12 of the best boozy advent calendars and crackers
Swap sweets for liquid treats in the lead up to Christmas Day, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
An Advent calendar stuffed with mini bottles of your favourite tipple is the kind of naughty stuff the little kid inside you – with grown-up tastes – can get away with during party season.
This year’s windows on the world of wines and spirits is bigger and better than ever – and if you get your skates on, most are available to pre-order now.
Plus, to keep the festive feeling going, we’ve included a few tipsy crackers to pull too…
1. Mini Moet Christmas Cracker 2019 (£19.99, 20cl, Selfridges, available from November)
Fizz, bang, pop… Moet’s famous mini bottle of Brut Imperial is accessorised with a gold coronet and these brilliant bubbles are bursting with pristine fruit and citrusy aromas.
2. Prosecco Christmas Crackers (£34.99, set of 6 x 20cl, reserve now for £5, Virgin Wines)
Packed with classic notes of honeysuckle and white peach, these fizzy delights will bring some wow factor to the table and rest assured, each one comes with a cheesy cracker joke and Christmas hat.
3. Boe Gin Selection Party Crackers (£30, 4 x 5cl, buy 2, get free delivery, shop.boegin)
Gin-gle all the way and put the cheers into Christmas with Boes Violet, Peach and Hibiscus, Scottish Bramble and Boe Scottish Gins, dressed in Highland berry brights.
4. Aldi Wine Advent Calendar (£49.99, Aldi, available from November 3)
The closest thing to shining the light on your own little wine bar, Aldi have built a selection of their bestselling whites, reds, rose and fizz into this bumper box of treats.
5. The Premium Pink Gin Advent Calendar (£44.99, 12 x 5cl, pre-order Thebottleclub)
A 12-strong stable of pink gins, Beefeater Pink Stawberry, Bloom Jasmine & Rose Gin, Pinkster Raspberry Gin and Gordon’s Pink Gin are just some of the infusions to leave you tickled pink.
6. That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calender (2019 Edition, £49.95, 24 x 3cl wax sealed drams, Master of Malt)
That Boutique-y Gin Company have teamed up with Drinks By The Dram (who have a Santa-sized sack of Advent calendars, from whisky to rum to tequila), so you can celebrate Happy Hour every day with this cocktail lover’s cabinet. Behind each window is a wax-sealed bottle of gin you can shake, muddle or stir into your signature serve.
7. Jack Daniel’s Holiday Countdown Calendar (£50, 5cl, Asda)
Roll out the barrels… JD’s handy carry case is a sure-fire way to explore Tennessee’s best bottlings, with little nuggets such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Old No. 7 Whiskey, Gentleman Jack, Single Barrel Select, Tennessee Rye and, spoiler alert, a jigger and shot glass.
8. Beer Hawk Advent Calendar 2019 (£59.99, 24 beers, pre-order Beerhawk)
Indulge in brews from 14 different countries, with 15 different styles such as Mikkeller, Thornbridge, Amundsen, Magic Rock, Wild Beer and many more, with £80 worth of treats.
9. HonestBrew Beer Advent Calendar (£67.40, 24 beers, pre-order Honestbrew.co.uk)
Tap into HonestBrew’s Christmas offering and countdown with your favourite beer brands such as Boundary, Cloudwater and Northern Monk, including canned and bottled versions.
10. Laithwaite’s Wine Advent Calendar 2019 (£69.99, Laithwaite’s)
Oh tidings of comfort and joy… indulge a loved one with a special tasting flight of 24 still wines (the labels are under wraps but they’re all bestsellers), and a bottle of champers to crack open on Christmas Eve.
11. Whitley Neill Gin Advent Calendar 24 Days with Pairing Book (£90, 24 x 5cl, pre order Amazon)
Botanicals at their best. Celebrate gin’s rich flavour map with these luxurious gins, a cocktail book and serving suggestions to sharpen your bartending skills.
12. Vodka Explorer Advent Calendar (2019 Edition, £99.95, Master of Malt)
A veritable library of vodka, this one mixes big hitters – think Crystal Head Vodka, Chase, Ciroc and Ketel One – with lesser-known labels such as Kakuzo Tea Infused Vodka and Haku Vodka from Suntory.
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