Top 11 local tipples – cheers!
Time to stock up your fridges and cellars! Whether you're buying for others or yourself (hey, you deserve it), you can't go wrong with these 11 divine drinks for Christmas and beyond.
Never mind buying presents, the most festive fun comes from getting the Christmas booze in, we reckon. We’ve got a surprisingly large number of top quality local alcohol makers in Suffolk & Cambs (course we do, we know how to have a good time in this area!). We’ve picked our 11 festive favourite tipples, ideal gifts for the boozehounds in your life or for stocking up your own drinks cabinet. Chin chin!
This Bury St Edmunds-based business makes delectable cocktails in beautiful bottles (perfect for slipping into a stocking). The cocktails are bar quality thanks to the team’s background in the hospitality industry and flavours include all the favourites like Pornstar Martini, Amaretto Sour, Cosmopolitan and Espresso Martini.
Suffolk Distillery based in Glemsford combine two of my favourite things… alcohol and sweet flavours. Take their Salted Caramel Vodka for example. I can’t imagine anything nicer than a cocktail make from this delectable mixture (actually just pass it to me neat!). Master distiller and chemist Gary also makes amazing gins including mandarin and cranberry gin, strawberry and cucumber gin and rhubarb gin. Delish!
Know someone who loves gin (even before it became cool?). Then they’ll be delighted to receive an alcohol-based experiential gift this Christmas from Cambridge Dry Gin, who have a laboratory and tasting room with everything from interactive molecular cocktail making to make your own gin classes. Perfect for a rule of six-style outing.
Turn up at your Christmas Day destination and give your host one of Suffolk-based brewery Adnams’ awesome gift collections and you’ll start off on a very merry note. Any uneaten brussels or slightly risqué jokes after a few drinks will all be forgiven! We particularly love the Gin-dulgence gift set – any fun play-on-words like that and we’re on board.
Craft beer is as popular as ever, and any enthusiast worth his hops will be more than happy to work through Bungay-based St Peter’s Brewery’s beers on Christmas Day. The range includes Indian and Stateside pale ales, cream stout, golden ale, alcohol free, bitter, pilsner, winter ale, citrus beer… you get the picture. Taxi please!
For such a small distillery, Jake’s Gin in Chrishall packs quite the punch, having come second in the 2019 Gin Guide Awards! The small batch gin is made by a family in a bespoke copper still who love mother’s ruin and named their successful product after their spaniel. Small, but perfectly formed, exactly the sort of business we love here at Muddy!
From one of Muddy’s favourite local drinks brands, Pinkster Gin, comes this adorable and delicious gin liqueur, Hedgepig, that uses local fruit from Cambridgeshire. Any gin lovers will be very happy to find a bottle at the bottom of their stocking. Cambridge Gage for me please, £16.
“Oh what a fine French Sauvignon that is,” your guests will say as they quaff back glasses of Wyken Vineyard’s Bacchus wine. “Ah ha, that’s where you’re wrong my friend, this wine is from Stanton in Suffolk!” you can smugly reply. That’s how good the wine is from this delightful Suffolk vineyard, which produces over 12,000 bottles a year. Bacchus has won English Wine of the Year and East Anglian Wine of the Year twice. Plus, they produce sparkling Moonshine and Rose and Good Dog ale. Make sure you go to the shop itself to buy it. The store is a heavenly place to peruse with stylish homewares, crafts and clothes, plus there’s the incredible Leaping Hare restaurant on site too!
How stylish is this bottle? It’s from Cambridgeshire-based gin producers Roundwood, which is distilled in a renovated farm building near Huntingdon. Both the bottle and the flavours are inspired by the local woodland on the estate, with botanicals including fresh, fruity mix of peppery juniper, coriander seeds, elderberry and angelica root. Gift this to a interiors lover and it will have pride of place in the drinks display!
Linton’s Wylde Sky’s latest releases are a malty Amber Ale and a smooth Coffee Stout – both toasty, warming and perfect for the festive season. The Coffee Stout is a real local collaboration as the coffee notes come from local roaster The Brew Project and the ale is used in The Kitsch Hen’s stout and ale pies and The Linton Kitchen’s chocolate stout cake. Buy both in the Winter Wonders Beer Box, £27.50.
The Copper Crew is a brand new local business for 2020 and they source the very best wines and serve them in cool looking cans! Yes you did read that correctly – wine in a can. The brilliant thing about these cans is that they’re recyclable and have a lower carbon footprint than heavy wine bottles, plus they can be enjoyed on the go (shove one in your pocket for a Boxing Day walk) and they can be chilled in next to no time. This start-up currently has a Rose, Chenin Blanc and Merlot to choose from and you can buy all three together in a gift box with a Christmas tasting card for £12.50.