I love Christmas. I love everything about it, the traditions, the songs, Christmas crackers, food, drink and decorations. I adore Christmas baubles – especially the ones I can drink! I have a tree every year. Okay, I have three trees every year, never a real one, not with my dogs, but small fake ones covered in tinsel – and Pickering’s Gin Christmas Baubles. Now, please don’t tell anyone but they’re refillable so don’t always last until the big day which means buying another set or refilling them with the matching small (20cl/200ml) bottles of Pickering’s Gin or one of their other gins.

 

There are six baubles with 50ml measures of the six different gins – ideal for sharing, a large G&T or two and a selection of cocktails, all for just £25:

  1. Festive Cranberry
    2. Plum and Ginger
    3. Figgy Pudding
    4. Christmas Clementine
    5. Spiced Pear and Cinnamon
    6. Brussels Sprout

The baubles are tinged with natural-coloured gin inside but don’t panic about not recognising which shaded green decoration is Brussels Sprout and which is Pear and Cinnamon, as they’re named on the gold-coloured ribbons.

Festive Cranberry
Not just for turkey, Pickering’s Festive Cranberry Gin is perfect in cranberry juice, a variation on a Cosmopolitan (pour 45ml Pickering’s Festive Cranberry Gin,15ml Triple Sec, 40ml cranberry juice, 10ml Rose’s Lime Cordial into a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake, strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel), just topped with fizz – or in this delicious cocktail

Christmas Sunrise
A colourful layered drink, perfect for Christmas morning

25ml cranberry juice
50ml Pickering’s Festive Cranberry Gin
50ml orange juice
Orange wheel, to garnish

Pour the cranberry juice into a Collins glass and set aside. Pour the gin and orange juice into a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake and strain, slowly pouring into the Collins glass on top of the cranberry juice. You can pour over the back of a spoon or using a layerer, if preferred. Garnish with the orange wheel.

 

Plum and Ginger
The taste of a traditional Christmas treat without risking your teeth on a hidden sixpence!

Plumble
A seasonal twist on a Bramble. If preferred you can use Briottet’s Crème de Mûre (Blackberry Liqueur) but the plum liqueur is wonderfully rich and singing with plums. Every cocktail cabinet benefits from an array of Pickering’s Gin and Edmond Briottet’s flavoursome liqueurs, as well as an obligatory bottle or two of Monin’s Sugar Syrup.

50ml Pickering’s Plum and Ginger Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
10ml Monin’s Sugar Syrup
10ml Edmond Briottet Crème de Prune (Plum Liqueur)
Cinnamon stick, to stir

Pour the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass full of crushed ice. Gentle pour the plum (or blackberry) liqueur over the cocktail and watch it ‘bleed’ down the glass, stir with a cocktail stick before drinking.

Fizzy Plumble
Or, for a really festive twist, reduce the crushed ice by a third and, after pouring in the plum liqueur, slowly top with Lelarge-Pugeot Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Premier Cru Non-Vintage Champagne with its beautiful ginger notes, and stir with the cinnamon stick. One of my favourite Champagnes from the recent Champagne Show and which is perfect for cocktails, as well as celebrating New Year’s Eve

Figgy Pudding
This is the bauble that appeals to me most – we all want a figgy pudding! In case you missed it, I made one of my favourite cocktails of all time for The Spirits Embassy Virtual Festive Gin Tasting, a Snow Angel (and its cousin, the Long Snow Angel using Champagne) and Pickering’s Figgy Pudding Gin works perfectly in that, picking up the fig and chocolate notes in the PX sherry

And, because it’s Christmas and I really love figgy pudding, I’m treating you to an extra cocktail!

Mulled Figgy Gin Wine
This works wonderfully in a mulled wine instead of using brandy, all those chocolatey rich notes in the figgy pudding adding extra decadence.You can make it in the microwave, pinging it for 90 seconds but you’ll miss out on all those luscious smells

200ml Dark Horse Malbec or use a fruity Shiraz, if preferred
30ml Pickering’s Figgy Pudding Gin
20ml orange juice
Cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 cardamon pods
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger

Pour the liquids into a saucepan and either add the spices or wrap them in a muslin bag and add the spices. Gently heat until hot, not boiling, remove the spice, pour into a mug and enjoy at a comfortable temperature

Fig Martini
A twist on the classic Martini and the Antica Formula Vermouth will add richer winey notes to the cocktail

50ml Pickering’s Figgy Pudding Gin
25ml Antica Formula Vermouth
1/2 fig, to garnish

Pour the gin and Verrmouth into a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake, strain into a Martini glass and garnish with half a fig.

Christmas Clementine
A favourite Christmas treat tucked down the bottom of the stocking this is the perfect gin to drink whilst opening your stocking or presents – or to enjoy with your breakfast before the day begins

 

Gin Clementine Fizz
A twist on the classic Buck’s Fizz or Mimosa for Christmas or New Year’s morning and using the same Champagne as the Fizzy Plumble to tempt you to make them both. Those gingery notes in the Champagne really do make a difference and are perfect with his festive citrus gin

25ml Pickering’s Gin Christmas Clementine Gin
Juice of 3 clementines
Lelarge-Pugeot Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Premier Cru NV Champagne, to top
Orange wheel, to garnish

Pour the gin and fresh clementine juice into a Champagne flute or coupe and gently, top with the Champagne, stir and garnish with an orange wheel – or a clementine segment.

Spiced Pear and Cinnamon
The smell of Christmas in a glass
Gimlet Crumble
Memories of Christmas crumbles past, you could just pour this over ice cream but I mixed it with QUBA, a delicious mixer which I discovered at Rumfest UK and which was originally designed to complement rum but which works so well with gin in a variation on a Gimlet, especially Pickering’s Spiced Pear and Cinnamon Gin. You can also enjoy it in a simple and spicy G&T with Walter Gregor’s Apple and Cinnamon Tonic Water

 

25ml Pickering’s Spiced Pear and Cinnamon Gin

85ml QUBA Lime, Lemongrass and Apple
15ml Monin’s Rose’s Lime Cordial
Cinnamon stick, to stir

Pour the liquids into an old-fashioned glass full of ice and stir with the cinnamon stick

 

To buy QUBA Lime, Lemongrass and Apple mixer and see the rest of their range – their Ginger, Chilli and Pimento Berry mixer is perfect with Pickering’s Figgy Pudding Gin – go to https://drinkquba.com/collections/all

Brussels Sprout
This is the gin that attracts the headlines. I love sprouts so I expected to love this gin when I bought a 20cl (200ml) bottle of it and it brings back memories of a pre-theatre meal in Las Vegas when sprouts were mixed with a Champagne sauce, the ordinary turned into the extraordinary

This gin needs tasting notes because there will be people reading this who hate sprouts with a passion and will instinctively want to avoid this gin – which, incidentally, is also a great table present or stocking filler for other adults. I’d also be tempted to pour it into a gazpacho

Natural colour – Pale peridot green

Nose – No, it doesn’t smell like sprouts to me! Juniper heavy, citrus, slight earthiness, clean herbal (sage, chamomile and basil) and grassy notes and a fresh serving of raw green peppers with a hint of pimento berries

Taste – It packs a very herbal, grassy punch after the initial hit of juniper. You can drink it neat as it’s so smooth, with blueberry, green pepper, grassy and salted caramel notes but it will also be perfect in floral cocktails. A herbaceous delight

Sprouting Delight
For a fabulous herbal G&T, just mix with Walter Gregor Mint and Cucumber Tonic Water but, as it’s Christmas, get fizzing with this very colourful bottle of Champagne, a very distinctive highlight for the recent Champagne Show for me

 25ml Pickering’s Brussel Sprouts Gin
15ml St German Elderflower Liqueur
125ml Taittinger Nocturne Rosé Champagne
Slice of cucumber, to garnish

Pour the gin and elderflower liqueur into a cocktail shaker full of ice, strain into a Champagne coupe and add the pink Champagne, garnishing with a slice of cucumber. A magical Christmas cocktail, (almost) sure to turn even the most vigorous sprout no-sayer into a lover!

To buy Pickering’s Gin Christmas Baubles for £25, go to The Spirits Embassy https://thespiritsembassy.com/products/g-2?_pos=1&_sid=fdc0a61ec&_ss=r

 

Whilst you’re there, treat yourself to their special, great-value Christmas bundle, too – The 12 Gins of Christmas, 12 x 30ml measures including Pickering’s Gin Pecan Pie and Christmas Cookie, a set of 5 Flavoured Walter Gregor Tonic Waters, plus 4 Walter Gregor Original Tonic Water and an Orkney Gin glass, perfect for your G&T or gin cocktails. All for just £44.99 https://thespiritsembassy.com/products/12-days-of-christmas-gin-selection-box-2021?_pos=2&_sid=2080fa8ed&_ss=r

I’ll be blogging in more detail about each of the 12 gins, complete with cocktail ideas, during the 12 Days of Christmas. I’m not revealing any secrets as the list is on the website but these are the 12 fantastic gins to celebrate those 12 days in this very special festive offer.

There’s also a matching 12 Days of Whiskies of Scotland version https://thespiritsembassy.com/products/whiskies-of-scotland-12-days-of-christmas-advent-box

For the full range of Christmas at Pickering’s Gin, including Later than Eight (what can they possibly mean…), Chocolate Orange, Brussels Sprout, Pecan Pie and Christmas Cookies and the Pickering’s Festive Save My Seat Set – perfect for popping into homemade crackers, go to https://pickeringsgin.com/collections/christmas-shop