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How the hospitality industry can help cater for your Christmas staff parties at home

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Christmas parties won’t be the same this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to give them a miss with our round-up of the local businesses who will deliver the fun to your door..

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the UK in March, many of us hadn’t envisioned that we may not be having a ‘normal’ Christmas.

But eight months later, and here we are. Yet although restrictions are in place to keep us, and our friends, families and colleagues safe, that doesn’t mean we can’t have just as much fun together this festive season.

While office Christmas parties are usually the talk of the town, with hundreds going out for festive lunches and dinners, taking part in cocktail-making classes and getting involved in festive-themed activities, there’s still plenty of joy to be spread virtually, with a whole range of opportunities to connect with colleagues.

Here, we take a look at just some of the businesses who are delivering the party to your door..

Drinks tastings

You can also take part in a range of virtual drinks tastings which can be fully personalised to your tastes, too.

John Kelman of Rutabaga has decades of experience in the food and drink industry and runs a number of drinks tastings including wine, gin and whisky experiences to name a few.

He is also a wine columnist for The Courier so if you are looking for top wines to enjoy this festive period, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in his scribblings here.

Eden Mill, which is based in St Andrews, is running a series of virtual winter gin tasting events which includes 12 x 5cl bottles of Eden Mill gin, two branded tulip glasses and two ready-to-drink cocktail cans. Each set can be enjoyed individually or in a pair and is priced at £55.

A brand ambassador of the firm will lead the tasting, meaning you can get together with your colleagues or friends and even set up a Zoom call after for you all to discuss your favourite gins.

Numerous Scottish whisky brands also offer tastings online, too.

Whisky brands will be hosting tastings, too.

Festive hampers

If you’re just looking to send a simple gift instead then why not opt for a festive hamper? With a large number of food producers, stores and farm shops offering up festive options you’ll be able to personalise some to suit your colleagues’ tastes.

And for family and friends, Dean Banks has launched a luxury festive hamper full to the brim with his favourite staples he uses consistently at home and in his restaurant.

Featuring 11 luxury products, the hamper, priced at £159, has everything from gin to caviar, to cheese and unique cooking oils included.

He said: “There’s produce I use in the restaurant that not many people would be able to get their hands on at home, so I wanted to give people the chance to enjoy my treats and the things I would use at home.

“In the hamper you’ll find oil from Fussels, there’s salt from Blackhorn, banoffee chocolates, some Scottish venison cured meats, cured trout, the Edinburgh Butter Co products, caviar and Summerhouse Drinks lemonade, Mellis Cheese, Miller’s Coffee from St Andrews and Lunan Gin, too.

“It’s all the things I love and some of the dried goods from my cupboards and restaurants that I know you can’t get in the supermarkets or shops.

“It’ll be available UK-wide and will be priced at £159 for the 11 different luxury items.”

Cocktail mixology

If you can’t meet your colleagues or friends at the bar, why not bring that bar experience into their home – and get them to make their own drinks, too.

Mucky’s Bar in Perth will be offering virtual cocktail masterclasses with their resident mixologist, Stuart, who will guide attendees through the fundamentals of each drink, the science behind shaking and some trivia, too.

Priced at £25 per person the package will feature pre-measured spirits and ingredients, all delivered to your door, or can be collected at the premises. As an optional extra the equipment can also be added to the package to keep.

Classes will take place in November and December and will be listed here.

And they aren’t the only ones going virtual. Cocktail mixology firm Boozy Events went global during lockdown and have now put a festive spin on their cocktail mixology classes, giving individuals the chance to master festive drinks at home, and also indulge in some festive snacks at the same time if they desire.

The Christmas Bauble.

Offering a range of packages from £54 to £119, participants will get everything they need to make a range of cocktails sent straight for their doors and will be led by a top mixologist to craft their drinks.

Gregor Sey, co-owner of the firm, said: “We’ve got a new festive menu and we’ve also launched a hamper package, too. We started pulling everything together in August to ensure we were prepared for Christmas.

“For the Christmas menu we’ve got a great selection. We’ve tried to take as much inspiration as possible from the Christmas dinner table, although don’t worry, you won’t see Brussels sprouts in the drinks. It will be cranberry, Bailey’s and that sort of thing. We have four confirmed and we may add to that in the coming weeks to accommodate more dietary requirements etc.”

The Cherry Peach Sour.

Cocktails to their door

If you’re looking to connect with your colleagues or friends over a beverage or two, why not order some cocktails to be delivered to their door and have a catch up before the festive break.

You could also use it as an opportunity to have a few pre-drinks with them before you take part in an event like a virtual silent disco, virtual bingo, or a virtual festive quiz.

Scottish cocktail bars Orchid and Dusk now both offer UK-wide delivery, as does premium Scottish cocktail delivery brand Mix’d.

Dundee’s The Giddy Goose also offers a range of cocktails to your door, however they can only be delivered locally.

And for the Negroni fans, there’s always the Send a Negroni service which launched during lockdown, too.

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