Well, the big day is almost here, and it goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to sinking a beverage or six with my loved ones in the next few days! There are so many festive choices to go with – Prosecco on Christmas morning is traditional for us, I love a bit of mulled wine and of course the Baileys makes an appearance on a fairly frequent basis this time of year. But we all know my real love is gin, so how do you keep things festive without forgoing your favourite tipple?
Well, as it turns out, really easily! There are oodles of Christmas themed gins on the market thanks to that big old boom in popularity it’s had over the last few years, and I had always planned on making sure I tried one of them out especially for the blog – oh, the trials us poor bloggers have to go through, ay?? But I quickly realised that was not going to be an easy task. There were SO MANY of them to choose from, and we all know how much I struggle with decision making, and I was starting to find the (completely made up) pressure of picking the right one out of all my favorite distillers more than a little overwhelming, so almost gave up on the idea altogether! Luckily though, as it has done so many times before, Aldi stepped in to save the day!
One night a couple of months ago I got an excited phone call from my sister who had popped over the road to our local store – ‘The Christmas Special Buys are in!!’ Obviously, like any self respecting gin fan would, I grabbed my coat and hot footed it over there! True to her word, there was a delectable range of new gins on offer, and of course I spent around 1 hour longer than necessary picking one out, and it just so happened that gin turned out to be the perfect festive drink, so I better get a wriggle on and tell you all about it before Christmas is long gone and this post becomes a tiny bit irrelevant…..
The Expert’s Description…
“Smooth, clean and light refreshing gin with warm spiced notes and rich plum, followed by a sweet clementine finish.”
The Layman’s Description…
Well, normally the point of these posts is to help non-experienced gin drinkers like me decipher the sometimes intimidating and occasionally pretentious sounding descriptions that commonly come with a new bottle – in this case though, Aldi have it pretty bang on! Costing just £13.99 I was not expecting amazing things from this gin, but I have to say it has quickly become a favourite and my go to right now to sip on while wrapping gifts or cooking something Christmassy. I love that, unlike many of the other more fruity counterparts on the market, it is a clear, classic gin rather than a syrupy liqueur, but that doesn’t mean those flavours aren’t apparent. The spice is nicely subtle, so doesn’t have the slightly overpowering, Yankee Candle, faux cinnamon aroma that some Christmas editions can have, and what surprised me the most is how clearly that clementine flavour came through at the end. It is surprisingly sweet, but not sickly, though it may be a bit much for traditionalists I guess.
How to drink it…
I’ve gone a bit rogue with this month’s Ginspiration. I normally make a point of staying loyal to their pairing recommendations – Aldi recommend drinking this with soda water, slices of plum and a sprig of rosemary – and I fully intend to give that a go at some point as it sounds delicious. But I just couldn’t resist trying it with Fever-Tree’s Limited Edition Clementine & Cinnamon tonic. I mean come on, how could I not? It’s the perfect accompaniment for those lovely festive flavours, and I added even more tang with a wedge of fresh orange – delicious. Side note – I love this tonic so much that I happily drink it on it’s own. I’ve been trying to cut down on mid week drinking (erm, festive season aside…) and this has become my favourite way to con myself into thinking I’m drinking gin! It won’t be around long though so keep an eye out in your local Supermarket and stock up while you can!
So, in summary, I can’t recommend this gin enough if you’re a fan of strong, sweet flavours. After buying my first bottle I feared it had sold out and had started to ration it, but to my joy I spotted a few more a couple of weeks ago and am not ashamed to say I squealed out loud and pretty much snatched them off the shelf before anyone else could get their mitts on them! Don’t get between me and my gin – I am not joking! If you’ve missed out in store, you can actually order this online too – Aldi have a 6 bottle minimum for online orders, however there are lots of other delicious tipples you could add, and if not you could ask your nearest and dearest to go in on a shared order – it is definitely worth the extra effort!
Happy Christmas drinking, everyone!