Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and although many of us have recently been more preoccupied with virus particles filling the air rather than romance, this time of year marks a chance to turn our attention to those we love and also the ones we’ve harboured crushes on forever but have been to nervous (read: chicken) to tell. It’s the perfect opportunity to show that potential future partner you really do care, or to spoil those long suffering better halves rotten.
Here at The MALESTROM we’ve always advocated quality chow and lovely libations as the most direct way to the hearts of both sexes. So, this year we’re giving cupid a helping hand with some romantic recommendations for food and drink gifts that will smooth the path to lockdown love and hopefully bring a bit of that going out feeling to staying in this February 14th. Here’s our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.
Five Hundred Cuts Rum (70cl, 40%) – £23.95
In recent years discerning drinkers have realised you don’t need to be a pirate to enjoy a glass of rum. Indeed this most versatile of spirits is one of our faves all year round in it’s many seasonal guises (pour yourself a rum and tonic with a twist of lime this summer and thank us later).
This little handmade spiced number, Five Hundred Cuts Rum, is something of a hybrid, bridging the gap between rum and the botanical kick of gin. It’s inspired by the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, a trail-blazing 18th century botanist, taking six months and thirty-five recipes to complete. Full of spice and zest, this one will warm the heart of that special someone you share it with.
When growing up we all got taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not also make it the most romantic by gifting some spreadable heaven this Valentine’s Day. Artisan brand, The Cherry Tree, has been producing the finest Chutneys, Preserves and Marmalades of all flavours to excite tastebuds everywhere since 1997.
This year they’ve put together a special Breakfast in Bed box, packed full of delights like cherry & amaretto jam and arriving complete with a hand-made Valentine’s greetings card you can personalise on The Cherry Tree website. Perfect for those with a tooth as sweet as their nature.
1826 Old Fashioned (50cl, 28%) – £24.95
With drinking establishments currently closed, for those that fancy that cocktail bar experience from the comfort of your own home, we have just the tonic. Thomas Lowndes have launched 1826, a range of rather nifty pre-mixed handcrafted cocktails made with premium ingredients.
The classic serves on offer includes the Cognac Espresso Martini, Smoky French Martini, Mint Julep and our personal fave the Old Fashioned. Just fill a glass with ice, pour in a measure and hey presto you’ve got one quality cocktail. All you need is a bloke tinkling the ivories in the corner and you could be at The American Bar in The Savoy.
You might think smelling of booze isn’t the most romantic ideal. But after a sniff of this brand new product, your perceptions might just shift. Craft beer brand, Voodoo Ranger, has just launched a limited-edition scent for beer lovers. Voulez Vous Voodoo, comes packed with bright tropical aromas, notes of citrus fruit and infused with juicy flavours and extracts. Perfect for the ale drinker in your life who you’d like to spruce up, but won’t go near a spray of Gucci.
Even better, The Vooquet gift pack comes with a six-pack of Voodoo Ranger’s UK exclusive Hazy IPA beer (5.3% ABV). Just make sure the man in your life doesn’t mix up which one he drinks.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz
Of course the quintessential Valentine’s gift is that classic box of choccies. This year we’re recommending a collection of delicious chocolate truffles from Montezuma’s. It’s a heady mix of milk chocolate hearts with salted caramel and dark chocolate hearts with hazelnut praline all wrapped up in an eye-catching red box. With handcrafted luxury truffles this good, cupid can take the day off.
Earthbits Reusable Coffee Cup – £13.95
So, this one definitely falls into the practical gift category. But when you’ve got a product with eco credentials like this, what’s not to love? This elegant 400ml bamboo travel coffee mug is one of the best reusable coffee and tea travel mugs on the market for those who want to save the planet but not miss out on their hot drink on the go.
Made with stainless steel and natural bamboo casing, along with a sliding lid that allows users to drink easily from the opening on top, this simple yet sustainable number is the gift that keeps on giving.
Wimbledon Brewery Copper Leaf Cheddar – from £5.95
For the turophile (cheese lover) in your life who’s also partial to a pint, we have the perfect gift. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company are re-releasing their renowned Wimbledon Brewery Copper Leaf Cheddar; a gentle mellow traditional cheddar combined with the extraordinarily delicious Copper Leaf Ale.
This award winning family-run dairy based in Cheddar, Somerset (the only producer still located in the village) create some of the best cheeses going and this one is a genuine winner. Just don’t blame us for any strange dreams.
Van Hunks Brut Sparkling Mead (75cl, 12%) – £25
For those that want to put a bit of sparkle back in their relationship, why not try some of this rather special fizz on Feb 14th. Van Hunks all natural sparkling mead is an exotic alternative to champers. Made from honey instead of grapes and produced in the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, it’s something a bit special and deliciously different.
They’re currently offering free delivery on two bottles or more, the perfect excuse to order enough to keep those corks popping till spring.
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