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Friday 8 December 2023

Last-minute gifts to lift your spirits

With Christmas just around the corner, the Gourmet on the Road team has put together some last-minute gift ideas for lovers of good drinks and having fun in the kitchen.


Want to gift some Champagne over the holidays but are keen to avoid the usual suspects? How about one of the new Kashmir design releases from Champagne Pommery, sold in gift boxes that showcase a colourful array of teardrop patterns, bright colours and gold foil. The 2023 Kashmir limited-edition range is now available through major stockists, David Jones, and various independent fine wine stores from RRP $89. The collection includes the deliciously vibrant Pommery Brut Royal NV.


Whether you enjoy a cold frothy one, or two, or love classic old buildings, Australian Bush Pubs is a fun read. Illustrated with some striking colour images, this coffee table book celebrates historic country watering holes from Queensland’s famous Birdsville Hotel and New South Wales’ characterful Silverton Hotel to Tasmania's Pub in the Paddock. This third edition introduces a handful of new pubs and updates many of the favourites. Written by Craig Lewis and Cathy Savage and published by Woodslane Press. $49.99.


A new collectors' edition 1-litre bottle from French vodka icon Grey Goose pays homage to one of nature's most awe-inspiring spectacles, the Northern Lights. The bottle sees the geese adorned in shimmering holographic foil and featuring a unique lighting element at the bottom, making its a Christmas gift with a difference. Grey Goose is distilled from French wheat cultivated in the Picardie region of northern France and pure artesian spring water from Gensac-la-Pallue in the Cognac region, $100 at Dan Murphy's stores.


Summer is the perfect time to enjoy sparkling drinks, whether they be alcoholic or not. The Drinkmate OmniFizz is a leading home beverage carbonator that is able to carbonate any beverage. From juice, tea, water and health drinks, to wine, cocktails, or even, heaven forbid, flat beer. OmniFizz is touted as the most versatile and easy-to-use beverage carbonator on the market. Available in a variety of colours including black, white, red, and arctic blue. RRP $109.99 at Drinkmate Australia.


How about combining a stay at one of Hobart's finest hotels with one of Tasmania's best gourmet experiences? The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart, and the award-winning Agrarian Kitchen have collaborated to curate a culinary experience that begins at the hotel for an overnight stay, before travelling to The Agrarian Kitchen in the the country town of New Norfolk for an indulgent gourmet day trip including a kitchen garden experience and lunch. Available from March 1, 2024, but bookable now, the Tasman x Agrarian Stay has dynamic pricing starting from $518.


So you know someone who really loves their tequila? Patron El Cielo is billed as the world's first quadruple-distilled prestige tequila, made of 100% natural ingredients: Weber Blue agave, water and yeast and crafted in small batches. Equally good in cocktails or as a shot, Patrron El Cielo has been called "the finest tequila in the world". The packaging is also super chic. Available at Dan Murphy's Vintage Cellars and independent retailers for $300.


Want a gift for someone who is a whizz in the kitchen? SCANPAN, a pioneer in the premium cookware field, has just released its latest innovation: the SCANPAN Black Iron Collection. Crafted from black carbon steel, the cookware is designed for those who demand durability, versatility, and superior performance in their kitchen. For both chefs and home cooks, the these pieces are designed to last a lifetime and deliver exceptional results.


Kentucky Bourbon Whisky specialists Wild Turkey have a range of Christmas gift boxes on offer, including a set of two branded spirits glasses and a 700ml bottle of Wild Turkey Longbranch Straight Bourbon Whisky. The eight-year-old Bourbon has a an RRP of $69, while the 101 Proof Distiller’s Reserve 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky will cost $125.


Here's a present that can be used to brighten cocktails - or in the kitchen. Australia’s oldest family-owned and -operated salt producer, Olsson’s, recently launched a new product line: Cocktail Salts.The two blends, Native Citrus Cocktail Salt and Smokin’ Chilli Cocktail Salt, are designed primarily for cocktail drinkers, but can also enliven steaks, and other meals. The products are available through a range of retailers across Australia, including specialty food stores, supermarkets, and online. $15. See


Tasmania is awash with micro distilleries but Stuart Addison's Salvage Drink Co. has a serious point of difference. The former sommelier uses leftover juice from cider producers and wineries to craft his Flotsam and Jetsam eau de vie spirits. Backyard alchemist Addison says the only rule in his crazy spirits world is that "there are no rules". His Jetsam "Cider gin" retails for $95 and is beautifully presented, as you can see here. Bloody tasty, too.

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