Dish of the Day: How to… enjoy the countdown to Christmas
It started out as a fun project by Gin Foundry, now it’s THE highlight in our countdown to Christmas. We’re talking about the lip-smacking, thirst-quenching drink-vent calendars: four exquisitely crafted boxes with discerning drinkers in mind.
First unveiled in London’s Graphic Bar in 2011 as a giant one metre high, one metre wide advent calendar the inaugural ‘Ginvent’ was designed as a one-off. “I’d been looking for an advent calendar for clients and couldn’t find anything suitable. That got me thinking about creating a drinks-based one,” says Olivier Ward of Gin Foundry.
“At the same time I also wanted to make people aware of the sheer number of gins available on the market and it all came together: sequential gin tastings in the countdown to Christmas – doing it as an advent calendar just seemed like a really cool idea,” he says.
He’s not kidding. Each day one of the windows was opened and a full-sized bottle of quality gin (Caorunn, Tanqueray No. TEN, Sloane’s, Whitley Neill, No. 3 – the list goes on), would be revealed, culminating with Twitter tasting notes and a draw to win all 24 gins. Needless to say it was a huge success.
Fast-forward a year and the idea was cut down to size. In a good way we might add. Having teamed up with award-winning spirit bottlers Drinks by the Dram, the Ginvent calendar was packaged up with 24, 3cl. sample sizes of gin, making it a fun but sophisticated gift for gin-lovers. At the same time the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent calendar was launched – same premise, same high quality – just different liquids. Both calendars sold out as soon as they hit the shelves in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and also online at Master of Malt.
This year both gin and whisky calendars have extended their ranges to include more luxxed up versions of the originals. Like its name implies, The Craft Ginvent Calendar features sample sizes of 24 unique products from craft distillers in the UK and beyond, while The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar showcases two dozen 3cl bottles of tippity-top single malt Scotch whisky, bourbons and ryes. Get one while you can – judging from last year, they won’t be around for long.
Prices from £99.95 for The Ginvent Calendar to £249.95 for The Premium Whisky Advent Calendar, available from www.masterofmalt.com, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Ocado, Firebox and many more.
The Cocktail Lovers say…
For a chance to win either a Ginvent or Whisky Advent calendar, see www.thecocktaillovers.com for more details.
This week we’re loving…
Watching the World Class Bartender of the Year competition on the Food Network – it’s the first four-part TV series that puts bar tending firmly in focus. Check it on www.foodnetwork.co.ukchristmas, gin
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