We’ve tested the best celebratory gins and liqueurs – and you can pick up the winner in the bargain store
READY for some Christmas cheer?
It’s never been easier, with the supermarkets full of festive gins and liqueurs.
From classic dry flavors to snow globe liqueurs with edible gold flakes, there’s a seasonal sip for every taste.
We asked beverage expert Helena Nicklin of thethreedrinkers.com to taste and rate a range of gins, all of which can be sip slowly over ice or mixed into cocktails.
Here she gives her verdict on the best, with marks out of five.
M&S Spiced Sugar Plum Gin Liqueur, 70cl, £10
A stunning looking Christmas bottle, this Sugar Plum Gin Liqueur sparkles with a seasonal blue and silver theme.
However, the liquor itself lacks freshness with its sweet blueberry flavors.
And it has hints of something that isn’t quite a mince pie.
This requires some more intense flavors to balance out the sugar, but is nice enough to drink over ice.
The Infusionist Gold Flake Clementine Gin Liqueur, 70cl, £9.99, Aldi
WITH bold, ripe, zesty flavors, this Christmassy gin liqueur from Aldi sparkles with glitter and has a glowing bottle – so it’s twice the fun.
Poured pure on ice, it is an absolute treat and its taste is not lost in a crimbo cocktail either.
While simple, it’s effortlessly drinkable.
A guilty pleasure.
Mandarin Gin Liqueur with Gold Flakes, 70cl, £12, Sainsbury’s
THE tangerine flavor is authentic and delicious.
But the label says it contains flavors of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, which are pretty hard to spot.
Easy to drink and it would mix well.
Boost the flavor with a similarly flavored citrus blender or tuck in some fresh ginger and you’re ready for festive parties.
Whitley Neill Festive Edition, Mince Pie Gin, 70cl, £17.99, B&M
WHITLEY Neill makes genuine, brilliant gin and this celebratory bottle does not disappoint.
On the pricier side, it’s proper booze, very gentle on the juniper and delivering mega mince pie vibes with notes of baked apple, juicy sultanas, and candied orange peel.
Great for non-gin lovers too, with a great rounded texture.
Amazing with Indian tonic but you can also drink it on its own.
Hortus glowing clementine winter gin liqueur, 70 cl, €13.99, Lidl
SIMPLE and sweet with a surprisingly refreshing spiciness.
Sipping this gin liqueur is like biting into a ripe clementine.
There’s not much going on in terms of taste, but it does what it says on the tin and would crack in a Christmas cocktail as it could easily withstand more complex ingredients.
The glowing snow scene bottle is also very cute.
Hortus Special Release Christmas Gin, 70cl, £15.99, Lidl
LIDL’s own brand Hortus gives a drier, more classic gin-like drop.
The seasonal special has festive notes of warming cinnamon and holiday herbs and spices.
The liquor is quite aggressive though, so it would be great drunk with a tonic of your choice or mixed into a gin cocktail to smooth it out.
M&S Clementine Light-up Gin Liqueur, 70cl, £10
THE original snow globe gin liqueur has a beautiful bottle that flickers with pretty gold flakes.
It’s super smooth to drink and the clementine flavor is delicious, but it lacks the intensity and freshness of some of its competitors.
Poured over ice it loses some of its charm and gets a little lost when drunk with a blender.
A bottle would make a great pressie as she is so pretty.
The Infusionist Gold Flake Sour Cherry Liqueur, 50cl, £13.99, Aldi
THIS Gin Liqueur is all about the glittering and glowing novel Christmas tree-shaped bottle – but unfortunately not much more.
Unusually for Aldi, the cherry aroma is weak and it tastes very synthetic.
Nothing much happens when you drink it and when you mix it all the flavors disappear in a shower of shimmer.
A fun decorative bottle for the shelf and a fun secret Christmas gift.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/9899335/christmas-gin-liquers-test-lidl-aldi-sainsburys/ We’ve tested the best celebratory gins and liqueurs – and you can pick up the winner in the bargain store