Christmas isn’t for DIY enthusiast. It should be left to the expert.
I once tried to make a Christmas Pudding. And it ended up looking like some ghastly transporter malfunction on Star Trek.
I also had a go at making my own Mince Pie Gin. I thought it couldn’t be that difficult. But it is. I had a nightmare decanting the sodden pastry.
So Ieave it to the specialists. Like Charlotte.
She not only makes Christmas Tree Gin but she puts it in a tin and sells it. Very successfully.
Based in the Cotswolds, Gin In A Tin was the brainwave of Martin Agius, founder of The Gin Pantry adjacent to the Plough Inn, Kelmscott in west Oxfordshire. In partnership with his daughter Charlotte Lyon, “their gins of distinction speak volumes” and are delivered straight to your door and through your letter box every month. Bi-monthly (one tin of gin delivered every other month) and quarterly subscriptions are available. The gins are distilled and bottled in the Cotswolds.
Oxford-born Charlotte graduated from Southampton University and Winchester School of Art with a first class degree in Textiles, Fashion and Fibre. She set up her own PR and graphic design consultancy, moving from textiles into food packaging. She worked mainly with start-up businesses, linking them to household names like The National Trust. She still designs and has started an interiors line for Gin in A Tin with a table light and says:
“Lots of boutiques and interiors shops love our products and the way we showcase the tins as books, but they aren’t licensed to sell alcohol. So, I thought up a way of getting into the shops for some marketing. Gloria The Glorious Gin Tin lamp evolved, and it’s worked. Gloria is available in seventeen colours.”
The first Gin In A Tin was Orange Peel, Nutmeg and All Spice (the Christmas gin) which was followed by Beetroot, Grannie Smith and Dill, Elderflower, Chamomile and Marigold, and Pumpkin, Orange Peel and Apple (an autumn gin). Samphire is a good summer blend. A 50cl tin costs £35. You can also have sloe gin delivered to you as regularly as you desire. By bespoke repeat prescription! The first gin was after all a medicinal tonic.
Other festive experts include the Isle of Skye Misty Mulled Gin, Stockport Distillery and Still Garden in Dublin which make Christmas Cake gin, Edinburgh Distillery, Warner’s, York Distillery and Sacred in Highgate. The Cotswolds Distillery has a Cloudy Christmas Gin. Pud Pud in Wiltshire makes Christmas Cherry Gin. And Tarquin’s in Cornwall makes Black Cherry and Cranberry and Orange Gin.
Chicago’s Koval make Cranberry gin liqueur while Edinburgh’s Kocktail offers pre-mixed RTD Gingerbread Espresso Martinis and Mince Pie Old Fashioneds. Gracity Drinks sells Sixepence Christmas Pudding Liqueur which comes in a pudding bottle complete with holly and icing.
For rum lovers, Black Lines has released Oatnog, using Two Drifters rum.
Kevin Pilley is a former professional cricketer and chief staff writer of PUNCH magazine. His humour, travel, food and drink work appear worldwide, and he has been published in over 800 titles.