Looking for some alcohol options to liven up your festivities this Christmas? Our spirited Christmas booze guide for 2021 can help.
We’re sure you agree with us that with the way 2021 has turned out, there’s cause for some hopeful celebration to end the year off on a good note. For that to happen, we reckon some good booze is in order. And that is why we’ve curated a selection of wines, whiskies, bottled cocktails and more to help slake your thirst and forget what’s been a really challenging year.
So whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a drinks-loving friend, to serve during Christmas dinner, bring to a party, or just as a naughty gift for yourself, these 12 picks in our festive booze guide should set you on your way.
Champagne Lombard Brut Nature Cramant Grand Cru.
No festive celebration is truly complete with some bubbly. Invited to someone else’s home for Christmas dinner this season? Bring a bottle of champers and put a smile on their face. Even better, bring a bottle of Champagne Lombard Brut Nature Cramant Grand Cru. Champagne Lombard is one of the latest champagne marques in town, so chances are your host may not have heard of the family-owned brand. Over dinner you can regale them about this most excellent example from the Grand Cru of Cramant, that it’s technically a Blanc de Blancs – it’s vinified wholly from Chardonnay – and how having it Brut Nature allows the champagne to truly express its terroir.
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee.
If you’re looking for a different kind of bubbly this Yuletide season, how about an English sparkling? In recent years English sparkling has taken the world by storm, and West Sussex-based Nyetimber has been at the forefront of that fizzy revolution. Its house flagship, the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee is a sterling example of what a good English multi-vintage sparkling can be. Vinified from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – like many a good balanced champagne – the Classic Cuvee exudes absolute class, offering notes of honey, almond, pastry and baked apples on the palate, making it a great candidate not only for pairing with roast turkey and ham but also washing down your Christmas pudding. For this season, you have the option of having your Nyetimber come in a festive box packaging too.
The Nyetimber Classic Cuvee retails at a recommended retail price of $98 and is available from Analogue Wine Merchant here.
Another English sparkling wine label of note is Kent-based Gusbourne. We’re particularly enamoured by the Gusbourne Rosé, as much for its lovely blushing pink hue as its enchanting fruity and floral notes. Made with mostly Pinot Noir (65%, the rest Chardonnay with just the lightest touch of Pinot Meunier), this elaboration bursts with aromas of white flowers and ripe stone fruit, while on the palate a sparkly of citrus that’s rounded off with yeasty brioche. Like all sparkling rosés this can pair with almost any dish served up at Christmas, but we reckon a bottle of Gusbourne Rosé is best suited for an intimate, romantic dinner with your significant other this festive season.
The Gusbourne Rosé is available from Ewineasia.com at a retail price of S$112 (S$95 for a limited time).
Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut.
Nothing screams celebration – or bling – like award-winning Prosecco maker Bottega’s characteristic golden bottles, which is why we believe a bottle of the Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut is a fantastic way to start off any dinner party. But lest you think this Prosecco is all fizz and no substance, we’ll have you know that it picked up the gold medal at last year’s Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. Like all good Prosecco the Bottega Gold is produced near the Venetian Alps in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region, and vinified from handpicked Glera grapes that have been carefully selected and crafted. Expect an expressive bouquet of white flowers and stone fruit on the nose, while the palate is rife with pear and green apple with a lovely bright acidity. Stay gold, Bottega.
You can get the Bottega Gold Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut from the Ferrari Food + Wine online store, available in a gift box with 2 flutes at S$88, or singly at S$50 each. The first 50 customers with an order of six bottles of Bottega Gold Prosecco from Giorgio Ferrari will receive a set of two Magnifico Gold, two large goblets totally covered in gold for the most exclusive toasts.
Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter.
If there ever was a whisky that’s perfect for the last season of the year, the Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter may just be it. Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden came up with the idea for this expression when he was snowed in one winter evening, imagining a whisky that one would love to snuggle up with and enjoy by a fireplace. A Tale of Winter follows the approach of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition collection, taking its regular 12 Year Old and sticking it in a different – usually wine – cask for another year. This time it’s Marsala wine casks from Sicily, which imparts lovely poached fruit, honey, cocoa, and wood spice notes to the whisky reminiscent of Christmas cookies baking in the oven. A Tale of Winter? It’s a taste of winter.
Big Peat Christmas 2021 Cask Strength Limited Edition.
Whisky lovers can always depend on independent bottler Douglas Laing dropping a special Christmas release of its cult favourite blended Islay malt Big Peat each year, and 2021 is no different. As with tradition every year this year’s festive Big Peat comes in at cask strength, this time a whopping 52.8% ABV. This year’s Big Peat Christmas 2021 Cask Strength Limited Edition is said to be “packed with earthy, leathery, ashy charm, balanced by a wonderfully warming sweetness”. Which, of course, sounds like a visit to pipe-smoking Gramps on Christmas Day. This makes perfect gifting for Islay peatheads, and its eye-catching candy-striped red and white bottle capsule and livery making this a collectible as well.
The Big Peat Christmas 2021 Cask Strength Limited Edition is available at a recommended selling price of S$198 (S$148.50 for a limited time) exclusively from Le Vigne Wines & Spirits.
Personalised bottle of Maker’s Mark.
You don’t quite think of bourbon whiskey when celebrating Christmas in this part of the world. But Maker’s Mark is looking to change that. Not only has the Kentucky bourbon stalwart been partnering up with bars and restaurants across town for festive food and cocktail pairings this season, it is offering running a special personalisation service that lets you customise a message on your bottle of Maker’s Mark. That’s right, you can print a message such as “Merry X’mas”, “For John”, or “Drink This!”, which makes for great gifting this Christmas.
The bottle personalisation service by Maker’s Mark is available from now till 26 December 2021 at select Cold Storage Outlets in Great World City, Jelita Shopping Centre. Buy a bottle for S$58 at the outlet and then simply head over to the booth with the name or message (of up to 15 characters) you would like on the label, and it can be printed on the spot within 20 minutes. This service is also available online during this period with an option of doorstep delivery on Wine & Spirits and Lazada.
Malt, Grain & Cane Rum of the World: Belize Rum 2006.
Purely for the rum geek, the Belize Rum 2006 is independent bottling startup Malt, Grain & Cane’s first bottling, created in collaboration with spirits retailer La Maison du Whisky and Velier for their Rum of the World range. This single cask rum expression hails from the Caribbean country of Belize, produced by Travellers Liquors Limited, a rum distillery founded in 1953. What’s rather interesting is that the cask has seen some 9 years of aging in the tropical Caribbean climate, followed by another 5 years and 7 months in Europe’s continental climate. Why did we pick this for Christmas? The rum tastes of Christmas – sweet cola, toasted marshmallows over a fire, Christmas pudding, baking spices, and just enough of a hint of burning petroleum to remind you of the rum’s provenance.
The Malt, Grain & Cane Rum of the World: Belize Rum 2006 is available from the Malt, Grain & Cane online store at the price of S$229. Use promo code MGC30 to enjoy SGD30 off and get a limited edition tote bag, with every two bottles bought*. *One time use only, till 31 Dec 2021, with minimum spend of SGD200.
Brass Lion Cacao Gin.
We’ve always been fans of homegrown brands distilling outfit Brass Lion Gin and artisanal chocolatiers Mr. Bucket Chocolaterie. So we were ecstatic to hear that they’ve collaborated for a product that absolutely represented their approach to craft and sustainability. The Brass Lion Cacao Gin takes spent cacao nibs from Mr. Bucket’s chocolate making, and infuses that into its Singapore Dry Gin. The result is a lusciously rich and full-bodied gin bursting with nutty and earthy chocolate notes that’s punctuated by floral undertones. Brass Lion recommends that the Cacao Gin is best served on the rocks with a slice of orange peel or topped off with ginger beer, but we reckon this makes a fabulous Negroni. We’d even douse some of this over our tiramisu.
The limited-edition Brass Lion Cacao Gin is available from Brass Lion Distillery at a retail price of $48 for a 200ml bottle.
Drinks by the Dram from EC Proof.
When it comes to replicating a bar drinking experience at home, local spirits and bar goods purveyor EC Proof can’t be beat. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a cocktail hound – from the best bar tools to the right glassware – chances are you’ll find it at EC Proof. And if you’re looking to gift a friend who has an adventurous palate when it comes to spirits, you might like to know that EC Proof carries Drinks by the Dram. This is a sample tasting set of 12 drams – there are sets for rum, gin, and whisky – from top-rated producers across the world. For example, the Drinks by the Dram: 12 Drams of Whiskey includes tasting portions of Caol Ila 12YO, Tullamore Dew 14YO, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon, while the Drinks by the Dram: 12 Dram Premium Rum Collection has Veritas Rum, Flor de Caña 12YO, and Hampden Estate 8YO, among others. Not that close to your giftee? There are 5-dram options as well.
Drinks by the Dram tasting sets are available from EC Proof at varying prices.
Gudsht Festive Cocktails.
We can always trust Gudsht to drop some exclusive cocktails for special occasions (such as the ones they did for National Day, or to celebrate Pride Month). This year the homegrown bottled cocktail brand has launched three festive cocktails for Christmas, on the back of a fundraising campaign help celebrate unsung Singaporean heroes over the pandemic. There is the creamy eggnog twist Merry Cinna-Nog, the spirit-forward Papa Noel’s Negroni, and zesty rum-laden Grinch Juice, all of which appeal to different taste preferences. But what we’re really heartened about is how Gudsht will be hosting a range of activities across 12-24 December to raise funds migrant workers, healthcare workers, delivery riders, as well as the non-profit Guide Dogs Singapore (GDS), in its ’12 Days of Giving Back’ initiative.
The three seasonal Christmas cocktails from Gudsht is available from the GudSht online store at the price of S$15 (120ml) each, or S$39 for the Jolly Bundle of three. While stocks last.
Hendrick’s Gin Martini.
Want to serve up a world-class cocktail at your festive dinner party but quite have the mad mixology skills needed? If you’re a huge fan of the classic Martini, the Hendrick’s Gin Martini from William Grant & Sons’ ready-to-pour Batch & Bottle range is what you need. This bottled cocktail was created by Hendrick’s Gin master distiller Lesley Gracie in collaboration with Singapore’s very own cocktail bar Nutmeg & Clove, as part of a world cocktail series. Simply pop the bottle into the freezer to chill – we’d recommend chilling those Martini glasses as well – and simply pour. Flourish with an olive, lemon peel, or cucumber slice too, if needed. How easy is that?
Limited quantities of the Hendrick’s Gin Martini will be available in December 2021 at Nutmeg & Clove, retailing at S$88 a bottle.
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