2020 has been an odd year, to say the least. Our day-to-day lives have changed a fair bit, with many of us spending more time at home, trying our hands at exciting new cooking and baking recipes; learning how to make cocktails (with varying levels of success); and trawling through the internet for the best delivery boxes and hampers to enjoy in safety and comfort. With this in mind, as well as the understanding that a lot of us won’t be able to spend the holidays with our loved ones this year, we’ve packed our Sated Christmas Gift Guide 2020 full of incredible presents that you can buy online and safely send directly to your friends, family, colleagues, or even yourself (we all could do with a treat)!
From exciting new cookbooks, heritage cookware, and luxury gift hampers to ready-to-drink, world-class cocktails, premium spirits and decadent wine cases, we’ve got a little something for everyone to enjoy this festive season.
Want to send something truly personal to the whisky lover in your life? The Whisky Exchange has introduced a limited edition Special Reserve Highland Single Malt Scotch to its exceptional range of personalisable single malt and single grain whiskies, just in time for Christmas.
Choose between six rare (and exceptionally well-priced) single malt whiskies (ranging from the new Special Reserve Highland to the super-premium 25-Year-Old Lowland) and finish it off with a striking label featuring your own personal message, commemorative date and dedication. The personalised bottle of limited edition scotch will then be delivered to your chosen recipient in a handsome presentation tube, with the choice of an additional message or card. What’s more, if you purchase any of The Whisky Exchange’s personalised whiskies or gins before 14th December, you will receive a free £10 eGift card to redeem against anything on the website!
Fine Food Specialist is the online shopping destination for quality produce and hard-to-find ingredients: a haven for the curious foodies and chefs alike. The team scours countries and continents, to bring its customers the rarest and most exquisite gourmet gems, from the finest British seasonal fare to the most sought after culinary delights from the furthest corners of the globe. A quick browse on the website will reveal an ever-growing catalogue of hard-to-find products including wagyu beef, caviar, exotic seafood, artisan cheese, truffles, edible flowers, micro-herbs, exotic fruits, and unusual vegetables.
This Christmas, we’ve curated a wish list of tried-and-tested delights from Fine Food Specialist, from the romantic Salmon, Caviar & Champagne Special and decadent Full Truffle Indulgence Hamper to that much-loved Artisan French Cheese Board Selection and – quite frankly – the most impressive Christmas/Boxing Day Hamper we have ever seen! These truly are gifts that any foodie fanatic would be elated to receive.
Prices vary across gift hampers, starting from £46.95. Read our Fine Food Specialist Best Luxury Christmas Gifts for Foodies List for more info.
Missing cocktail bars? So are we. Luckily for both of us though, we can enjoy world-class cocktails from one of the world’s leading bartenders from the comfort of our own homes. The Asterely Bros Cocktail Club brings unique, seasonal cocktails created by the globally renowned bartender Joe Schofield, directly to your door. Available as a three-month subscription, monthly subscription or single purchase, this is a fantastic gift for cocktail lovers this Christmas.
Boxes come in three sizes (two, four or 10 drink serves) and include mixers, sample spirits, snacks and a limited edition print of that month’s killer artwork. The unique cocktail changes every month, with previous ones including: Pink Negronis, Blackcurrant Spritz and Fig Martinez.
Le Creuset is a brand that needs little introduction. Renowned for its innovation in cookware and iconic design, Le Creuset is a brand coveted by foodies around the world. What’s more, the lifetime guarantee on many of the brand’s ranges means they are fantastic heritage products that have been designed to last and be handed down from generation to generation.
The 100-year-old company’s celebrated signature products are still being made to this day, however they have also added exciting new ranges for every budget, in vibrant colours and timeless designs. We took a look at their latest releases and picked out some of our favourites that any home cook would love, including the festive holly design Cast Iron Soup Pot and Stoneware Cafetière; serenely coloured Calm Collection Set of 4 Mugs (perfect for a household pressie) and the gorgeous Christmas centrepiece Cast Iron Roaster.
Introducing Doorly’s XO Rum – a premium rum from one of the world’s most well-respected distillers that is incredibly affordable, exceptionally sippable, works wonders in cocktails and has been known to convert countless people to rum (as well as being a firm favourite of premium rum lovers and bartenders in the know).
Hailing from Barbados’ legendary Foursquare Distillery, Doorly’s XO is a multi-award-winning aged rum that we ceaselessly recommend to anyone who thinks rum is an overly sweet spirit that’s only good when mixed with Coke or who considers whisky as a far superior spirit. It is a blend of pot and column still rums that has benefited from a dual maturation (five years aged in ex-Bourbon casks, followed by one to three years in ex-Olorosso sherry casks), before being bottled at 43% ABV. The result is an insanely well-balanced, complex and refined rum with notes of Christmas pudding fruit, baking spices, clove studded orange, barbecued banana, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, hazelnut, vanilla and toffee apple. As with all Foursquare products, no sugar, additives or flavouring has been added – it’s all in the skill of the distiller. This is a premium quality present available at an astronomically low price, perfect for any spirits drinker or home cocktail buff.
Who doesn’t love a pie? Exactly. No one. So how about a recipe book of pies from the chef Jamie Oliver has dubbed the “King of Pies”?!
Calum Franklin is the Executive Chef at London’s Holborn Dining Room and a self-professed “pastry deviant”. His debut cookbook, The Pie Room, features 80 recipes (mainly but not exclusively pies) complete with easy-to-follow instructions and glorious full-colour photography. As well as staples such as The Ultimate Beef Wellington, The Ultimate Sausage Roll and Chicken, Mushroom & Tarragon Pie, you’ll also find recipes for ‘Nduja Stuffed Brioche, Haggis Scotch Egg, Mac n’ Cheese Pie, Venison & Bone Marrow Suet Pie, Cheesy Dauphinoise & Caramelised Onion Pie, and Chipshop Curry Sauce.
Sweet treats such as Fig, Honey & Pistachio Clafoutis and Apricot & Lemon Thyme Cobbler are also on offer, as well as a tonne of delicious sides and accompaniments. Easy to follow with down-to-earth commentary and mouthwatering recipes, give the gift of full, happy, warm bellies this festive season.
Now this is something truly unusual and entirely delicious that any gin fanatic would be over the moon to receive!
Crazy Gin is a genuinely unique, clear, premium gin that fuses British and Indian cultures together to create the smoothest and most versatile gin you’re likely to have ever tasted. Made by distilling a traditional British gin base of complex botanicals with crossover Indian spices and fruit lassi (a much-loved Punjabi yoghurt-based drink), the gin is then fat-washed in ghee for a luxuriously silky, creamy mouthfeel!
What this produces is a refreshing and fruit-forward gin full of bright pomegranate and juniper, backed up by a warming and delicately spiced mix of black pepper, black cumin and turmeric – it may sound mad, but it’s genuinely outstanding. The yoghurt and ghee combined create a full texture, meaning that there is no alcohol burn whatsoever, instead only a gliding mouthfeel peppered by perfectly balanced botanicals.
£39.95. Buy it here.
Not able to safely be with your people this Christmas? Stay connected and show your love and appreciation from a distance with these thoughtful and personable gourmet food & drink gift hampers from the lovely lot at Hampers.com. We’ve put together a few of our top picks that will be sure to make any recipient feel joyfully spoilt this festive season.
Based in rural Oxfordshire, Hampers.com is one of the UK’s most well-considered hamper companies, producing gorgeously curated gifts made up of produce carefully selected from the finest local UK suppliers. These include the likes of The Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste, Snowdonia Cheese Company, International Wine Challenge, Love Cocoa and Fudge Kitchen. Whether shopping for a vegan palate, Prosecco lover, cheese fiend, beer nut, chocoholic, or non-drinker, you’re bound to find something to liven up their Christmas.
VIVIR Tequila is a fantastic UK brand with a mission of bringing high quality, 100% Weber Blue Agave Tequila to the masses at affordable prices and, in doing so, change the perception of tequila as a cheap and nasty, hangover-inducing drink. And you know what? This young brand is doing just that! With its eye-catching contemporary bottle, delicious no-sugar & no-additives liquid from Mexico’s reputable Casa Maestri, and strong desire to spread the agave love, VIVIR has taken the UK by storm and is winning accolade after accolade (including recently being the first tequila brand to ever win Gold for all its expressions at Great Taste Awards).
Unlike many tequilas on the market, VIVIR Tequila Añejo uses 100%, full matured Weber Blue Agave (brands like Jose Cuervo mix this with 49% other ingredients like unripe agave or corn syrup, which can cause bad reactions). Cooked and distilled using traditional methods, it is then aged in ex-Jack Daniels oak casks for 18-months! The result is a beautifully aged tequila with a rich, toasted agave nose throwing up Christmas cake marzipan, boozy liqueur chocolates, Anzac biscuits dunked in chocolate, honey roasted nuts, almonds, Habanero peppers, cinnamon and coffee grounds. On the palate, it is rich and supple, with nutmeg, white pepper, cloves and allspice whirl around dried orange peel, bitter marmalade, cacao nibs, coffee grounds, cinnamon, Tunnock’s Milk Chocolate & Marshmallow Tea Cakes and dates. Sipped neat or enjoyed in a cocktail, it’s a delicious easy drinker that is something a little different.
Looking for a gift for a great cook? Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen is the latest cookbook from Jikoni restaurant’s Ravinder Bhogal. Colourful, brilliantly eclectic and thoughtfully written, it holds pages and pages of recipes inspired by African, Asian and British flavours, jumbled together in one delightfully vibrant book.
Ravinder was born in Kenya to Indian parents; when she moved to London as a child, the cooking of her new home collided with a heritage that crossed continents. What materialised was a playful approach to the world’s larder and a whole host of proudly inauthentic recipes that might loosely be called ‘immigrant cuisine’. Cauliflower Popcorn with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce; Kimchi Parathas; Prawn Toast Scotch Eggs with Banana Ketchup; Spicy Scrag End Pie; Lamb and Aubergine Fatteh; Banana Cake with Miso Butterscotch and Ovaltine Kulfi – no combo is off-limited and all the world has been invited to tea.
Weaved in amongst the recipes are anecdotes and musings from Ravinder’s life, alongside helpful tips and glossaries of terms to ensure no one gets lost on the journey through her kitchen. This is a stunning cookbook that reads more like a storybook than an instruction manual.
Read more about Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen Cookbook by Ravinder Bhogal here.
SPECIAL OFFER: £23.00 online at Waterstone’s (reduced from RRP £26.00). Buy it here.