Not everyone drinks alcohol, and at this time of year a non-alcoholic Christmas hamper can make a wonderful gift. In fact, in these lockdown times, we’ve even seen businesses trade their traditional client Christmas lunches for a packed hamper. We think it’s a great idea.
While we don’t sell full hampers at REAL, we regularly work with a selection of companies that we really love and appreciate. So here are a few ideas for how you might fill your non-alcoholic Christmas hamper and bring some cheer to your sober-curious friends.
Non-alcoholic Christmas hamper drinks
A non-alcoholic Champagne alternative
It goes without saying that we think the finest non-alcoholic wine alternative on the market in the UK is REAL. But don’t just take our word for it. This year we won awards for our Royal Flush (an exquisite alternative to a sparkling wine or Champagne), and we’ve had wine writers extolling our virtues in blog posts. As far as celebratory drinks for non-drinkers go, things get REAL when you’ve got a glass of Royal Flush in your hand.
A premium non-alcoholic lager
If you’d like to pop some alcohol-free beer into your non-alcoholic Christmas hamper, we are continuously amazed by the work that Luke Boase and his team are doing over at Lucky Saint. Believe us, we’ve tried a LOT of non-alcoholic lagers, and none are quite as crisp and refreshing as this one. It has been a staple part of our Christmas celebrations for the past two years. We can’t recommend Lucky Saint highly enough.
Tasty experimental non-alcoholic cocktail mixers
This year we’ve done some delicious work with several inspiring mixer drinks. If you’re putting together a non-alcoholic Christmas hamper for someone with an adventurous spirit, we recommend Everleaf, Nonsuch and Mother Root. Each brings something special to your glass, and we’ve worked up some really interesting mixes with their founders, all of which you can find on our non-alcoholic cocktail recipes page.
Non-alcoholic Christmas hamper – artisanal foods we love
Chiltern Charcuterie Port & Garlic Salami
This hand-cured pork is cured with port, garlic and pepper and hung for four weeks to develop a subtle and quite unique flavour. It’s made in the Chiltern Hills, so it’s an ideal pairing with our Royal Flush.
Sinodun Hill Cheese
The yoghurty flavour of this South Oxfordshire cheese is complemented by a delicate, almost red-fruit note from the wrinkly, golden coloured rind. The texture of the paste is pleasantly light, almost whipped. It pairs exquisitely with our Dry Dragon, the citrusy notes of the drink really cutting through the fermented cheese texture. Creamy heaven.
Paiarrop Date and Almond Wheel
These small fruit wheels from Paiarrop are made only using two ingredients: pressed whole pitted Deglet Nour dates and Marcona almonds. The Marcona almonds are the very best that Mediterranean Spain produces: moist, and rich in oil for extra flavour. Serve them with a glass of Royal Flush to bring out the rich fruitiness in both the food and the drink, or as part of a Christmas cheese board.
All kinds of Belazu
We’re big fans of all things Belazu. If you haven’t already, order yourself some of their extra jumbo Nocellara olives. Hailing from Trapani, Sicily, they are cured for just 10 days using the Castelvetrano method. It is a natural process that means that they retain their vivid lush green colour and firm al dente texture. A beautiful olive.
Vibrant, punchy oil with noticeable complex grassy herbal flavours, accompanied with an unusual lack of bitterness and a velvety character, followed by a slightly peppery finish, the Belazu Verdemanda uses Arbequina olives, which are picked prior to the general harvest. Whoever receives your non-alcoholic Christmas hamper is going to be cooking very well indeed for the next few months.
For our fellow fermentation fans, a non-alcoholic Christmas hamper would not be complete without some top-quality kimchi. We’re huge fans of Lily Hirasawa’s Yumchi, which is prepared in London. Made with local ingredients, it’s as spicy as you like, packing a punch strong enough to knock you from this side of Christmas into the new year.
Wild Garlic Tofu Fillets
We discovered Taifun’s Wild Garlic Tofu Fillets when we were looking for ways to pair our drinks with vegan food. We had a fun afternoon trying a table’s worth of delights, but few matched up with this discovery. It pairs wonderfully with our Dry Dragon, with that citrusy wild garlic taste intertwining so wonderfully with our fermented green tea – make sure you’ve added a 750ml bottle to your hamper while you’re at it.
A Restaurant Gift Card
In these difficult times, a gift voucher to be used at a restaurant when lockdown has ended is a special gift that supports a struggling industry and guarantees a slice of deliciousness at some point in the future. We work closely with The Clove Club, for example, who are currently offering monetary gift vouchers on their website. It’s worth checking to see if your favourite eatery is doing the same.