There’s something a little bit extra special about a treat that does good at the same time.
The kind of gift that not only gives the recipient something lovely to use or keep, but also does a little for charity. It’s like a 2 for 1 kind of present. Meaning that both of you can feel a little bit extra smug.
I mean, what better way to spread the word than with something nice?
And that’s exactly what the National Trust for Scotland have done with their hamper selection. Treat a loved one to something special, and not only do they get a pass for one of their sites, but also a big pile of Scottish goodies. Given Scotland is still the largest producer of gin in the UK (for now anyway), how could they not do a gin themed hamper?
So of course they did.
And the Love Gin Hamper is as gin themed as you can get.
Gin and tonic popcorn from Joe & Seph’s, two dinky (200ml) bottles of gin, two bottles of Fever Tree tonic, gin and tonic chocolate, a book, and your two passes and guide. All held within a sturdy planter – so you can replant that Christmas tree, or add to your patio or windowsill.
Of course, I road tested everything, so you don’t have to.
I began studying the book and the cocktails whilst enjoying an Edinburgh Gin Martini, and the Gin & Tonic Chocolate from Coco. The chocolate is bloody gorgeous stuff. I’ve had to hide it away so it lasts more than an evening of reading. Lightly bitter dark, rich – the citrus and juniper notes cut through the richness, meaning it’s just a little bit moreish. I actually pleaded with Mr GFB to hide it before I ate it all in one sitting.
And with a G&T using the Shetland Reel Ocean Sent gin, and some popcorn, I kept reading – the book itself covers a slew of gin varieties, features a ton of cocktails (after all,what else are you going to use that gin for?) and then a few other suggestions (shhh… There’s even a section on making your own gin at home).
Gin wise, you have two rather different spirits to sample from different parts of Scotland. Edinburgh Gin is a classic juniper forward gin, or ginny gin. Lots of pine, spice and citrus means it will suit someone who loves a classic gin. For those who like something a little fresher, the Shetland Reel will suit them perfectly. I was already a fan of the fresh finish to their original, but the Ocean Sent is a little more junipery, with an added salinity that is just gorgeous. Another one perfect for a Martini or a light G&T.
Of course, the best bit is the passes. No, we’ve not used them yet, but knowing next time we head up north, we can treat ourselves to a visit to one of the stunning sites in Scotland, is an absolute bonus. Funds raised from each hamper supports their vital work – enabling them to care for the treasures of Scotland, like St Kilda, the Robert Adam-designed masterpiece, Culzean Castle, Barry Mill one of Scotland’s last remaining working grain mills at Barry Mill and their latest project, Hill House.
Just choosing which is going to be a challenge, and I suspect we’ll end up spending a bit more, and visiting more than one.
At £75 for the Gin Hamper it’s a generous gift, but one that will keep on giving. And you never know, your loved one might just share the gin with you.