The best alcohol gifts to give this Christmas 2023

Good news! Sheepishly handing over a bottle of booze on Christmas Day no longer needs to feel a little half-hearted. The striking designs of some of the latest bottles of spirits for 2023 look as good as what’s hidden inside. And with so many varieties to choose from, the gift of alcohol is less a last-minute panic buy, and more a thoughtful and sustainable gift that the recipient will love.

Scroll on for our boozy gift guide, including vodka, rum, amaro, whiskies, gins and that festive joy of joys: dairy cream liqueur.

The best alcohol gifts to give this Christmas 2023

Whether you’re looking for a showstopper to add to your drinks trolley, a tipple with a twist or the biggest bottle in town, our roundup of boozy offerings includes the wacky and the wonderful. Here are festive tipples to bestow upon your favourite people this year.

Loveday Organic Rum

A wow gift for a spirits aficionado: artisan Cornish distillery Loveday slow-ferments molasses, then distils and ages their organic rum in oak for at least two years. Choose either gold or spiced rum in a limited-edition, date-stamped presentation box, which comes with an oak leaf lino print and set of cocktail recipe cards. Get it before it goes. Available from Loveday Distilling (£64).


Harvey Nichols sour cherry negroni
Bottled cocktails are appearing more and more in the shops, and this one from Harvey Nichols hits all the right marks. Containing a healthy seven servings, made using Portobello Road gin, red vermouth and Campari and a sour cherry liqueur that brings a pleasing tartness to the famously bitter cocktail. The gorgeous bottle makes this a wonderful gift. To serve, recipients can just chill and pour over a large ice cube, garnishing with a festive slice of clementine. Available from Harvey Nichols (£35).

Harvey Nichols

Black Lines Oatnog

We reckon this one will be making headlines this Christmas. A first-of-its-kind, dairy-free eggnog style drink that tastes darn delicious. Just five simple ingredients come together in glorious symphony to create this festive tipple: rum, oat milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It can be served hot but we think it’s rather nice served super chilled, with an ice cube or two and a dusting of cinnamon on top. Available from Black Lines (£18).


Scallywag Winter Edition whisky

This sherry cask whisky from Scallywag in Speyside, Scotland is a wonderfully warming expression. The flavours are rich and slightly sweet, with hints of chocolate and vanilla that would see this pair brilliantly with Christmas pudding for dessert. In its gorgeous illustrated box it makes a great gift. Available from Douglas Laing (£65).


Samurai sake

Despite its revered reputation in Japan, sake has still not managed to break through into the mainstream in the UK, a fact we think should change. This Samurai sake, from the Asahikawa Distillery in Hokkaido, boasts a high grade of rice polishing, which helps the sake brewing process. It’s a great Christmas present, pairing beautiful with Christmassy fish and rich meat dishes alike. It goes brilliantly with food, possessing a clarifying quality with a prominent umami flavour akin to sherry and just enough sweetness. Enjoy it cold, hot, or on ice though it can also be used in cocktail serves. Available from Master of Malt (£38.33).


The amarettos from ADRIATICO are made from Italian almonds handpicked in Puglia, and it shows. The almond lover in your life will go head-over-heels for these, and we are particularly fond of the BIANCO version, which is the result of crushing the almonds into a white, silky liqueur. Even those who think they don’t like sweet aperitifs will be surprised by this drink that has similarities with Disaronno, and a bitterness to counteract the nut’s sweetness. It’s so good you can drink it neat on ice, but if you want to try it in a cocktail, a simple sour with lemon juice and egg white is a real hit! And we can only dream of how good a drop of this is in a hot chocolate… Available from The Whisky Exchange (£31.25).


Equiano rum

On a mission to redefine a four-century-old industry, Equiano have created the world’s first African and Caribbean rum by creating unique blends. This darker expression is almost chocolatey, with notes of brown sugar making it perfect in a Christmas Day dark and stormy cocktail. Available from Equiano (£54.95).


Botivo alcohol free

Tee totallers deserve something delicious too. We think this aperitivo from Botivo made with botanicals and honey is just the thing, packing a real punch with none of the overly saccharine notes that booze-free spirits can sometimes carry. It’s favoured by top restaurants including London’s St John, so you know this stuff is of an impressive standard. Simply lovely enjoyed with soda or tonic poured over ice with a squeezed wedge of orange. Vermouth or gin lovers will be in heaven. Available from Whole Foods Market and Botivo (£26.95).


Hayman’s sloe gin

Some sloe gins are super-syrupy with little else to commend them than a pretty colour. Haymans sloe gin, on the other hand, is a cut above: sweet yet sharp, with just the right amount of fruity complexity. Wonderful on its own, over ice or mixed with sparkling wine. Available from Haymans Gin (£27; also comes gift-wrapped for £29).


Tamdhu 18 year old whisky

This 18 year old whisky from Tamdhu, based in the famous whisky region of Speyside in the North East of Scotland, is matured in Spanish sherry casks, and is an incredibly smoky, warm and vibrant spirit perfect as a special gift for those who like their whiskies peaty. It doesn’t come cheap, but then, if it were a person it would be heading off to university – the years of ageing that have gone into this are no joke. Available from Tamdhu (£157).


Stambecco Tiramisu Liquier

This amaro is sweeter than the brand’s cherry version, but for lover’s of Italy’s most popular dessert, it’s a no brainer of a Christmas gift. The bottle is a sight to behold, and is one to keep once the liquid within has all been supped. We recommend trying it as an after dinner tipple, poured over some ice cream, or whipped into an espresso martini during Christmas week. Santa might enjoy some with his mince pie by the chimney too, who can say? Available from The Whisky Shop (£25).


Starward Left Field whisky

Drink Australian: think Australian! This Melbourne-made whisky lives up to its name – Left Field – the brand’s most popular expression is clean, warm and bright, magnificent for whisky lovers and newbies alike. Matured in Aussie red wine casks, it carries a muscatel-like sweetness with dried pineapple notes. Enjoy neat, or try it in a Manhattan cocktail – it’s a versatile tipple that recipient’s will come back to all season. Available from Master of Malt (£30.74).

Left Field

Bolney Estate cuvée noir

If it’s a British made gift you’re looking for, this sparkling red from English winery Bolney is really impressive. Sparkling red is still having a moment, and it’s just great at Christmas time, able to cut through the rich food but with enough body to stand up to it, too. Available from Bolney (from £32).


Haku vodka

Vodka often gets overlooked, but this 100% white rice vodka from the House of Suntory is interesting and demonstrates how subtle a spirit it can be. Smooth, a little fiery and quietly floral, this is a sippable vodka, but also makes for a stellar martini, if you know someone who loves one. Available from Waitrose (£37).

Haku vokda

Discover New Theory nat pack wine set

If you’re buying for someone who likes their low-intervention wine, this set is particularly pleasing, featuring a cinsault, fizzy pet nat pinotage and pinot gris. All three are fruity and refreshing and best served chilled. Available from New Theory (£62 for 3 bottles).


Kocktail Christmas selection box
Forget about those naff selection boxes from the 90s, this is as slick as they come. The Christmas collection from Kocktail contains festive twists on all of the classic cocktails: from a mince pie old fashioned, to a gingerbread espresso martini – so there’s enough to share round. What we love about Kocktail is that their drinks are made by bartenders and are intended to be as good, if not better, than cocktails served in the finest bars in the world, from the comfort of your own home. Available from Kocktail (£29).

Kocktail Christmas
Mijenta Reposado tequila

The latest expression from Mijenta shows the depth of flavour that tequila can have. This 100% agave tequila surprisingly has a lot in common with whisky – aged in American white oak, French oak, and French acacia casks which all bring bold flavours and a sweet hint of nuttiness. Gift this to the cocktail lover in your life, and make them an Old Fashioned – you’ll be having a very merry little Christmas indeed. Available from Master of Malt (£63.95).


Kyrö Dairy Cream Liqueur

This cream liqueur is produced at Kyrö’s rye distillery in the village of Isokyrö, Finland and doesn’t include any preservatives, artificial colours, gluten, or lactose. The milk used in production comes from small farms close to the distillery and that fresh flavour of the milk comes through in the spirit. There are notes of vanilla, toffee and frangelico with a hint of salt – this is a really special cream liqueur. Enjoy simply with ice, in a white Russian or go WILD and add a splash to a cup of hot chocolate (thank us later). Available from Waitrose (£21.95).

Kyro cream liqeur

Patrón El Cielo tequila

If you want to really treat a tequila lover, Patrón’s gold-topped El Cielo is their premium product and it shows! Never mind the throat-burning stuff you might shot at the pub, this liquid is so smooth and sweet as to be sippable. The tequila lover in your life will thank you, but we think this drink could also convert tequila sceptics, as it should with such a price tag! The box it comes in is weighty and special and this is a memorable gift that can be enjoyed for months to come. Available from The Whisky Exchange, (from £185).


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