All I want for Christmas… our favourite boozehounds reveal what’s on their wish lists.
Definition: a frequent drinker who is able to consume large quantities while still maintaining social competency.
In part two of our Christmas wish list feature, we ask our favourite movers & shakers in the drinks biz what they are hoping to get from Santa this year and what they’ll be treating their loved ones to. These are the guys we turn to for perfect cocktails every time and those we trust for expert advice when it comes to buying a bottle of the hard stuff.
Head of Spirit and Cocktail Development at Duck & Waffle, Rich Woods is responsible for some of the best cocktails we’ve ever tasted. He’s also recently bought out a great book that will make a lovely crimbo gift for the cocktail shaker in your life – buy it here. Read on for his somewhat hilarious Christmas wishlist….
“Not even sure this exists, but if it doesn’t someone will make a fortune. There’s nothing worse than cold toast – but getting up in the middle of eating breakfast to put a couple of slices in is too frustrating. Taking a wireless toaster to the table, to toast your favourite granary or wheat free – would be epic.”
KitchenAid in Copper
“This has legit been on my list for a few years now. I love a copper accessory but this bugger isn’t cheap. At several hundred pounds, it’s what my parents used to call ‘your main present’. So really not a stocking filler. But hey, a guy can dream right.”
“Love them, I have more food and cookery books then I do booze books. I love delving in and getting inspiration and find a lot of engagement from flavour pairings not usually associated with drinks.”
Whisky brand strategy consultant and the author of new whisky book, ‘The Great Drams of Scotland’ (which is amazing FYI and available here). Looking for a great booze gift? The GreatDrams of Scotland Ultimate Gift Pack includes… a signed copy of The GreatDrams of Scotland, a bottle of a GreatDrams Exclusive Single Cask Ardmore 8 Year Old, a limited edition The Dram Team tasting pack containing 6 of the recommended whiskies from the book and a limited edition The GreatDrams of Scotland tote bag previously only available at the press launch and is available to buy here (SOLD OUT).
This is what Greg will be giving and receiving this year…
Single Cask Single Malt Whisky Advent Calendar
“A daily drop of inspiration and enjoyment from the fine folks at Drinks by the Dram, this advent calendar is superb, I have one myself for this Christmas and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to enjoy and explore a different single cask whisky each day in December? Share the joy online too with the #hashtag #whiskyadvent and see what everyone else thought of their daily dram.”
The Whisky Exchange Baubles
“Baubles? Full of whisky? YES PLEASE! These have just taken Christmas up to eleven in Casa Dillon; not only do they look great, but you get to enjoy a sneaky whisky between turkey-based meals, what’s not to love?“
“There is something special about Aberlour, I often think it is underrated, or at least not spoken about enough in whisky circles. For me, their range shows what can be done with whiskies of different ages and vintages aged in sherry casks, mostly without breaking the bank. The Aberlour A’bunadh in particular is stunning, A’bunadh has a hefty ABV and is bottled in batches, but do not be put off. This is a great value dram that has been matured in first fill sherry casks that packs a punch; a full-bodied palate, meaty, lots of dried, dark Christmas fruits. Scrumptious. In case you were wondering, it is pronounced “ah-boo-na”.I have just run out, so will eagerly look for a A’bunadh shaped package under the Christmas tree come Dec 25th…”
His pre-bottled cocktails are top of our list, his bars are literally some of the best in the whole world, his new restaurant Cub was one of our favourite (and definitely the most yellow) openings of the year and he also happens to be just about the nicest guy ever. He’s also revolutionised the way we make a G&T and for that we are eternally grateful.
Over to you Ryan…
Things Ryan would really like for Christmas as he’s been reaaaaalllly good and promises to be so good that it justifies the ridiculousness of these things. Actually, aside from the Whisky it’s pretty attainable, just things I wouldn’t buy for myself and would love to gratefully receive!
I used to take back bottles for Christmas when no one seemed to care about Japanese whisky. I bought these for about £100 per bottle and they’re now going for 100 times more than that (sad face, but also good for them; they were crazily under-priced). I remember taking back a Hanyu and a Karuizawa and my dad would go about the house getting stuff done (he can’t sit still), periodically coming back for another sip, and one pass he just said “that’s really good”. I’m more of a fan of the bourbon cask ones, and this beauty will definitely taste like Christmas. Pretty please Santa!
Long before Dandelyan and Mondrian (which Tom designed) I was a huge fan of Tom Dixon. Not only for trailblazing the British design scene, but also doing so in such an idiosyncratic manner. It was incredible spending time with him chatting through the development of Dandelyan, and I’m so excited we have pieces by him in the bars. With that in mind, and with a very Christmassy copper colour to add to proceedings, I’d love some of the beautiful home drinkware from him.
Mince pies, large tin of Ortiz anchovies, a whole organic ham, Vintage Port, Blancs de Noirs Champagne, palo cortado sherry, chocolates and a whole wheel of Stichelton in a pretty hamper!
Er Ryan mate, we think that’s more than three things, but we’ll allow it this time.
Huge thanks to these guys for sharing their wish lists.
Read part one here (with Rosie Birkett, Anna Jones, Donal Skehan and John Gregory-Smith) and check back next week for our third and final instalment.