Tis the season to be jolly, and as always with Christmas approaching, never is there a more appropriate occasion to enjoy a (responsible) tipple or two with friends and family. And whether you need a stiff drink (or several) to get through the unwanted influx of family members and squabbling siblings or will be nursing a post-Christmas Eve hangover with further alcohol consumption the last thing on your mind, The Amazing Blog has sourced some of the best drinks around so you can celebrate in style - hangover optional!
First up, and perfect for popping at midnight on New Year's Eve or sipping slowly at a Christmas dinner, is Pommery's Wintertime Champagne (Blancs de Noirs). Created to accompany traditional food with its special winter flavours, the champagne is produced from over a dozen Pinot Noir and Meunier grape varieties, and with its round and fleshy notes and just the right amount of bubbles it's ideal for festive shindigs. And in addition to the standard sized bottles are these fabulous mini versions which come in a range of stylish designs including both a gold and union jack finish, perfect for adding a bit of decadence or patriotism to a party! Pommerry Pop Champagne: prices from £15, available at John Lewis and other leading retailers.
If, however, Champagne doesn't tickle your fancy, try Oliver's Cider & Perry, a fun, fruity take on the traditional bubbly drinks for celebrating. We love Oliver's bottled conditioned Dry Perry with its taste of pear and honey and its light and refreshing bubbles. Using skills crafted and refined through the centuries, this fine perry is made with unsprayed perry pears from local and traditional orchards and the fresh pressed juice is fermented by wild yeasts, with the result giving a true reflection of the perrymakers art. So popular has this drinks brand become that the small, family-run company has just received an 'Outstanding Achievement Award' from Flavours of Hertfordshire. Sit back and enjoy! Oliver's Conditioned Dry Perry: £6.50.
For those after something somewhat on the stronger side of things, Sipsmith - an independent spirits company that specializes in small batch artisan spirits (500 bottles per batch), has released its Sloe Gin. The gin is made in London’s first copper distillery in 200 years, after which it rests on sloe berries, giving it its fruitiness and hints of cherry and making it a perfect Christmas treat. Sipsmith Sloe Gin: £23.50 for 50cl, available at Waitrose and Majestic stores nationwide.
And while Christmas is a time for some serious over-indulging, if you're on the verge of liver failure and are looking for a light and yummy alternative to wine, Bottlegreen's range of cordials are perfect. At Bottlegreen, they strive to capture the essence of the countryside in a range of exquisitely flavoured soft drinks. Using their wine-making skills, they blend a medley of carefully selected natural ingredients and Cotswold spring water to produce truly delicious cordials and presses - our fave is the Cox's Apple & Plum and they can be enjoyed both hot and cold. Bottlegreen cordials are available from all major supermarkets, priced from £2.99.
Another alcohol-free alternative comes from Sussex's award-winning drinks creator Gran Stead with their new alcohol free tipple - the Light and Fiery Ginger Wine. Turning up the heat this winter with this hearty Christmas drink, it was created in response to calls for an even deeper-spiced sister to Grand Stead's best-selling Dark and Mellow Ginger Wine. Big on flavour, the Ginger Wines are a satisfying choice for both designated drivers and anyone wanting to avoid alcohol, and even better they come hangover-free guaranteed!
Finally is the Triple Tipple from Godminster Vintage in Somerset. Famed for their organic cheddar, Godminster also offers a fabulous range of cheese boards and hampers as well as their infused vodka spirits that are stylishly packaged and come in a variety of refreshing flavours. But rather than having to chose your favourite, why not go for the Triple Tipple, a lovely gift set that comes with three different flavours - elderflower, horseradish and bullace (wild plum). Triple Tipple: priced approx £15 from selected independent retailers.
Please note, The Amazing Blog does not accept any responsibility for hangovers that may result as a consequence of reading this feature.