Treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas: food gifts from Monaghan’s artisan producers are the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Thoughtful food and drinks gifts made in Monaghan include hand-made chocolates and limited-edition gin infused with local honey.
Brehon Brewhouse’s gift pack of four ales (€12) includes the gold medal-winning Ulster Black Oatmeal Stout. Also available from the Inniskeen microbrewery are 5l mini kegs (€25), so you can you can enjoy the taste of beer on-tap in the comfort of your own home. Order direct from the brewery itself for collection or delivery. Gift packs are also available from selected supermarkets and off licenses throughout the county.
If you want to nab a bottle of Old Carrick Mill’s limited-edition honey dew gin (€40 for 70cl), you had better hurry, as only 600 bottles have been produced. Infused with honey from the hives on site at the artisan distillery set in a 200-year-old flour mill on the outskirts of Carrickmacross, the gin is best enjoyed with premium tonic or ginger ale, with a large wedge of orange. Again, you can pick up a bottle in selected local stores or, alternatively, order from the Celtic Whiskey Shop for delivery nationwide.
Trish Murphy-Thom has won numerous awards for her chocolates, hand made in her small, speciality shop in the beautiful village of Glaslough in north Monaghan. Gifts such as honeycomb shards and hot chocolate bombs are perfect as stocking fillers or as a festive ‘thank you’ for a special teacher. Prices starting from €2.50 for hot chocolate sticks and up to €60 for the XXL Hamper, which features a huge selection including award-winning home-made caramels and white chocolate shards.
Based just outside Monaghan Town, Pollocks’ Pickles & Preserves is a family-run affair, with Meredith and Glenys Pollock producing an array of delicious preserves and chutneys based upon recipes passed down through the generations. Sets are presented in dinky jute gift bags and include festive favourites, such as their delicious Christmas Jam. From €5 for a single jar gift to triple bags and hampers for €15.
Four-legged friend needn’t miss out on the festive food fun, either. Harry’s Dog Bakery was set up by animal-lover Martina Woods so her poorly pooch could enjoy tasty treats that were easy on his sensitive tummy. As Irish dog gifts go, it is hard to beat the Pawlection Box (€8.50), featuring a hand-picked selection of crunch treats, including Honey & Oat, Carrot & Brown Rice, Peanut Butter and Apple Crumble.
If you are planning to have your Monaghan food gift delivered, be sure to order as far in advance as possible. Most businesses offer a minimum-contact ‘click and collect’ service, which is a great option for those who live locally.