The best alcoholic advent calendars for 2020, including gin, beer and rum

This year, you might need something stronger than chocolate in your advent calendar...

best alternative advent calendars alcohol beer gin
From flavoured gin to rum from around the world, there's something for every taste Credit: That Boutique-y Gin Company

In a year when the Christmas period will undoubtedly feel quite different from the norm, there is comfort to be found in small rituals. Such as opening the door of an advent calendar every day. 

And after the year we’ve all had, a meagre morsel of chocolate hiding behind each window might not cut it. So if you’re looking for something a bit stronger to sip of an evening through the long weeks of December, we’ve handpicked a selection of the finest boozy advent calendars on the market. Drink responsibly, and a enjoy tot of gin, a dram of whisky, or a warming snifter of rum… 

Best alcoholic advent calendars for 2020

That Boutique-y Gin Company advent calendar

£49.95, Master Of Malt

Credit: That Boutique-y Gin Company

This offering (a collaboration between Drinks by the Dram and the independent gin bottler That Boutique-y Gin Company), is ideal for those looking for interesting additions to classic botanicals. Behind every window is a 30ml bottle of gin, all newly selected for 2020. There’s Chocolate Orange, Rhubarb Triangle, and Swedish Rose, not to mention more enigmatic surprises such as Bog gin, or Beware Of The Woods. 

Rum advent calendar from Drinks By The Dram

£149.95, Master Of Malt

Credit: Drinks by the Dram

Proving that the sugar-distilled spirit can be just as artisanal and carefully crafted as gin, this selection features 24 bottles of 30ml dark rums, white rums, and spiced rums from some of the best producers around the world. Expect Lang’s Banana Rum, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, El Dorado 12 Year Old and plenty more across the month. And if rum isn’t your thing, Drinks By The Dram also produce premium gin, vodka, and around seven specialist whisky advent calendars, too.

SEVEN BRO7HERS Beer advent calendar

£60, SEVEN BRO7HERS

Credit: Seven Bro7hers

For the beer fan in your life, the Salford-based craft brewery SEVEN BRO7HERS has got your back. This collection features a mixture of 330ml and 440ml cans of beer from the brewery's core range, and some special editions. Favourites such as Amber Lager and Hoppy Pale sit alongside unusual offerings like Watermelon Wheat Beer and the Honeycomb Pale Ale, and a collaboration brew made with Kellogg's that upcycles cereals to replace wheat grain and malted barley in the brewing process. 

Riverside Spirits Liqueur advent calendar

£69.99, Melted Inside

Credit: Riverside Spirits

This small Cheshire-based distillery is offering up a generous selection of its liqueurs in a new advent calendar. Inside it you’ll find 24 individually selected bottles each containing 50ml of liqueur, each with an interesting and unique flavour. Salted caramel gin liqueur, mango and yuzu rum liqueur, and passion fruit vodka liqueur are all in the mix, but who knows which window they are hiding behind? 

The Premium Pink Gin Advent Calendar

£44.99, The Bottle Club

Credit: The Bottle Club

The meteoric rise of pink gin has continued unabated in 2020, and there are enough out there at least to fill this advent calendar to mark the 12 days of Christmas. This comes with 12 bottles, each 50ml, from distillers including Beefeater, Chase, Whitley Neill, Pinkster, and Edgerton, and flavours that run the gamut from strawberry to rhubarb to grapefruit and every pink fruit in between. 

Skylark 24 Days Of Rum

£79, Amazon

Credit: Skylark

This rum advent calendar features 24 rums from 24 different countries around the world, and comes with tasting notes and two tasting glasses for sharing your rum collection with a friend or family member. 

Lone Wolf 12 Gins Of Christmas

£49.95, Brewdog

Credit: Grant Anderson

Brewdog’s gin range has gone from strength to strength, and this 12-days-of-Christmas-style advent calendar celebrates it. Behind each of the 12 doors you’ll find a different 50ml bottle of gin, including Cranachan (inspired by the classic Scottish dessert), Christmas Spiced and Old Tom Gin (matured in sherry casks for 18 months for a naturally sweeter flavour). 

Cambridge Distillery 12 Days of Ginmas

£99.99, Cambridge Distillery

Credit: Cambridge Distillery

This design brings together 12 of Cambridge Distillery’s iconic cube-shaped bottles, each filled with 50ml of gin, including flavours such as Truffle Gin, Lemon Verbena Gin, and even a Breakfast Gin (Lady Grey & Marmalade). It comes with a special tasting glass so you can fully appreciate the collection.

Wise Bartender Sweet & Tasty

£59, Wise Bartender

Credit: Wise Bartender

Little bottles of wine, cider and cocktails hide behind each door of this advent calendar box, but none of them with an ABV of higher than 0.5%: perfect if you're off the booze or simply fancy a sip without the alcoholic sensation. With no- and low-alcohol drinks one of the industry's biggest trends, it won't be long before more of these collections are on the market. Wise Bartender will also be sharing virtual tastings to coincide with the advent calendar on its social media accounts every day. 

Joe & Seph’s Tipsy Popcorn Advent Calendar

£25, Joe & Seph’s

Credit: Joe & Seph's

It’s not only drinks that can provide a boozy fix this Christmas; this advent calendar conceals packages of popcorn behind its doors, all of them alcoholic. Flavours include espresso martini, gin and tonic, prosecco, and caramel macchiato and whisky.

Read more: Best advent calendars for 2020