Food lovers of the world unite – ’tis the season and there’s plenty of gifting opportunities and flavoursome inspiration around to warm the cockles and brighten up the prezzie opening festivities on Christmas morning. So before you head out to join the shopping fray, check out our picks of seven great Christmas Stocking Fillers for the food and drink fans in your life!
Classic Irish Whiskies
The smell and taste of the pure drop is synonymous with the festive season, be it in traditional cakes and puddings, or meeting with pals in the lead up to the big day, over a Hot Toddy or two in one of the city’s select bars and saloons. When it comes to gifting some nice new Irish whiskeys this Christmas, we’re pretty confident that at least two recent Irish releases are likely to rank highly on the lists of spirit lovers everywhere.
As big fans of Slane Whiskey, we were delighted to see the arrival of Extra Sherry Wood earlier this year. Expertly crafted on the banks of the Boyne under the creative direction of Distillery Manager and Master Distiller Dr Gearóid Cahill and his team, the new release is bottled at a robust 45% ABV, and matured using their signature ‘Triple Casked’ method. This entails using virgin, seasoned and sherry barrels, and what better time of year to savour the enhanced influence of Olorosso Sherry Casks which intensifies the notes of dried dark fruits and baking spice with hints of chocolate? @SlaneWhiskey
Meanwhile, the Gold Spot release to celebrate the 15oth birthday of Mitchell’s has been described by Katherine Condon of Irish Distillers as ‘a liquid time capsule with the wine-driven casks treading a beautiful balance of tradition and innovation’. This exquisite golden elixir can be ordered online at spotwhiskey.com
Mince Pies & Vegan Nut Roasts
To our minds, nothing evokes the taste of the season quite like a mouthful of hot mince pies bursting with flavour, and at this time of year, there’s plenty to enjoy from the city’s bakeries. With offerings from the likes of Queen of Tarts and the Pepper Pot Bakery, Dubliners are spoiled for choice, but those looking for or a yuletide treat with no added sugar, will find it hard to beat the mince pies at Blazing Salads.
Based on an old family recipe, their signature slow-cooked seasonal fruit mix is enriched with unpasteurised mugi barley miso overlain with mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Each pie is set on a base of organic wholemeal spelt flour and finished with an almond topping. They also do a stunning vegan roast, and both are available to order in time for collection before Christmas.
Our old pals Poachers have just launched a new premium gift box, featuring five award winning tonics and mixers that make for a nice gift or addition to any festive drinks cabinet. If you’re planning on breaking out your inner cocktail maker this Christmas, the ‘Poachers Serves’ section on their website is well worth checking out for some inspirational tasty tipples.
Festive Jams & Preserves
The beautifully designed inaugural Folláin Christmas Gift Box was a huge hit last year, and this year their seasonal bounty comes with an added festive bonus that includes an outstanding new Caramel with Irish Cream Liqueur Sauce offering. Made with lush Madagascan Vanilla, Dates and Irish cream liqueur, this tasty delight contains delicious tones of toffee and caramel, wrapped in a gorgeous, velvety texture.
The Folláin Christmas Gift Box also boasts such delights as warming Winter Spiced Rhubarb Jam, Spiced Apple Chutney and a fab Cranberry Jam designed to add an indulgent kick to Christmas dinner, as well as two limited edition Folláin serving spoons, for €30. Meanwhile, the innovative Irish makers have also launched a beautifully designed 12 Days of Christmas gift box, which comes jammed with a surprise mini pot of Folláin preserves hidden behind a seasonally illustrated window for each day of the twelve days. It comes with a gorgeous tote bag and costs €13.99. In keeping with the spirit of giving that is the hallmark of the festive season, Folláin are generously donating 50% of all of their online Christmas sales between now and the end of the year. Support if you can!
Winter Beers ‘n Cheers
Beer and IPA lovers are sure to enjoy the prospect of sprucing up their glassware collection at Rascals Brewing Company, as the Teku glass range makes a welcome return to the shelves there. Also on offer is a stellar selection of brews and specialty ales including Space Hopper and Social Hops, with full and mixed cases available.
We’re loving the look of the Mini Christmas Hatbox (€45) from the Lismore Food Company. The colourful food hamper comes packed with goodies such as Christmas Morning Marmalade, Lismore Brandy Butter, and a stunning St Nicholas Christmas Pudding.
In addition to a fine range of seasonal hampers, there’s also a beautifully designed new Lismore Apron, perfect for kitchen hands charged with rustling up the all the trimmings, as well as a tempting range of tea caddies inspired by Augustus Pugin.
Those looking to add an international flavour to their seasonal proceedings this year, will find an impressive variety of delicious goodies at A Taste of Spain. Potential options for stocking fillers at Teresa Calvo‘s gourmet shops include a terrific selection of pottery, wines, olives, oils and meats, with a fine array of confectionery also on offer.
Sweet treats include beautiful Chocolate and Whisky Turron and a delicious assortment of typical Spanish Christmas sweets from La Confitera.
Capel Street and Camden Street