The AU Review’s Christmas food & drink guide 2021

We’ve already let you know our top picks for gifts this Christmas, but that isn’t all that you’ve got to fork out for when it comes to bringing the festive cheer to your home. Food & drink is always going to be a big part of the big day, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite spirits and some food too so you know exactly what to order before December 25.

Food

QT At Home Christmas Boxes

QT Hotels & Resorts is back, packing their idea of Christmas cheer into produce boxes that are stacked full of dishes that’ll take save you and the fam plenty of time in the kitchen. Last year’s QT At Home boxes were a huge hit in cities like Sydney and Melbounrne, and it’s looking like another home-run for the boutique hotel brand as they shell out tightly curated wine packs, and food boxes with dishes that just need to reheated and plated at home (instructions included).

Dishes in the food boxes include steamed lobster in cognac-horseradish Mary Rose, mixed artisan salumi & 24-hour proscuitto, slow roasted suckling Berkshire porchetta, local burrata with heirloom cherry tomatoes, xmas peaches, vincotto, and oregano, and honey glazed Australian ham with seeded mustard, orange, and clove. You’ll also get more than a few snacks to much on post-Christmas feast, like boxes of exclusive salted Parlour Lane popcorn, and some maltesers.

Click below for the full menu, and info on the other boxes like the QT Gold Wine Pack, or the Ordered Chaos gin. You’ll just need to order by 22nd December and then pick up from your local QT Hotel (QT Sydney, QT Bondi, QT Melbourne, etc) on 23rd or 24th December.

$649 for a food box that serves 4-6 people | qtathome.com

East 33

Every Christmas feast needs an oyster platter, and it just won’t do if you’re ordering from just anywhere. East 33 is the most consistent when it comes to ordering fresh oysters – with the choice of shucked or unshucked – from specific regions of Australia. Plus, the company has recently teamed up with Cloudy Bay to now offer a few extra value packages like 2 dozen East 33 oysters with a selection of Cloudy Bay’s finest still wines from $109.

There’s also two dozen oysters with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut for $139, and two dozen East 33 oysters with a limited-edition trio of Archie Rose cocktails for $169.

east33.sydney

Fish.Me

Fresh Sydney seafood delivered straight to your door is always a good shout come Christmas, and you don’t want to necessarily be hauling ass over the seafood market and fighting amongst the crowd. Hit up Fish.Me, which has a great range of freshies like sea urchins, Champagne lobster, and Patagonian toothfish.

fishme.com.au

Springhill Farm Slices

Let’s be real, Christmas really is all about the snacks. You’ll want to stock the pantry with the typical pizza shapes and Jatz of course but if you’re in the mood to try something different, Springhill Farm have two new slices that really are exceptionally good. The plant-based Christmas themed slices are sour cherry & dark chocolate, and caramelised ginger & white chocolate.

springhillfarm.com.au

Spirits

Maison Mirabeau’s stunning Dry Rose Gin

Mirabeau Dry Rosé Gin is a first-of-its-kind spirit that only just arrived in Sydney off the back of award-winning rose brand Maison Mirabeau. The 100% grape-based neutral spirit takes inspiration from the abundance of botanicals found along the French Riviera, setting itself apart from others in the growing pink gin category by using upcycled grape skins post pressing from winemaking for its base.

$69 for 700ml bottle | danmurphys.com.au

Bacardi Carta Blanca

If you’re cocktails are in need of some white rum this Christmas, then pick up a bottle of the Carta Blanca. The highly adaptable spirit is always a great choice come Christmas time because every at-home bar could use some rum cocktails, and almost nothing blends in better with a wider range of cocktails than this classic.

$38 for 700ml bottle | danmurphys.com.au

Bushmills 2008 Douro Cask Finish 13YO

Irish Whiskey is always a good choice, no matter what the occasion, but the smooth brown spirit goes down particularly well come Christmas time. This new limited release has been bottled exclusively for Australia, coming from The Causeway Collection with a silky profile, the result of maturing in olorosso and bourbon casks from almost 8 years before finishing in Douro wine casks for 5 years. Watch out for those classic red wine notes and dark berries with ripe plums.

$175 | thewhiskylist.com.au

Noble Cut Gin

The Noble Cut Gin, a brewer’s Gin, is proudly distilled in Newtown using blending techniques and flavours from brewing and distillation. The Gin showcases native ingredients, with Australian botanicals such as lemon myrtle and pepperberry as well as Tasmanian grown enigma hops. The Enigma hops, grown and developed locally, are added to the Gin basked to give a mineral complexity you’d expect to find in fine white wine.

$75 | danmurphys.com.au

Ramblin Man Whisky

First distilled and barrelled in Tasmania in 2000, the exclusive whisky was transported to Newtown in mid-2016. At Young Henrys headquarters, the Whisky was lovingly transferred into Australian Apera Sherry casks, spending it’s final years aging before it was bottled by hand in November 2018. Now ready for release in 381 individually numbered bottles. A taste of the whisky would see a nose of right citrus, pekoe tea, and orange zest, burnt brown sugar, vanilla custard, raisin, walnut, and honey. A balanced palate of sweet malty, cereal notes, and orange marmalade upfront through to chewy caramel and French oak, finishing with candied lemon peel and Leatherwood honey. The sweet spices and fruity viscosity ensure a thick, chewy, oily, and long finish.

$450 | younghenrys.com

Kavka Polish Vodka

You can’t really build a quality Vodka martini without some quality Vodka can you? For Christmas, you’re going to want something like Kavka, a premium Polish Vodka that works incredibly well in cocktails. The spirit is made from a blend of wheat and rye using traditional production methods, bringing about a full-bodied fruitiness of fresh apples, dried fruit, and honey with a small layer of fresh rye bread on the end. The complexity isn’t what you’d expect from a Vodka, which is why it works so well.

$59 | danmurphys.com.au

Westward Whiskey Pinot Cask

You’ll never go wrong having a Westward expression sitting on that shelf, and you likely already have a bunch of almost-empty bottles you’re planning to get through these holidays. Top that all up with the new Pinot Cask release, a remarkable single malt American whiskey that takes the label’s standard expression and ages it for up to 5 years in New American oak casks before finishing for two in French oak Pinot Noir casks. Lush.

$129 | whiskyloot.com

James Squire Pioneers’ Collection

If you’re more in it for the beer this Christmas, at least make it something unique. The James Squire Pioneers’ Collection has kicked off a new series for the iconic brewer, with a 750ml no.01 release available in Australia for a limited time. This English IPA is particularly hoppy, infused with a light touch of macadamia honey for a subtle sweetness, and has been matured in fine, hand-selected single malt whisky barrels to create further depth and complexity.

$49 | jamessquire.com.au

Cazcabel Tequila Range

Grab the entire range of Cazcabel tequilas if you really want to party these holidays, or you know someone that wants to go all out for the Chrissie period with some of the best tequilas perfectly showcasing the label’s love of versatility. With this range you’ll get all the top expressions – honey, coffee, blanco and resposado tequilas.

danmurphys.com.au

Patron Bundle Offer

You know you want to get a bottle of Patron for Christmas anyway, but you might as well go for the triple-pack to cut out any hard decisions. The Patron Bundle from Dan Murphys features the Anejo, Reposado, and Silver Tequila all in 700ml bottles so you can take care of the whole range with one hit.

$305 | danmurphys.com.au

Non-Alcholic

T2 Festive Range

If you can’t think of any drinks to get some tea-lovers this Christmas, obviously you should just go straight for some tea. T2 has released its annual Christmas range in time for the big day, where you can choose from two different advent calendars, six new flavour blends (like Christmas breakfast and eggnog), and eight special gift packs, each containing two to fifteen different T2 teas.

t2tea.com

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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