This guide has all the tipples and treats you need to keep warm this Winter. Whether you are looking for superb artisan chocolates or hand-roasted coffee. Or if you are looking for a wee dram or delicious red wine, it’s all here.
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee Winter Selection Box
Winter is a time that lends itself to curling up in front of a fire with a warm coffee and a paper. Union Hand-Roasted Coffees are a superb example of coffee craftsmanship at work and their Winter Selection Box provides a trio of stunning blends.
The set includes the Bobolink, a smooth and rich coffee from smallholder farms in Brazil. Plus, there is the Maraba, which is apparently the world’s first Rwandan specialty coffee. Fruity and full bodied. However, our favourite from the collection and what Union describe as the “star” in their range is the Yayu Forest. This heralds from one of the world’s last remaining wild Arabica coffee forest, giving it a certain sense of charm. You will find notes of marzipan in-keeping with the Christmas season and bourbon biscuit flavours, amongst others. It’s a really exciting coffee to try!
Find out more about this gift box set and others here. RRP is £22. Union also offers gift subscriptions of different lengths via CoffeeClub, with monthly deliveries of freshly roasted coffee. Starting from £44.85 for a 3-month subscription.
Paxton Chocolate have some gorgeously elegant chocolate treats to keep the spirits up when the temperature plummets. Established in 2012 by Caitlin Paxton, following her graduation as a pastry chef from Cordon Bleu, this stylish chocolate brand has gone from strength to strength.
Champagne Truffles (from £18)
For a truly scrumptious and indulgent treat, the Paxton Chocolate Champagne Truffles are lavish, delicious and full of stunning flavours. Available as white, milk and dark chocolate orbs filled with delicious champagne ganache flavoured with apple and orange, and topped with a small disc and a gold leaf these truffles are a delicious gift this Christmas. Each truffle busts with flavour and is sure to lighten up the darker Winter evenings. Plus, due to their visual beauty, they would also make ideal Christmas.
Christmas Thins (£25)
A selection of handmade chocolate thins infused in delicate, indulgent Christmas flavours. Apple and Orange play the main part in the collection, with the subtle hints of clove, caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. Elegant, light and full of unique, entrancing and festive flavours.
Check out the Paxton Chocolate range here.
Talisker Skye (£40.35)
This Taslisker expression has an enticing golden hue and the bottle captures the essence of the beautiful Isle of Skye. Created using hand selected toasted and refill American oak casks, there is the expected smokiness and richness from Talisker Skye. Plus, there is a spicy finish with a warmth a peppery conclusion. Just what is required of the colder, darker seasons.
Bolney Wine Estate Lychgate Red (£14.99)
Bolney Wine Estate can be found in the village of Bolney, right in the heart of Sussex, England. This idyllic location has become synonymous over the last few years for award winning British wine. The Bolney Lychgate red is a medium-bodied dry wine with a good acidity and a superbly smooth finish.
On the nose you will get blackberry, black cherry and a hint of pepper. On the palate blackcurrant and red berry provide a gorgeous flavour. One to sip all year round perhaps, but also well suited to the colder seasons, due to the background hints of pepper providing an impression of warmth. Bolney Wine Estate recommend you match this with soft cheese, lamb, game, red meats and cheese. Buy yours here.
FAIR. Quinoa Vodka (£30.25)
The very first Fairtrade certified vodka, aesthetically simple and modest in style, this vodka uses Quinoa organically grown and Fairtrade certified. The Quinoa is in fact sourced directly from a co-op of 1,200 independent farmers in the Bolivian Andes. We love the brand’s ethical stance and protection of the farmers who are integral at the very beginning of the process. Elevating Quinoa, typically know as a superfood, is an excellent move. Plus, it should also be said, you do not compromise on quality with this vodka, the brand has managed to balance out sourcing ethical produce and creating a premium vodka wonderfully well. RRP £30.25 Whisky Exchange
Mexican Heritage Tin with Patrón Silver tequila (£54.00)
This limited edition bottle of Patrón Silver tequila comes presented in a beautifully made case, showcasing Mexico’s artistic heritage with a peacock and jaguar from Aztec and Mayan folklore. Patrón is a renowned tequila brand, and their Silver tequila is easily one of the most popular spirits available, found in most bars across the country. It’s a smooth drink and doesn’t prove too overwhelming, even for those who aren’t fans of tequila in general. As well as being a fantastic base for cocktails, Patrón Silver is one of the few tequilas which is made using a traditional tahona wheel, giving it a unique flavour.
There are a few cocktails which we would recommend for anyone wishing to try this bold tequila. One of these is the Hacienda Margarita which offers a fresh, citrusy take on a classic cocktail. Another favourite is the Rosa Picante Margarita, a spicy concoction garnished with Rose petals for those more sophisticated individuals.
All of these cocktails can be found on the Patrón website, or you can pick up a bottle of Patrón Silver for yourself at Selfridge’s stores (£66.99), Selfridge’s online, and Amathus Drinks in Soho (£54.00).
FAIR. Café Liqueur
Carrying on the brand’s allegiance to the producers at the source, this liqueur has been sourced by 1,800 Fairtrade farmers in Mexico. The classic coffee liqueur taste is refined, smooth and sophisticated. Plus, it can also be used to create a mean espresso martini. Superb. Find out more here.
Gin & Tonic Infusion Set (£17.50)
We have mentioned Sous Chef a number of times on Lussorian, but that’s because of their wide selection of drinks and accessories, giving us a lot to talk about. One suggestion this winter is the Gin & Tonic Infusion Kit, a perfect gift for Christmas. This kit is targeted towards G&T lovers, allowing you to breathe new life into your usual choice of gin. The kit consists of a curated selection of botanicals and spices and encourages you to mix it up and find your own gin infusions.
It includes rose petals, green cardamom, star anise, and tumult pepper. It’s a simple process to create your new gin concoction, and Sous Chef recommends that you use a balloon glass with big chunks of ice, trapping the aromas inside the glass. You simply have to add ice, then your choice of botanical, a measure of your chosen gin and then gently mix it. We were amazed at the difference made to our regular Tanqueray gin and fever tree tonic. Our favourite addition to this set was the Green Cardamom, which added an intense, aromatic flavour.
The kit is available for £17.50 from the Sous Chef website and comes with a fantastic tasting guide, cocktail stirrer and masher. Find out more or pick up a set for yourself here.
Kraken Spiced Rum (£23.50, Tesco)
We love everything about Kraken Spiced Rum. From an aesthetically impressive bottle, excellent branding to a spicy, rich and smooth flavour – it has it all. In fact, the Kraken Rum is aged for 12 to 24 months and blended with 11 spices including cinnamon, ginger and cloves to create a strong, rich and dark smooth Rum. One to add to your drinks cabinet this Winter!
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