Christmas is getting ever closer. Steve Coogan recently turned on Brighton’s Christmas lights, The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink has officially opened, and lots of people are looking forward to their upcoming Christmas work parties. What's that, you'll just stick to water this year? Famous last words...

At Wriggle, we promote the best independent eateries and watering holes in Brighton, so this Christmas, we’ve put together a hamper showcasing the very best food and drink from Brighton producers. What better gift to give a loved one, than a handpicked selection of local luxuries?

The hampers are full to the brim with goodies, including coffee, chutneys, spreads, beer, fudge, gin, tonic, cheese, rock, macaroons and a somewhat different Christmas pud. Get yours here

Here’s a little more about the wonderful local producers we’ve worked with to bring you these hampers.

Brighton Gin

Brighton Gin is led by Kathy and Helen, the world’s first female gin-distilling duo, who have also built Brighton’s first distillery. The award-winning gin is sustainable, handcrafted and ethical, and most importantly, made with pride and love. It’s produced in small batches using 100% British organic wheat grain spirit, and botanicals including juniper, the peel of fresh oranges and limes, locally grown coriander seed and milk thistle. The latter is indigenous to the South Downs and well-known for its liver-cleansing properties. How fitting!

In the Hamper -

  • A 70cl or 5cl bottle of Brighton Gin. Each bottle is filled, waxed and labelled by hand. The gin is smooth enough to sip neat or drink as a classic G&T with your favourite tonic, ice and a slice of orange, the better to reveal its delightful citrus notes.
  • 2 x Sticks of Minty Brighton Rock - Lovely enjoyed on its own, but also a key ingredient in ‘The Rocktail’ - minty, refreshing and bonkers (just like Brighton!)

Recommended Recipe - The Rocktail

  1. Use a rocks or high-balloon glass filled to the brim with ice.
  2. Add 25ml Brighton Gin.
  3. Add 150ml Regency Tonic Water.
  4. Garnish with an inch of Brighton Rock.

See how it’s made here.

Small Batch Coffee

Fast becoming a household name in Brighton, Small Batch Coffee Roasters do things extremely well. The team share a passion for good coffee without the snobbery, they’ve maintained a strong family ethos in a fast growing business, they travel out to meet their producers, and look to create sustainable long-term relationships as part of an impressively holistic approach to their work.

In the Hamper -

  • 250g bag of Blue Note Filter Blend. This House filter is the perfect everyday coffee for filter brewers. Made up of two washed coffees from Finca Villaure in Guatemala and Kochere in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. Chocolate and toffee body with red apple and stone fruit flavours.

High Weald Dairy

This family run cheese dairy, based in West Sussex, craft a delicious range of award-winning cheeses from organic and non-organic cow's milk, organic sheep milk and most recently goat milk. All of the High Weald cheese is made in the modern dairy on-site , just 20 metres away from where the cows are milked. That's food yards… not miles!

In the Hamper:

  • 150g Brighton Blue. This cheese is so quintessentially Brighton it’s been named after the city. Brighton Blue has a slightly open, semi-soft texture, with a mellow blue flavour and fragrant aroma. The piquant blue green veins in the cheese deepen as the cheese matures and the strength of the blue will become stronger. During maturation, the wheels develop their own attractive natural edible rind. Suitable for veggies too!

Bison Beer

The guys behind Bison Beer truly believe there's a beer for every occasion, and you’re sure to find it at this quality bottleshop down on East Street. Stocking beers from all around the globe alongside their own fresh brews, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you. If you don’t know your stouts from your IPAs then fear not, they’re a really friendly bunch and will point you in the right direction. You can even use the store iPad to match your dinner to one of their beers. They’re also the first shop to bring draught ‘growlers’ to Brighton (approx. 1.9 litre amber glass bottles). With their state-of-the-art counter-pressure filling system, you’re able to fill up your reusable growler with any of the drafts beers in store, staying fresh for up to six weeks without any loss of carbonation. They even have a pub of their own in the pipeline - The Bison Arms… so keep your eyes peeled for that!

In the hamper -

  • 330ml can of bEAST STREET IPA: This is one of the most colourful beers in Brighton. This hop-heavy bevvy is a very sessionable 5% IPA bursting with tropical flavours, inspired by its seaside birthplace. You may well have seen these fantastic beers in many of the top bars and pubs scattered around Brighton.

Brighton Chilli Shop

Whether you’re a newcomer to the world of chilli or fancy yourself an aficionado, Alton from Brighton Chilli Shop will be able to point you in the right direction. Brighton Chilli Shop are passionate about sustainability and the health benefits of eating chillies. They stock many of the hottest chilli products found across the world, plus pods and powders, including the world’s hottest pepper called Carolina Reaper. For chilli enthusiasts, this Trafalgar Street store is like a sweet shop with too many great options to choose from!

In the hamper -

  • 190g Chilli Pickle - This delicious chilli pickle would be the perfect accompaniment to your leftover turkey sandwiches this Christmas. But it can be enjoyed all year round with ham, sausages, cheese. Try adding a little oil and using as a marinade, or simply add a splash to dishes to spice them up!

Katie’s Nuttery

Katie's Nuttery is a Brighton-based family business run by none other than, Katie! Her indulgent and wholesome nut-based foodstuff is inspired by a lifelong obsession with nut butters, love of nut milks and a belief in plant-based eating. These products are totally delicious and are all made from organic ingredients. There’s a range of products available to try, from fresh nut milks and nut butters, to super nutty balls - lovely little nut-based snacks, charged with energy-giving, health-enhancing superfoods such as Maca, Lucuma, Cacao and Cornish Sea salt.

In the hamper -
  • 190ml Pecan Butter - This really is ‘The Champagne of Nut Butters’. Made with 100% naturally-grown pecans, the only other ingredient in this indulgent butter is a pinch of sea salt. This one’s a great drizzler – try it on porridge or pancakes.

Regency Tonic

After noticing that most tonic waters were packed with sugar and yet missing something, Rich and Charles, the Brighton-based Regency Tonic duo, decided to create their own. With half the sugar of traditional slimline tonics, and a clean, crisp and distinctively dry taste, this tonic perfectly compliments premium spirits or hits the spot on its own. Why not give it a go in the Brighton Rocktail cocktail?

In the hamper -

  • 200ml Regency Tonic Water - A bottle of premium English tonic water mixing all natural flavours: Lime, orange, coriander, juniper and saffron.

Stan & Milly’s Artisan Fudges

These guys really know what they’re talking about when it comes to fudge. When first trying their fudge, we were guided through the experience with incredibly accurate tasting notes; each subtle flavour coming and going in waves. Creating delicious artisan home-made fudge, Stan and Milly use only the finest, freshest, natural ingredients. You’ll often find them popping up at various food markets around Sussex or you can now purchase it via their online shop as well.

In the hamper -

  • 100g of Mulled Wine Fudge - Nothing says Christmas like a good Mulled Wine, so what better to fill your hamper with than a mulled wine flavoured fudge? They also have Baileys, Apple and Cinnamon, Christmas Cake, Eggnog, and Amaretto flavoured fudge available.

Naturally Naked

Anne-Marie of Naturally Naked is truly passionate about making raw delights, and it really shows in her produce. Boasting a beautiful selection of hand-made organic raw chocolates and bespoke raw cakes that are healthy, organic, free of gluten, wheat, dairy and refined sugars, and made with love. After being inspired to use food as a form of healing, and being introduced to raw chocolate and the raw food scene, she’s never turned back - and we’re grateful! You can find her tasty treats in the Food Shed Co-Op in Brighton Open Market, or catch her behind her chocolatey stall at many local fairs in and around Brighton.

In the hamper -

  • 5 Raw Raspberry Macaroons - These moreish raw bites are packed with coconut, almonds, coconut butter, agave, vanilla, raspberries and a pinch of Himalayan Salt. One pack simply won’t be enough, but now you know where to grab yourself your next one!

  • Raw Christmas Pudding - This cute little pudding will even win you over if you’re not a fan of Christmas Puddings. With dates, sultanas, raisins, apricots, prunes, almonds, figs, orange, lemon, mixed spices and ginger, it’s a Christmas miracle it all fits in one compact pud. Goes perfectly with a simple homemade cashew cream!

Recommended Recipe - Cashew Cream

This simple cream to top your Raw Christmas Pudding couldn’t be simpler.

  1. Whizz up 1 part cashews and 1 part water in a blender.

  2. Add a splash of agave, maple syrup or coconut syrup.

It’s as simple as that! Can easily be made with other nuts if you’re not nutty about cashews.

Published -1st December 2016