Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The 12 Gins of Christmas, the ultimate gin recommendation guide

The 12 gins of Christmas, the ultimate gin recommendation guide, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger
My gin dresser, back in October, it's since grown with even more bottles, I collect a lot more than I drink!

(AD, gifted items and affiliate links). Trying to choose 12 gins for "The 12 Gins of Christmas" has been an epic and quite magical task and first of all, I want to say thank you to the companies who've sent gins to me, some but not all of these gins were kindly gifted, others I've personally selected and bought with Christmas in mind.

Firstly let me tell you about my own personal gin journey.  Many years ago I loved a Hendricks with cucumber and then for 9 years I couldn't drink alcohol at all without horrible side effects.  I came off some medication in February and suddenly I could drink.  In the meantime, the world had gone through a craft gin revolution and so I've sincerely enjoyed sampling many gins on route to having my own personal collection.  I must state that I collect more than I drink, I love the bottles so much and I occasionally have a glass of gin in the evening which I savour and love so much. So come with me on my first ever gin guide journey as I recommend the 12 gins you should be looking to have in your own personal gin collection.

Off Piste Gin is a triple filtered gin made by a family run business, it's made from pure sugar cane and infused with alpine botanics, so basically, you taste this and you're transported to the alps, can you smell that mountain air, have you spotted that deer in the distance, will you be skiing today?  It's a really delicious and smooth tasting gin.

Rock Rose winter edition gin is infused with the flavours of spruce which were collected in December last year, drinking it will remind you of bracing walks, roaring fires and dark nights.  It comes from Dunnet Bay right up at the top of Scotland, Caithness was somewhere I had the pleasure of spending time in the late summer and so drinking this reminds me of that rugged coastline and the beautiful area it's from.

Sacred Christmas Pudding Gin is actually made from Christmas puddings, now if that sounds at all weird, I can assure you that what this actually tastes like is Christmas, it's like festive infused fruits and not at all like drinking an actual Christmas pudding! It's a wonderfully festive gin and I absolutely recommend it for Christmas 2020.

Highclere Castle Gin is a London Dry Gin and if you're looking at the picture or thinking it sounds familiar then you will know that Highclere is also known as Downton Abbey, and as the website tells us, it's born from a castle,  renowned for it's parties, acclaimed for it's taste.  It's a really lovely and easy to drink gin, serve with a light tonic and a slice of lemon and I can't fault it for an evening aperatif.

Spode celebrated it's 250th Birthday by releasing Spode Gin, a London dry gin which has flavours of Earl Grey with orange and undertones of Jasmine and Chamomile, it's an easy drinking gin perfect for parties or simply an evening by the fire.

If cold, dark December's are not your favourite thing, a glass of Old Curiosity Secret Garden pink elderflower and Jasmine gin  from Prezzybox is just the ticket for it will transport you to sunnier and warmer moments, it has my vote as a lovely gift for a summer flavour lover.

I'm going to let you into a secret, I love sparkly things!  M&S have released 2 special snow globe gin liqueurs this year, one with the flavours of clementine and the other is rhubarb, this stuff is harder to get than gold dust in some branches but I managed to acquire a bottle of each with my persistence, I bought the clementine in branch and the rhubarb, I managed to get in one of their hampers.  I've not tried either yet but they look sparkly on my gin dresser when they're all lit up!

I managed to acquire a bottle of Roku gin in a recent Amazon deal and it's just delicious, it's raised in Japan and it makes a lovely G&T with a slice of lime or lemon because sometimes you just want a classic, I always make my G&T's in balloon glasses with the tonic right to the top, I love the flavours of craft gins and believe they should be savoured and definitely not glugged!

Think of Christmas and one of the first flavours that comes to mind is plum and this is encapsulated in a release from the Edinburgh Gin Distillery, I picked my bottle up in an Amazon sale and I have to admit, it's one I'm saving for the festive period, a plum and vanilla gin liqueur sounds like the perfect Christmas Eve drink to me.

another popular Christmas flavour is of course orange but orange is one of my all year round flavours and would you believe that this orange marmalade from

Zymurgorium is a tasty treat, the company behind it are actually Duerrs who make jams and marmalade and honestly, it's delicious, I picked up my bottle for a steal at John Lewis but it's available in a lot of places.

Mermaid Pink Gin is my absolute favourite all time gin, if you look closely you'll see there's not very much of this one at all and that's because it's the one I drink the most, it's summer in a gin and I like to put in frozen soft fruit like strawberries, raspberries or cherries, I then accompany it with a light or Mediterranean tonic and it's honestly splendid, so many days during summer this was my go to gin so it's perfect to gift for Christmas and drink at a later date, I love every release from the Isle of Wight distillery but this one is really special.

My last gin recommendation is this amazing Malfy Rosa Pink Grapefruit Gin which tastes of pink grapefruit, I found it in Morrisons where it's readily available but you can grab it on Amazon too, serve it with tonic or a pink grapefruit mixer and then add a slice of pink grapefruit and it's a taste sensation which will remind you of Italy in the sunshine.


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