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The best spirits to gift and enjoy this festive season 2023

Discover our handpicked collection of spirits, each chosen to add a touch of sophistication to your holiday celebrations

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In the spirit of festive cheer and celebratory toasts, we bring a curated selection of exceptional spirits, perfect for gifting or savouring during the festive season. From the indulgent richness of Masons of Yorkshire Espresso Vodka to the sophisticated flair of The Dorchester Old Tom Gin, our collection promises to elevate any festive gathering. Experience the unique collaboration of El Rayo Tequila with artist Alejandra García y Gutiérrez, or the eco-conscious elegance of Sapling Climate Positive Gin. Each spirit we’ve selected not only delights the palate but also tells a story of craftsmanship and tradition.

The best spirits to gift this Christmas selected by Pillow editors

Our Pillow editors have scoured the world of spirits to bring you a handpicked list that is sure to impress any connoisseur or cocktail enthusiast this Christmas. From the timeless American heritage of Michter’s whiskey to the innovative and artistic Renais gin bottle designed by Emma Watson herself, each spirit in our selection has been meticulously tasted and chosen. The limited-edition Disaronno Riserva, with its unique blend of amaretto and Scotch whisky, offers a timeless taste experience. Also featured is the pioneering Axia, a refreshing Greek mastiha that brings a touch of the Mediterranean to your festive celebrations. Each spirit in our collection has been chosen for its exceptional quality, unique character, and the joy it can bring to your festive season. Cheers!

masons of yorkshire espresso vodka
Masons of Yorkshire

Masons of Yorkshire Espresso Vodka

For those who cherish a rich and indulgent tipple, Masons of Yorkshire’s Espresso Vodka stands out as a captivating addition to the festive spirit collection. This exceptional vodka, crafted with the same dedication as their award-winning gin, is a nod to the much-loved Espresso Martini. It features coffee beans sourced from El Salvador, roasted with care in Yorkshire, and vapour-infused to capture their full-bodied silkiness. Each sip unveils a complex, aromatic journey, making it a standout for bold and luxurious Espresso Martinis. Beyond the classic cocktail, it’s equally splendid in a Salted Caramel Martini or savoured neat over ice for a warming winter treat. Personalisation options (available from masonsofyorkshire.com) add a special touch for gifting. Don’t miss their Tea Edition Gin either, blending Yorkshire tea with juniper and spices for a delightfully unique festive concoction.

From £30.95, visit Masons of Yorkshire

Mr Black

Mr Black Coffee Liqueur

Mr Black Coffee Liqueur is the epitome of innovation in the world of spirits, seamlessly marrying specialty-grade Arabica coffee with smooth Australian vodka. Conceived by the creative minds of designer Tom Baker and distiller Philip Moore, this premium cold brew coffee liqueur encapsulates the essence of Australian love for fine drinks and exceptional coffee. Ideal for night owls and coffee aficionados, Mr Black is a staple in mixology, perfect for crafting a sublime Espresso Martini or enjoyed neat over ice. Distilled near Sydney, the liqueur boasts a cold-brew process, ensuring no artificial flavors, just pure, unadulterated coffee. Each bean, selected for its unique profile, undergoes meticulous roasting, unfolding into a rich tapestry of dark chocolate and caramel notes, culminating in a smoothly refined coffee finish. Mr Black’s commitment to quality is evident in every sip – a true celebration of coffee culture and cocktail craftsmanship.

£30, visit Mr Black

El Rayo Tequila

El Rayo Tequila x Alejandra García y Gutiérrez

El Rayo Tequila, a standout for its 100% slow-grown blue agave, marries the art of tequila making with visual artistry in a collaboration with Alejandra García y Gutiérrez. This exclusive series, limited to 500 bottles and 100 art prints on recycled agave paper, captures the vibrant essence of Mexico. Alejandra’s distinctive style, celebrated for its abstract geometric forms and rich colours, now adorns El Rayo’s bottles, offering a visual feast that matches the tequila’s depth and complexity. This partnership, El Rayo’s third with Mexican artists, showcases their commitment to the vibrant cultural landscape of modern Mexico. We adore this tequila not just for its distinctive taste but also for its embodiment of art and culture, making it a representation of modern Mexico’s innovative spirit.

£39.95, visit El Rayo Tequila

Sapling

Sapling Climate Positive Gin

Sapling Climate Positive Gin, a classic London Dry with a twist, offers more than just a refreshing tipple. It’s a gin with a purpose. Each bottle sold is a pledge to the planet, with a tree planted in return. The vibrant blend of juniper, citrus zest, and rosemary not only tantalises the taste buds but also contributes positively to the environment. Sapling’s initiative sees trees planted in diverse UK locations, from London’s fruit orchards to Suffolk’s hazelnut fields, making each bottle a significant step towards offsetting carbon footprints. For those looking to further reduce their environmental impact, Sapling offers eco-friendly 70cl refill pouches. This innovative approach cuts carbon emissions by 25%, and the easy-to-recycle pouches make sustainability both practical and stylish.

£35, visit Sapling

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Renais

Renais Gin Artwork Edition

The Renais Gin Artwork Edition is a masterpiece created by Emma Watson. Each bottle of this limited edition, priced at £60, combines the elegance of Burgundy with the vibrancy of the actor’s creative flair. This award-winning gin, distilled from upcycled French wine grapes, offers a harmonious blend of fresh citrus, white grape, garden herbs, and juniper. It’s a tribute to the terroir of Chablis and Burgundy, capturing the essence of these iconic wine regions in every sip.

£60, visit Renais

Wilson & Morgan

Haddock 2007-20 Wilson & Morgan Sherry Finish Light Peat 46%

A sublime blend of Scottish malt whiskies, Haddock 2007-20 Wilson & Morgan Sherry Finish Light Peat 46% is the result of an exclusive partnership between Wilson & Morgan and renowned whisky retailer Milroy’s. Matured in Sherry Butts and enriched with rich Islay peated single malts, this whisky is further refined in an Oloroso Hogshead for a robust and richly layered experience. The nose presents a captivating blend of honeyed sweetness, subtle wine-like notes, ripe fruits, alongside farmy, camphor, and smoky nuances. On the palate, it offers an intense combination of peat smoke, phenolic and medicinal qualities, perfectly balanced with winey nuttiness, earthy and leathery notes, bitter oranges, and a hint of liquorice. This special bottling is a masterful display of blending and maturation, showcasing the best of traditional Scottish whisky craftsmanship and the distinctive peaty essence of Islay malts.

£55, visit Milroy’s

Michter’s

Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye

A jewel in the crown of American whiskey, Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye hails from the historic distilleries of Kentucky. This rye whiskey is a must-try, perfect for enjoying neat or in a crafted cocktail. It boasts a spicy and peppery flavour, balanced with refreshing orange notes and a sweet backdrop of toffee and butterscotch. The nose is aromatic and invigorating, offering a minty freshness with a savoury twist, leading into a subtly spicy experience. On the palate, it impresses with its smoothness, presenting a delightful interplay of caraway and fennel seed. The finish is satisfyingly dry and spicy, a testament to its high-quality distillation process. This single-barrel rye, with no added colouring, encapsulates the essence of fine American whiskey making, offering a sophisticated and enjoyable tasting experience for whiskey aficionados.

£59.75, visit The Whisky Exchange

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Disaronno

Disaronno Riserva Limited Edition

This exquisite blend from Lombardy harmoniously fuses malt Scotch whisky with the classic amaretto flavours Disaronno is celebrated for. Aged gracefully in vintage wooden Marsala casks, this liqueur presents a symphony of tastes, starting with a sweetly spiced note, mellowing into a vanilla-almond charm, and culminating in a lush fruitiness. The experience is rounded off with a peppery finish, evoking dried fruits and a subtle hint of Madeira. This luxurious and unique iteration of the beloved Disaronno liqueur is a masterpiece best enjoyed neat or over ice, offering a refined tasting journey that marries the best of Italian liqueur craftsmanship with the depth of Scotch whisky.

£212, visit Hedonism Wines

Dorchester Collection

The Dorchester Old Tom Gin

Give the gift of an exclusive gin experience with The Dorchester Old Tom Gin, a bespoke creation handcrafted for the Vesper Bar at The Dorchester. Each bottle of this exquisite gin is a testament to the art of distillation, featuring a wax seal and a hand-signed label, affirming its authenticity and uniqueness. Crafted in small batches of 220 litres by the City of London Distillery, this gin is infused with a selection of carefully chosen botanicals, including juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cassia bark, cardamom, and freshly peeled lemon and orange. The revival of this once-forgotten style of gin was spearheaded by The Dorchester’s renowned bar manager, Giuliano Morandin, who retired in 2022 after having worked at the iconic London hotel for four decades.

£75, visit Dorchester Collection

Upstairs at Trinity

Axia Extra Dry Mastiha

In the heart of the Greek island of Chios, Axia emerges as an innovative mastiha spirit, a vibrant tribute to the age-old resin of the Mastiha tree. This novel spirit, with its distinct ‘Mas-teek-ah’ pronunciation, stands out in the white spirits category, offering a lighter choice with fewer calories than vodka. Elegantly bottled, Master Distiller Maroussa Tschaki skillfully blends tradition and modernity, distilling the sap in copper stills to craft a premium, extra-dry spirit. Axia, meaning ‘value’ in Greek, lives up to its name, delivering a unique, unsweetened taste with just a hint of sugar. Its flavour is a lively blend of citrus and vegetal notes, perfect for sipping neat, on the rocks, or as the base in a cocktail.

£34.24, visit Master of Malt

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