Sam Wylie-Harris rounds up the must-have miniatures for wine and spirit lovers.

Santa’s really gone to town this year with his festive displays of curated miniatures – proffering a libation of wine, or just the right measure of spirited thoughtfulness.

But you need to get your skates on. Such is their popularity (who can resist a little squiffy surprise?) and with so many eye-catching windows to prize open, we’ve already started counting down – and gifting ourselves or someone close.

Here’s what’s on our wish list…

1. That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar (2020 Edition) £49.95, Master of Malt

‘Gingle’ all the way with this gin lover’s calendar – behind each window is a 30ml wax sealed dram to shake, muddle or stir into your favourite serve. From Green Citrus, to Smoked Rosemary, Chocolate Orange to Proper Pink, these are just some of the irresistible infusions to raise the spirits, in 24 perfect measures.

2. Wine Advent Calendar 2020, £79.99, Laithwaites

A window on the world of fine wine, this chateau experience offers an array of styles (187ml) from some of our best-loved wine regions. From a fruity Aussie shiraz to a zippy, New Zealand sauvignon blanc, smooth merlot and crisp pinot grigio, there’s also a baby bottle of champers as an added bonus.

3. The 12 Days of Creativity Calendar from Bombay Sapphire Gin, £75, – available from November 17

Bringing an artistic spin to cocktails, Bombay Sapphire have teamed up with arts retailer, London Graphic Centre to encourage gin lovers to stir their imagination with a few nifty cocktail tools, along with premium quality art supplies hidden behind each window. The calendar also features a special QR code to unlock access to video content and online speaker events through the 12 day period. Gin genius.

4. 24 Days of Rum – Rum Advent Calendar (2020 Edition), £97, Harvey Nichols

Like your very own mini rum distillery, this bumper box contains sipping rums (20ml) from 24 countries around the world, including Peru, Mauritius, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Martinique, USA and closer to home, Spain and Portugal, to highlight the wide range of styles. Pa rum pum pum… with two tasting glasses tucked away, the bells could really ring out when you open the first window.

5. Bourbon & American Whiskey Advent Calendar From Drinks By The Dram (2020 Edition), £134.95, Master of Malt

If they love an Old Fashioned, appreciate the timeless appeal of a Manhattan, or drink bourbon on the rocks, this is the advent calendar to tease their taste buds. With 24 wax sealed drams (30ml) from 18 distilleries, including major league players such as Jack Daniel’s, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve and Bulleit, there’s even a Hudson Baby Bourbon to sweeten the deal.

6. Craft Gin Club Luxury Gin & Tonic Crackers, £29.95 (4 pack), Craft Gin Club

Boozy crackers for your gin pals, each cracker comes with a miniature craft gin, paired with a Merchant’s Heart tonic water, so all you have to do is pull the cracker with a firm grip, grab a glass, add the ice and amp it up with a cheesy joke and party hat.

7. Mixed Spirits Crackers by Perfect Measure (6 pack), £39.95, The Whisky Exchange

When it comes to dressing the table for Christmas dinner, a red runner and matching red and white crackers is always a merry choice, especially when they’re filled with after-dinner tipples. With miniature spirits such as Mahiki Coconut Rum Liqueur, Copper Dog Blended Malt Whisky and Saliza Amaretto Veneziano Liqueur, strength will be matched by strength when they’re gleefully pulled in half.

8. Cooper King Sharing Selection, £25 each, Cooper King Distillery

Everyone loves a sharing selection, especially an eco-conscious, letterbox-friendly, celebratory choice. A toss-up between the Yorkshire distillery’s award-winning Dry Gin, Herb Gin and Berry & Basil Gin Liqueur (3 x 100ml bottles); or the box featuring Skosh Smoked & Spiced Dry Gin, Black Cardamom Botanical Vodka and New-Make Malt Spirit, each comes with tasting and serving guides… and message of goodwill.

9. The Pinkster Home Gin Tasting Kit for Two, £30, Pinkster Gin

Pinkster gin presents its tasting kit of tidings and joy, with a merry line-up of its Triple Juniper, Pinkster Gin, Pinkster Royale, Pinkster Gimlet and Hedgepig Wild Bullace & Quince (5cl bottles). Complete with cocktail mix sachets, mixers and gin-soaked raspberry jam, all you have to do is forage for garnish and ice – and tune into the virtual tasting. Chin-chin!