So you’re a foodie. But that doesn’t mean you’re dreaming of another bag of flavoured sea salt, a novelty apron or restaurant vouchers this Christmas. They’re all perfectly reasonable ideas, but what if you’re after something a little different? Try sharing this article with the present buyers in your life...
Give yerself a cheesy grin with a Big Cheese Making Kit
From £22.50 including everything you need but milk. Kits have a two year shelf life and make up to 12 batches of cheese
Thanks to Scottish entrepreneur Ailsa Proverbs’ Big Cheese Making Kit, you can make your own cheese at home in under an hour. There’s a variety of kits available including Scottish Crowdie, mozzarella & ricotta and halloumi. Each box contains step by step instructions, vegetarian rennet, muslin, a thermometer and other essentials. For something extra special, plump for the Ultimate Cheese Making Kit which includes a mould and recipe book.
Brew your own beer at Stewart Brewing’s Craft Beer Kitchen
26A Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, Loanhead, nr IKEA
From £185 for 3.5 hours of brewing + 90 minutes of bottling + 72 bottles (= £1.60/pint)
Since a wrapped bottle is hard to disguise, tell them to forget the glass and let you be a brewer for the day at Craft Beer Kitchen. Create your own malty masterpiece with up to three friends on Stewart Brewing’s pilot kit, under the guidance of a professional brewer. Choose from over 50 recipes or come up with a new one, then grind some grain, add hops and bring it to the boil. After three weeks of fermentation, return to bottle and label your beer with your own design. Drink it with friends throughout the year or save it for a special occasion.
Be cure-ious in a charcuterie class with Hammond Charcuterie
From £10 for two mini salamis by post; also available at Edinburgh Farmers’ Market every Sat
Rachel Hammond is a rare breed - a self-taught, female butcher. Based in the Borders, she handmakes delicious artisan charcuterie using traditional recipes and local free-range game. But Rachel also teaches butchery and charcuterie skills (£250 for two inc. lunch) and is running an Indiegogo campaign to establish new premises with a dedicated butchery, smoker and space for classes. How about £20 for a box of artisan charcuterie delivered to your door or £50 for a demonstration with wine for two?
Shake it up with a cocktail set from Love Tiki
From £14 for a 7-piece cocktail set containing all the basics
If you’re the host with the most, you’ll need a cocktail set so you can create perfect drinks to wash down your fancy canapes. Love Tiki’s presentation sets come with all the essentials including a shaker, muddler, strainer and jigger for measuring spirits. Cocktail-specific kits such as Pina Colada (£28) also come with accessories such as pineapple syrup, coconut cream and mini parasols. With a choice of Margarita, Martini and Mojito packs too, there’s no excuse not to start practicing your cocktail skills. Sampling the results might even help ease a Christmas day spent with tedious relatives...
Master the art of espresso with Brewlab coffee training
6-8 Old College Street
From £65 for two hours filter coffee training for two people
Caffeine fanatics Brewlab have transformed the basement of their coffee shop into a training facility where you can learn to tamp, cup and pour with the best of them. Practice making the perfect filter coffee and sample beans from different producers or step up your game with an espresso masterclass (£85pp) or private barista training (£90pp). Led by Brewlab’s Head Barista, you’ll be shown how to correctly use a grinder, extract the perfect espresso and practice latte art techniques. A must for coffee geeks.