Christmas is just around the corner and I have to admit that this year, I’ve found it much harder to decide what I want. For this reason, I thought I would lend some Christmas spirits (get it?) and help friends and family of gin lovers out by creating a comprehensive list of the best gifts to splurge on this festive season. These are sure to go down well in ANY gin lover's books.
1. A Gin making kit
This is one of the ultimate gifts for a gin lover.
Offered by Love-Gin, this homemade gin making kit retails for a steal at only R499. Gin can technically be made from any pure alcohol, the most common being vodka. This is then distilled with botanicals to create my favourite juniper drink. However, it is possible to create an almost “cheat gin” by soaking rather than distilling which is exactly what this gin making kit offers. In order to create your bathtub gin, they provide two 500ml glass bottles, a stainless steel strainer, a stainless steel funnel, juniper berries and a botanical blend. All you have to do is get an unflavoured semi-decent vodka (doesn't have to be the fancy stuff), pop the juniper berries and botanicals in according to instructions and let steep. Once that is done, you can strain everything and your vodka will have magically been converted into your very own prohibition gin! The best part is you get to choose exactly how you want to flavour your gin so it will be entirely bespoke and truly your own.
Visit their website at https://www.love-gin.co.za/
2. The Gin Box
I have had my eye on this company for a while now because I find the idea extremely intriguing. A craft gin club- they offer the service of delivering craft gins to your door on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis. There is also the option of a once off gift purchase which is perfect for the festive season if you don’t feel like investing in a long-term deal. Their prices range between R650 – R750 and the boxes include the delivery to your door, distiller’s notes with detailed information on the gin, a full-sized bottle of the various craft gins, three hand selected gourmet food items, two to four different tonics, cocktail ideas and other inspiration for that particular gin. Considering that a good bottle of craft gin alone is in the range of about R400 – R500, and decent tonic is around R45 for 4, this does add up to be a great deal. Their Festive Gift Box is ideal for Christmas. Featuring gins from Hope on Hopkins and inspired by Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, the box is available as a gift at R750.
Visit their website at http://www.theginbox.co.za/
3. Gin advent calendar
Also known as a ginvent calendar, this adorable idea is available from the Bottleshop. It is a little pricey coming in at R880. It contains 24 locally distilled gins, hidden in 30ml bottles. I am at two minds about this product but it is a pretty damn cool idea. The price just gets me. So if you are on a tight budget like I am, then do not fear because they do also offer a more affordable alternative. There are a variety of alcohol related products from Daily Drams which extend beyond gin but for juniper lovers, there is the crazy botanical tasting set, premium imported gin tasting set and a craft gin tasting set for around R180 or less each.
You can see their deals here:
4. Gin baubles
Master of Malt offer these adorable baubles that you can hang off of your tree. Back when I was little, my dad would carefully thread chocolates and hang them from the Christmas tree and we would sneakily begin eating from the back. I suspect that with this adult version, I would be no different. Retailing at R464.42, the pack includes a set of six colourful plastic baubles that are each filled with 50ml of Pickering’s gin. They are also totally refillable so even if you do sneak a few drinks around the back, you can always fill them right back up without anyone knowing!
Check out their site https://www.masterofmalt.com/gin/pickerings/pickerings-gin-christmas-baubles-gin/
5. Crystal Gin glasses
I’ve often thought about it, and gin doesn’t really have an iconic glass shape the way a martini or cosmo does. You usually drink it out of whatever it is served to you in. Well that was until I realised that the copa or balloon glass existed. Similar to a wine glass, only fuller and rounder, these are perfect for a hearty G&T. At R79.95 a glass from Woolworths, you can custom order the number that you want which is ideal if you entertain a lot and 4 is not enough.
Visit their site here
6. Gin cocktail gift set
Available from Yuppiechef for R899, this gift set includes two gin glasses, a cocktail shaker, a muddling spoon, a double ended jigger (shot pourer) and a bar knife. This is ideal for anyone who loves to create their own gin cocktails and not just gin and tonics. All of these items are ideal and sexy but more so if you are into proper mixology, not just a gin and tonic.
Check out this deal here
So there you have it: my quick guide to buying for a gin lover this year. Alternatively, if any of these don’t float your boat, then head straight for the gin section at Norman Goodfellows and select from their vast array – it is impossible to go wrong with a good gin these days.
Finally, Love-Gin has kindly sponsored one gift box for a lucky winner!
All that you have to do to stand a chance to win one of their incredible sets is like their page, share this article and write your name in the comments section all on Facebook. The winner will be announced on the 1st of December!