Christmas is the only time of year when mainstream society not only green lights drinking every day, but competes to see who does it better.
Not that we’re complaining - here at ES Best, we take the phrase ‘eat, drink and be merry’ as a sacred decree.
The best way to live by this, we’ve found, is by way of a boozy advent calendar. For fans of juniper-spiked spirits, there’s only really one choice: a gin advent calendar.
They offer a great opportunity to taste test new and rare varieties without splashing out on an entire bottle and usually come with tasting notes and serving suggestions to help you get the most from your pour. And there’s no worry about being leathered every night either - measures are typically capped at 30ml so you can sip, savour and discover without overdoing it.
A great gin advent calendar also widens your horizons, showing you the charms of smaller distilleries, artisan producers and craft tipples that you may never come across.
Every year, there are more to choose from than the last. To make shopping for them that bit easier and to help you check one more thing off your to-do list, we’ve gathered the best options below.
Shop now and prepare to gin-le all the way to Christmas.
Craft Gin Club The Very Merry Gin Calendar
It's 2021 and Craft Gin Club is back with another juniper-packed calendar that will have you gin-jling all the way to Christmas Day. Like its predecessors, this box hides 25 varities of the good stuff with bonus content from CGC ambassador Philip Schofield when you scan each window's QR codes. There are new tipples to enjoy as well as plenty of old favourites.
Buy now £84.96, Craft Gin Club
That Boutique-y Gin Advent Calendar
Gin-uine fans of the tasty spirit will go wild for this advent calendar from That Boutique-y Gin Company, created in partnership with Drinks by the Dram.
Now a favourite on all alternative advent calendar line-ups, this year’s compilation serves up 24 wax-sealed 30ml drams of gin, from festive chocolate orange gin to Moonshot Gin. Prepare the ice tray and stock up on tonic - the countdown begins here.
Buy now £49.95, Master of Malt
Blue Tree Gin Advent Calendar, Christmas Countdown
If you like the idea of doing your Christmas shopping all in one spot to minimise the packaging (not to mention only having to wait for one parcel), few have more variety than Amazon. The retail giant has Christmas all wrapped up - advents included.
For gin fans up and down the country, add this advent to basket. There are 24 x 5cl bottles with brands such as Bombay, Warner, Beefeater, Sipsmith all in the line-up.
Buy now £58.98, Amazon
BrewDog 12 LoneWolf Gins of Christmas
Who needs a chocolate advent when you can have one stuffed to the cardboard rafters with gin?
LoneWolf’s 12-day ode to the one true Christmas spirit is back for 2021, with new seasonal flavours and fan-favourites to keep everyone happy.
Each bottle is a generous 50ml (almost double that of the others in our roundup), giving you more time to appreciate the varieties made in the Aberdeen brewery.
Buy now £31.95, BrewDog
The Premium Gin Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram
Christmas is the perfect time to begin new traditions, and this year, make it the time you discover more about your favourite spirit. This luxe advent calendar will allow you to discover a new favourite every December day until the 25th.
There are miniatures from distilleries around the world, from names you’ll know and a few new ones too. Each 30ml wax-sealed bottle is the perfect way to explore new gins without incurring a raging hangover in the morning.
Brands involved are top-shelf: thinkTanqueray, No.3, Hendrick’s and Jaisalmer. Cheers!
Buy now £84.95, Master of Malt
Premium Pink Gin Advent Calendar
If the answer to the question “what’s better than gin?” is “pink gin”, That’s The Spirit’s advent calendar is the one to tickle you this Christmas. The 12-day compilation contains a variety of flavoured gin that all share that alluring rosy hue. There’s everything from fan-favourite strawberry and rose notes to the more unexpected bubblegum to sip through.
Buy now £44.99, The Bottle Club
Virgin Wines Gin Advent Calendar 2021
Virgin Wines may be understandably better known for their grape advent, but such is its popularity that the brand has branched out into other boozy versions. Thank goodness we say, because this calendar has us excited for Dec 1.
Housed in a bright blue box, the boutique selection brings together a truly epic variety to enjoy all the way up to Christmas Day.
It's available to pre-order now with a deposit of only £10 and delivery from November.
Buy now £99.99, Virgin Wines
Bombay Sapphire Gin Advent Calendar 2021
For those who believe no other gin matches up to Bombay Sapphire, this branded design will hit the mark. Windows hide bitesize pieces of chocolate, with the last one containing a miniature, complete in that iconic blue bottle.
Buy now £9.99, Amazon
Whitley Neill Gin Advent Calendar 24 Days with Pairing Book
Let the festivities be-gin with a luxurious bottle of premium gin every day in the lead up to Christmas. This advent contains 24 different variations of the spirit from around the world as well as a locally British-distilled gins.
Expect the likes of the award-winning Whitley Neill, City of London Distillery, J.J. Whitley and Liverpool Organic Gin. It even includes a collectable book that details tasting notes, serving suggestions and the back story of all the gins in the calendar.
Buy now £90.00, Amazon
Gin Filled Giant Advent Cracker
Taking an XXL approach to the traditional Christmas cracker, this version contains far more than a novelty crown and a silly joke.
This one comes filled with 24 x 5cl bottles of flavoured gin and gin liqueurs, giving you plenty to get excited about as we count down to Christmas.
Each day, you will be treated to a mini offering from distilleries across the globe including the likes of Edinburgh Gin, Warners, and many more.
Buy now £144.95, NOTHS
Haysmith's Gin Advent Calendar
Get your hands on Aldi's gin-packed calendar for your merriest Christmas yet. Shaped like a giant Christmas cracker, there are 24 miniatures of Haysmith's gin packed behind each corresponding window.
Best of all, you won't have to battle the crowds to get your hands on one - this is an online exclusive.
Buy now £59.99, Aldi