The Gin Bandits
Aldi - Make Christmas Amazing for Everyone
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
The views in this post have not been influenced by anyone at Aldi UK. We were invited to the press event and the opinions are our own.
This morning we had the pleasure of being invited to the press launch of Aldi’s Christmas Showcase at the amazing Sophie’s Restaurant in Soho, London. It felt strange being greeted with a glass of their multi award-winning Veuve Monsigny Champagne at 09:30am, but hey-ho, it was a Christmas event after all, so why not.
The event was a chance for Aldi to showcase everything they will have on offer for this year’s big day, so it was a great opportunity for us to see, not only the alcohol range, but also some of the amazing food that is going to be available in the run up to Christmas. Being huge foodies, some of the standout goodies were some beautiful looking beef rib joints being cooked in the kitchen of Sophie's, some lovely racks of lamb, whole fillets of beef and their Specially Selected Lobster tails in Roasted Garlic or Thermidor Butter. A rumour has it, they’ll also have whole Salmon’s this year.
Anyway, as impressed as we were with the delicious food, we were there for the booze, specifically the gin and the wine. We have reviewed Aldi’s Haysmith’s London Dry on our Instagram page in the past, and for us at £14.99, you’re getting a good quality gin at 40% ABV for an amazing price. Check out our mini-review HERE. What we learned today is the London Dry, along with their Oriental Spiced Gin, are distilled by Masons of Yorkshire, which any gin fan knows, make a great gin. The Oriental Spiced gin was very impressive, and again, comes in at just £14.99.
This year’s festivities see Aldi debut their gifting range with the release of their Luxury Gin Christmas Crackers, which are priced at £9.99, alongside a Gin Selection Box, which is priced at £14.99. Both go on sale on 1st November. The 8th November also debuts Aldi’s first ever Gin Advent Calendar. Each Calendar comes boxed in a large Christmas Cracker design, and for £69.99 you’ll get 24 miniature bottles of Haysmith’s Gin inside.
Rhubarb and Ginger
Seville Orange and Persian Lime
Raspberry & Redcurrant Pink Gin
Spiced Plum and Clementine
If you get the chance, make sure you get your hands on a bottle or two of their Ballycastle Cream Liqueurs. This year sees the return of the Ballycastle White Chocolate Cream and the Salted Caramel Cream, but the addition of the new Chocolate Clementine, and our favourite, the Mint Chocolate offers a real festive treat at £6.99 for a 70cl bottle. These were all amazing and come highly recommended.
As mentioned, we were there for the early session, but we couldn’t leave without trying the cocktail masterclass with none other than Pritesh Moody. Pritesh has created some outstanding cocktails using the Aldi range, but it was the Caramel Rum and Festive Fun that put a smile on our face.
To check out all Pritesh’s creations, see the recipes below.
Jack Frost Colada (serves 1)
40ml Specially Selected Irish Cream (£7.25/70cl), or, for those looking for something a little more extra, Ballycastle White Chocolate Cream Liqueur
20ml Cassario Black Spiced Rum
50ml coconut milk
50ml pineapple juice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Method: Shake all ingredients together with cubed ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a sprinkling of nutmeg.
Hot Holiday Punch (serves 2)
100ml Haysmith’s London Dry Gin (£14.99/70cl). Easy on the alcohol? Opt for Haysmith’s 0% Rhubarb and Ginger Spirit Drink (£9.99/70cl)
1x Specially Selected Lemon & Ginger teabag
150ml apple juice
50ml lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 orange (for garnish)
1 lemon (for garnish)
Method: Bring all ingredients together in a pan, cover, and bring to the gentlest of simmers (do not let it boil). Stir occasionally to ensure the sugar has dissolved. Around 7 minutes should do. Once the flavour is bright and aromatic, strain out the cinnamon and cloves and pour into a tumbler or teacup. Garnish with a slice of orange and lemon.
Caramel, Rum and Festive Fun! (serves 2)
For the whipped coffee:
2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp boiling water
For the remainder:
30ml Cassario Black Spiced Rum
70ml Ballycastle Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur (£6.99/70cl)
Moser Roth Luxury Dark Chocolate (for garnish)
Method: Grab the instant coffee, sugar and water. Either hand whisk or use an electric mixer until the texture is light and fluffy. It takes approximately 2-3 minutes with electric and slightly longer by hand. Pour the Cassario Black Spiced Rum and the Ballycastle Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur into an ice-filled shaker and shake until chilled. Pour into two martini glasses and gently spoon the whipped coffee mix on top. Dust with a grating of dark chocolate.
Christmas Cosmo (serves 1)
50ml The Infusionist Snow Globe Clementine Gin Liqueur
25ml Cranberry juice
25ml Lime juice
75ml Costellore Prosecco Spumante DOC
1 Orange (for garnish)
Method: Set the prosecco aside and shake the other ingredients with ice. Strain into a prosecco glass. Top with prosecco! Garnish with an orange peel twist.
Winter Spiced Martini (serves 1)
50ml The Infusionist Snow Globe Blackberry Gin Liqueur
35ml Cloudy apple juice
15ml Lemon juice
¼ tsp Specially Selected Plum and Apple Chutney
Sprig of thyme (for garnish)
Method: Shake all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Fine strain the liquid into a martini glass using a tea strainer. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
A Massive thank you Aldi for the invite. It’s only October, but dare we say? It’s beginning to look a lot like…………….