This page was updated in December 2020.
For celebrations or simple surprises, a boozy gift can really add to an occasion, and it needn’t be a last-minute buy or a lonely bottle of plonk from the back of your cupboard.
How about a speciality vodka flavoured with douglas fir needles, gin infused with British sea buckthorn, or even a 19th century Italian tonic liqueur?
You’re not limited to bottles. Spreadable rum can add punchy flavour to a piece of toast, or, if it’s a cocktail-lover you’re buying for, add a final flourish to a complex concoction with special maraschino cherries.
This collection of alcohol gifts has been tried and tested by the BBC Good Food team, and starts from under £10.
So whether you’re after award-winning spirits from British distilleries, an unusual alcohol gift for the more adventurous, or a stunning bottle of wine to pair with food, put a smile on someone’s face with the help of our gift guide.
Want more inspiration? Here’s our home bar ideas for building your own, plus we’ve found the best stores to buy wine online and the best beer subscriptions available in the UK. Looking for a personalised gift idea? Put together a customised My BBC Good Food cookbook filled with your favourite cocktails and other recipes, or treat a loved one to one of our online cookery courses.
Unusual alcohol gifts
Damsons in gin for cheese, Fine Cheese Company
- Available from Fine Cheese Company (£8.50)
These little boozy damsons are sweet and tart, and pair well with mild creamy cheeses like Wigmore, Vacherin Mont d’Or and Brillat Savarin.
Forman & Field smoke & bubbles box
- Available from Forman & Field (£56.95)
Champagne and smoked salmon; it’s a classic pairing that would make an indulgent boozy gift. This gift set from Forman & Field includes its deliciously delicate yet meaty, grade-one London cure smoked salmon with a bottle of bubbly.
Starlino maraschino cherries
For anyone who loves a cocktail flourish, Starlino cherries are a lovely sweet-and-savoury finishing touch. Maraschino cherries are matured in marasca juices for two months, before resting for a week. Put them on a cocktail stick and simply rest them on top of your glass.
Maxwell Williams vino stemless wine glasses – set of six
This set of six unusual wine glasses is a contemporary take on the traditional slim-stemmed design. The glasses have the classic curves with a stable base, so not only can the wine breathe, but they double up as elegant water glasses.
Best bottles to give as boozy gifts
Plantation pineapple rum
For this particular addition to the Plantation collection, the rinds of Queen Victoria pineapples are steeped in white rum for a week, distilled and combined with dark rum that’s been infused with pineapple flesh for three months. Delicious.
Sea buckthorn gin
- Available from Adnams (£29.99)
You will find sea buckthorn growing wild off the east coastlines of Britain. When its seeds are crushed, they release strong tropical fruit aromas. This is a fruity seasonal gin that’s a real taste of summer.
Moorland Spirits Co douglas fir flavoured vodka
Hailing from the remote part of Northumberland, The Moorland Spirit Co is best known for its gin. This one is flavoured with douglas fir tips and is a real gem, with a clean nose and citrus undertone.
Award-winning Hepple Gin was created to celebrate the juniper berry, and this was rated as best English gin by the BBC Good Food team. The distilling process for Hepple takes five times longer than conventional gin, so this is the product of careful, expert distillation.
The product of a collaboration between Dutch producer De Kuyper and bartender Salvatore Calabrese, Acqua Bianca liqueur combines a trio of citrus flavours, including lemons from the Amalfi Coast.
- Available from Master of Malt (£20.63)
Created in 19th century Italy, Averna combines 33 different herbs and spices, including cinnamon, to create a warming tonic liqueur.
More bottles to choose from
Isle of Harris Gin
- Available from harrisdistillery.com (£37)
Distilled in the blustery Outer Hebrides, this gin has a mild marine tang that comes from sugar kelp – one of its botanicals. It’s not easy to find, so will be highly appreciated by any gin fiend.
Suntory Whisky Toki blended Japanese whisky
- Available from The Whisky Exchange (£31.95)
Japanese whisky is similar to Scotch, but with a lighter pace. Blended from Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita whiskies, this works well served in a highball with soda.
Bird in Hand sparkling pinot noir 2017 Australia
Pale pink, sparkling, and made in the Adelaide Hills from pinot noir, this stylish bottle is for a fizz-loving friend.
Altos Las Hormigas malbec tradición 2016/17 Argentina
- Available from Waitrose & Partners (£11.99)
Malbec remains hugely popular, and the wine in this bottle is as good as the label – deep and dark with wafts of violet and pepper, but also an unusual elegance.
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This review was last updated in December 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.