can promise you that what's inside isn't anything less.
An incredibly rich and syrupy blend, Diplomático Rum Reserva Exclusiva is perfect for those with a sweet tooth looking for a liqueur to nurse through the winter nights. Packed full of sweet, seasonal notes like cocoa, gingerbread, fudge and orange; it's a decadent offering perfect for a little something special around the festive period.
La Hora Azul / Blue Hour Tequila
Superior certified Mexican Tequila, Blue Hour Anejo uses the traditional and time honoured process of natural filtration and distillation to deliver a robust and complex liquor. Through an ageing process of 12-36 months, the hearty tequila exudes notes of agave, caramel and vanilla with the quintessential kick coming with undertones of spicy and smokey flavours.
Safe to say, most of us will recognise the Patrón name from the plethora of movies and popular culture mentions it's accumulated through the years. Living up to its reputation, Patrón Silver is a light and exceptionally smooth tequila, thanks to its premium sugar harvest and time honoured methods of harvesting in Tequila's motherland of Mexico.
Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon
There's nothing quite like a quality glass of red by the fire over the holiday season and it doesn't get much better than Marques de Casa Concha C/S in terms of value for money. This hearty red emanates notes of morello cherry, blackcurrant and blackberry with subtle undertones of smoky coffee. Perfectly matched to red meats or a cheeseboard, you can't get any more ideal a wine for the winter months.
De Bortoli Old Boys Tawny
Hailing from the Australian continent, De Bortoli is a fortified wine matured in small and large format oak casks, giving it a distinct, robust aroma. The lengthy maturing process allows the richly concentrated fruits and decadent nuances of coffee and vanilla to integrate, resulting in a rich, smooth and lingering taste.
Castello Bonomi’s “Satèn” Franciacorta Brut
Castello Bonomi’s “Satèn” Franciacorta Brut DOCG is made entirely of Chardonnay grapes and features less pressure than classic Brut bubblies, giving it a smoother and silkier feel than most others. Being left to age in-bottle for 36 months, it's fresh, mineral aromas of white flowers and acacia honey, apple and pineapple really shine through for a distinct and aromatic taste. Perfect for festive celebrations!
Gentleman's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
Curated with the discerning man in mind, The Gentleman's Collection Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular, inoffensive wines you will come across, perfect for entertaining large groups. The full bodied palate shows Cabernet Sauvignon’s character with blackcurrant, blackberry, cassis, and a splash of fortified wine leaving you with a smooth, flavour packed finish.
Celia Gluten Free Beer
The way the world has gone, it's likely that you're going to have a gluten-free guest at some point over the holidays. While the temptation to scrutinise whether they actually are allergic to gluten is tempting, it's far better to throw a bottle of beer their way - trust us. The Czech brewed organic, gluten free beer CELIA is a great option to have about the house and a really unique alternative to some of the current brands on offer. You can thank us later.
Editor's Picks: The Cocktail Champions
Our resident cocktail connoisseur has selected his three favourite Christmas bevvies and some great festive cocktail recipes you can create around them. After all, what better time than Christmas for a few cocktails with friends!
When it comes to creating cocktails, it really doesn't get much more versatile than vodka. One of the best tasting (and most affordable) out there, is American Skyy Vodka. While smooth enough to be enjoyed on its own, Skyy really lends itself to being mixed into a cocktail. With an abundance of other flavours available, from pineapple to vanilla bean, you can really tailor your choice to your mixture of choice.
While Jägermeister is widely known in its infamous form, the Jägerbomb; it's unique and distinct taste can easily be integrated into a tasty Christmas cocktail. With a recipe that hasn't changed in over 80 years, the secret blend of 56 different herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits from all over the world is a winning combination that really sets it apart from the competition. Want to give one of the seemingly endless cocktail combinations a try? Read on for our favourite!
One of the most epochal drinks of summer 2016, Aperol has actually been tantalising the Italian palette since 1919. While we've all learned to love the refreshing Aperol Spritz during the warmer months, the sweet aperitif can sit just as comfortably in a cocktail for the cooler months - offering a distinct flavour and a welcome kick of alcohol. With a blend of bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb and an array of herbs and roots - Aperol is a great option for those looking for a little tipple without the high proof.
Christmas Cocktail Recipes
If you'd like to create a little concoction for yourself, check out some of our favourite recipes for the festive season below.
- 350 ml Skyy Vodka
- 1 Bottle Dry red wine
- 2 tbsp of mulling spice
- 1 tbsp of orange zest
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp of blanched almonds
- 4 tbsp raisins
- Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer for around 30 minutes, ensuring not to let it boil.
- Remove all mulling spices and serve.
Spiced Jägermeister Cocktail
- 50 ml Jägermeister
- 100ml cranberry juice
- Pinch of cinnamon and cloves
- Orange slice garnish
- Add ingredients into tumbler with ice and mix thoroughly (for bigger batches, just increase amount)
- Garnish with sliced orange
- 50ml grapefruit juice
- 25ml Aperol
- 50ml Prosecco
- Grapefruit twist
- Pour grapefruit juice and Aperol into chilled glass
- Add ice and gently stir
- Top up with prosecco and garnish
Festive Night Out: Supernatural Smoothies Spitalfields
If you're looking for something a little different to the typical troupe of cocktails you're used to, a visit to Supernatural Smoothies is a great festive experience for those who enjoy their 'beverages'! Promising to be the UK’s first alcoholic juice bar, Supernatural Spitalfields will serve its signature raw shakes by day and transform into a buzzing, late night cocktail joint by night.
With unique takes on classics such as Thai Punch of coconut rum infused with Thai chilli, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, fresh pineapple, mango and citrus and Pina Kaleada with rum, coconut milk, kale and citrus smoked sea salt; you can feel a little less guilty about over indulging. We can't promise you'll have any less of a hangover, though.
Next Day Savior?
Needless to say, at some stage over the holiday season, you're undoubtedly going to have a morning where you're feeling a little worse for wear. Overhang combines orange, lime, ginger and milk thistle with added vitamins and botanicals to refresh and revitalise when you really need it. We advise you stock up on a few of these before Christmas, as they really can be a life saver... honestly, we've can attest to that!