Our (emerging) local food and drink gifts guide for Christmas 2023
These local food and drink gifts should be on your Christmas gift list this year.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that someone special, while at the same time supporting the local economy (and why shouldn’t you be!), then you’ve come to the right place.
We’re rounding up a selection of noteworthy local food and drink gifts from Oxfordshire makers and suppliers, so you won’t be at a loss for something that’s sure to be appreciated.
What are local food and drink gifts?
Within this guide, we have compiled the food and drink products and experiences where the makers or creators are based in Oxfordshire, or a significant proportion of the production process happens within the county.
Some are from independent artisans, and others are from larger retailers and suppliers you may already be familiar with.
Madeira Barrel-Aged Gin by Abingdon Distillery
Abingdon Distillery is a small batch distillery based in Abingdon-on-Thames that creates truly hand-crafted spirits from ethically sourced botanicals and a barrel ageing programme. They’ve been fine-tuning the recipe that would become their signature London Dry gin since 2018.
The third release in their Cask Series, the Madeira Barrel-Aged Gin is their signature London Dry gin aged for a secret length of time in freshly dumped wine casks from the island of Madeira. These casks have previously aged medium-rich dessert wine, taking on the sweet & spicy characteristics of the fortified wines.
The result is a truly complex sipping gin that also bodes well as a banging winter warming negroni cocktail. Packed full of orange notes and Christmas spices, it also makes a mean spiced martini.
£39.50 | abingdondistillery.com
Honey Pralines Chocolate by Aurosó Chocolate
Catrin Burr launched Aurosó Chocolate in 2020. Through her journey to a healthier lifestyle, Catrin felt frustrated at the lack of options for filled chocolates that were reduced sugar and preservative-free. She set out to make a product that was delicious and pure with the sustainability credentials to match.
And that’s what you get in these individual chocolates, filled with rich Aurosó hazelnut praline, available in boxes of 6, 12 and 24. Caramelized honey (from Honeys of Henley), Tonda Gentile Piedmont hazelnuts and Marcona almonds are blended with 100% RaiseTrade Chocolat Madagascar to create a rich and creamy praline paste that is then enrobed in 90% RaiseTrade Chocolat Madagascar.
From £10.00 to £38.00 | aurosochocolate.com
Blanc de Noirs 2015 by Oaken Grove Vineyard
Located on the outskirts of Henley-on-Thames, Oaken Grove is a family-run Vineyard set on 7 acres of beautiful countryside, producing gorgeous English wines. Oaken Grove worked with us to find the perfect pairing for the Honey Pralines Chocolate (above). Their beautiful sparkling Blanc de Noirs 2015 vintage was the favourite combination.
It has a delightful lemon gold hue, with delicate aromas of blossom and lime balanced with bold flavours of cherry, yellow pear and green apple. A creamy textured mousse with a touch of sweetness. Expect a long finish of toasty oak and a hint of smoke. Try it with smoked salmon, scallops or a charcuterie board.
£30.00 | oakengrovevineyard.co.uk
Oak Aged Sloe Negroni by The Cocktail Society
Launched during the pandemic, The Cocktail Society is an Oxford-based cocktail delivery and subscription box service that recently received two awards at the world’s biggest food and drinks awards; The Great Taste Awards – one of which was for the Oak Aged Sloe Negroni.
This is a stunning cocktail that lets the ingredients sing. The bittersweet flavours of the Negroni are supercharged with Chase Oak-Aged Sloe Gin, Campari and Antica Formula Vermouth. It’s all the good stuff from a Negroni made better.
£28.00 | thecocktailsociety.uk
Santa Isabel “Half Moon” Limited Edition Coffee by Colombia Coffee Roasters
Colombia Coffee Roasters are speciality single-origin coffee roasters, born and based in Oxford. They are part of a generation of coffee growers in Colombia with a strong focus on delivering high-quality coffee and education whilst supporting Fair Trade conditions to ensure their coffee is sustainable and ethical.
Roasted in Oxford, with notes of green apple, chocolate, orange, the limited-edition Santa Isabel “Half Moon” coffee is the perfect coffee for cold days. This beautiful 100% Arabica coffee comes from Cesar, Colombia and is a brand new addition to the family at Colombia Coffee Roasters.
From £16.45 to £44.95 | colombiacoffeeroasters.co.uk
Single Estate Vodka by Wood Brothers Distilling Co.
Located just outside of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Wood Bros Distilling Co. was created by brothers Ed and Charlie to combine their love for the land as 6th generation family farmers with a desire to use their homegrown products and stone granary barns to create single estate spirits.
Distilled in Oxfordshire, the Single Estate Vodka was the first spirit to come off the still at the Wood Brothers distillery. This remarkably smooth vodka has flavour characteristics of caramel, vanilla, honey and a hint of pepper. To be sipped over ice or mixed into a delicious and sophisticated martini.
£32.00 | woodbrosdistilling.com
Craft Gin Making by Rachel Hicks and Andrew Parsons
Rachel Hicks and Andrew Parsons were life-long gin drinkers that got a boutique gin inspiration on their wedding anniversary. From their distillery in the beautiful, quintessentially Oxfordshire English countryside, they produce the award-winning Sky Wave Gins in small batches of never more than 450 bottles at a time.
Their book, Craft Gin Making, is a detailed guide to entering the world of gin production. For beginners and experienced producers alike, it offers key insights and practical advice on what you need to get started and how to progress in this fascinating and growing craft. It covers both distilling and cold compounding, providing advice on equipment and detailing step-by-step processes whilst discussing a wide variety of gin production issues.
Perfect for any gin enthusiast – especially those that prefer their gin already distilled!
£14.99 | skywavegin.com
Craft Gin Making by Rachel Hicks and Andrew Parsons
Inspired by the high-spirited Mr Harry Hobbs – founder of Hobbs and Sons (now Hobbs of Henley) and publican of The Ship Hotel – Mr Hobbs Gin was launched in 2017 by Jonnie and Suzy Hobbs to give people the most enjoyable way to “mess about on the river” whether it is in a small rowing boat or on one of their prestigious luxury river cruisers.
Made with Winslow Plums and a blend of traditional Christmas spices including Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon, and Star Anise, their Spiced Plum Liqueur is the perfect drink to curl up with and enjoy in front of the fire in those colder months. This liqueur is delicious served all on its own but is also a fantastic accompaniment to a glass of Fizz – just perfect for the festive period.
£25.00 | mrhobbsgin.co.uk