The Coca Cola Christmas ad, Ryan Tubridy's Christmas jumper, a drop in temperatures - Christmas is well and truly on its way. While the festive season brings good stuff like mulled wine and mince pies, it can also bring the stress of Christmas shopping (breathe), but we've done the hard work so you don't have to. Here's the first of our Christmas gift guides with inspiration for gifts filled with love, and by love, we mean food and drink...
Nutshed's Peanut Butter Tasting Box
For the peanut butter lovers in your life, Nutshed has a Christmas Tasting Box and a Peanut Paradise Box with recipes, chocolate and socks. They come with three flavours of your choice and a gold custom-made Nutshed spoon, because your loved one is that fancy. Find them on their website.
Chocolate Bundles from Bean and Goose
Bean and Goose have bundled up some of their slabs, smaller bars, and bags of drinking chocolate for gifts starting at €52.50 and going up to €118.50. Lots include their "hammer of joy", which should be used to bash your slab into bite-sized pieces.
'Fresh from the sea' Sligo Oyster Box
If you know someone with a grá for oysters, who maybe hasn't have the confidence up to now to try them at home, send them a delivery from the Sligo Oyster Experience, which comes with everything they'll need, including Sligo Bay oysters, shallots, lemons, hot sauce, Wildwood barrel aged blackberry balsamic, a shucking knife and instructions on how to open them. There's wine too, with a choice between Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis or Champagne, and prices range from €59 - €100. You can order right up until midnight on Friday 23rd December for next day delivery, so you could even make it your own Christmas day starter. Order here.
Lilliput Food and Drink Hamper
Who doesn't love a really good food hamper, particularly when it's full of Lilliput Stores' charcuterie, condiments you actually want to eat, and that aged balsamic, and we haven't even gotten onto their cheese selection, which is in our opinion one of the best in the country. They're having a hamper market in their Stoneybatter warehouse on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th, where you can taste through the range and make your own, and if you're signed up to ATF Insiders you can get first look (and taste) at all the goods on Friday 16th, with a 10% discount on the night.
Give someone the gift of Builín Blasta's iconic smoked onion mayo this Christmas, in a hamper from the Irish language café and bakery in Galway. They've got five options full of their Irish-made, small batch sauces, chutneys and dressings, and prices start at €29. They deliver nationwide, but advise getting orders in before the 13th December to guarantee delivery for Christmas. See the range here.
Hen's Teeth are creating bespoke hampers this year with wine, nutbutter, rayu, chocolate, candles, and anything else from their shop that you might want to throw in there. They can delivery nationwide and even internationally, but get your orders in by the 14th December to guarantee delivery before Christmas.
Asia Market Hamper
Asia Market have launched a new range of food and drink hampers this year (including Japanese gin, whiskey and sake), but we love the idea of waking up to this sushi making hamper for something a bit different over Christmas. There's only so much turkey and ham a person can eat.
A Beer Selection from Lough Gill Brewery
We recently discovered the unbridled joy of Lough Gill Brewery's pastry sour, at Kodiak in Rathmines, and it might be our new favourite Irish brewery. They do discovery packs online of their IPAs, stouts and sours, including a barrell-aged series and limited releases, and we think this would make a great gift for someone who's adventurous with their beers. Check out their gift packs here.
A Dublin Cocktail Lab Gift Pack
Dublin Cocktail Lab's hot whiskey syrup and mulled wine mix are legendary at this stage, but they've just started importing Whitebox's canned cocktails, from a team including some of the best bartenders in the world (the freezer martini is life). A gift pack with one of each, as well as Dublin Cocktail Lab's hot whiskey syrup and mulled wine mix, will cost you €60, and it can be delivered across Ireland.
Imbibe Coffee Roasters Gift Box
What's better way to spread joy than with the gift and scent of quality, freshly ground coffee, like Imbibe Coffee's Christmas gift boxes for €24 - we're currently drinking their "This Is Not A Christmas Blend" and we approve this message. You can choose whole beans or ground for whatever brewing method your recipient is using, and bags are available in 250g or 1kg, with free shipping on orders over €20. They also give 1% of coffee sales to Women’s Aid, 1% to projects where they import their coffee from, and 1% is shared amongst staff, so you're supporting the good guys to boot.
Brew Box Coffee Selection Box
Selection boxes never disappoint, and as part of their Christmas collection, Brew Box have a coffee selection box, which beats commercial chocolate bars any day. It comes with 50g each of coffee from 12 different roasters, so it's a great way to find some new favourites. Buy it here.
A taste of Killahora Orchards
Young Buck cheese and Killahora's apple icewine is a post-Christmas dinner pairing you won't forget in a hurry, and this year they've launched a 'blossom to bottle' case, including their full range of drinks. They suggest starting with the perry as an aperitif, moving onto cider for the main, and having the apple ice wine and Pom'O (like a brandy) with cheese and dessert. Don't mind if we do. Get one here.
A Personalised Corkscrew from Oui Chef
Everyone needs a good corkscrew, but most contend with using the one they bought in the corner shop that time they were in a bind. Oui Chef is the brand used in restaurants like Aimsir, Dede and Bastible, and their restaurant-quality, premium corkscrews come with free engraving, so they'll know you put the thought in.
Craft Cocktails' Christmas Collection
Craft Cocktails have long been a fridge staple in our homes, and we look forward to the Christmas release every year. Choose from a Yuletide Negroni, Gingerbread Punch or Festive Old-Fashioned, or make up your own selection box. They're available in a two-serve bottle for €12.50, or a seven-serve bottle for €35, and you can find them in over 20 independent retailers around Dublin or online.
Kombucha Brewing Kit from All About Kombucha
If you know someone who's all about their gut health, All About Kombucha's deluxe brewing kit could save them a fortune every year in fizzy, fermented drinks. It comes with a S.C.O.B.Y., starter liquid, loose leaf tea, a cotton tea bag, organic sugar, a swing top bottle and a two-litre kilner jar, as well as instructions to start their kombucha journey. Delivery available nationwide. Buy it here.