September 03, 2015

10 of the best independent and artisan gin brands

The end of the working week (sometimes not even quite the end, depending on what sort of a working week it has been!) means one thing: time for a gin and tonic.

But gone are the days of forcing down whatever happened to be behind the bar. These days, there are lots of smaller, lesser-know, new, independent and artisan gin brands doing exciting (and very tasty) things.

As you might have guessed from some of our gin-inspired products like the ‘Are you ginterested?’ coaster (pictured, above) and the ‘If you can read this fill my drink' coaster, here at Coconut Grass we’re partial to the occasional G&T (and we have a sneaking suspicion you might be, too).

So, to save us all a lot of time, we thought we’d collate a list of some of the most exciting gin brands out there. They’re not in any particular order - we urge you to give them all a try!

1. NB Gin

Scottish brand NB Gin takes its name from its North Berwick location. Only founded in 2013, they've been picking up awards already. They think a distinct taste might be down to a ‘kinky’ still.

2. The Botanist Gin

Islay is a word more commonly associated with whisky, but the Bruichladdich distillery has shown that once you’ve got the distilling knack, you can turn your hand to other spirits. The Botanist is an exciting and unusual dry gin.

3. Pinkster Gin

Agreeably British, is how Pinkster brands itself. Of course, a considerably amount of branding is done by the pink spirit in question. Distilled in small batches from raspberries local to its Cambridge base, Pinkster has a hint of fruit and a smooth finish. 

4. Hendricks Gin

One of the better known brands on this list, yet still flying under the radar for many people so we couldn’t resist including it. Enjoy it with a slice of cucumber: delightful.

5. Shortcross Gin

Northern Ireland based Shortcross prides itself on its small batch philosophy and describes its taste as being reminiscent of floral meadows, wild berries and grassy notes.

6. Warner Edwards Gin

Craft distillers Warner Edwards make their gin in the Northamptonshire village of Harrington. They like to keep quite about the botanicals that go into this aromatic dry gin - but we can forgive that as long as it keeps tasting so good!

7. Portobello Road Gin

By contrast, Portobello Road couldn’t be more open about what goes into its tasty gin: juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, orris root, lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice root, cassia bark and nutmeg, to be precise.

8. Glendalough Seasonal Gin

This Irish gin is distilled using botanicals, berries and fruit foraged from around the Co. Wicklow countryside. The blend varies each season depending on what’s fresh and what they come across. An exciting twist to an excellent gin.

9. Haymans Gin

A family business that can trace its history back to 1863, yet is surprisingly little known. Choose from the award-winning Hayman's London Dry Gin or Royal Dock, the navy-strength 57% gin supplied to the Royal Navy from 1863.

10. Caorunn Gin

This Speyside gin infuses five botanicals, which are distilled in small batches before being filled into wonderfully unusual bottles.

Gin-lovers, click here for more gin goodies.

August 19, 2015

Bon Voyage Gifts: 5 great gifts to take on holiday

If you’re jetting off for a summer holiday, or somebody close to you is, it’s nice to mark the occasion with a little gift. Giving someone a gift to take on holiday - a bon voyage gift, if you like - says: “I really hope you have a great break. You deserve to have an amazing time.”

Alternatively, taking a gift with you to give to your travelling partner, or present to them shortly before you leave, is a lovely way of letting them know you’re excited about the trip, looking forward to their company and keen to make it a special holiday.

Here are some ideas for that special pre-holiday gift or gift to take on your holiday.

1. Personalised Vintage Airport Code Luggage Tag

Have you booked a surprise holiday? Are you returning to a favourite destination? Treat your other half ahead of the trip with this stylish luggage tag, which can be personalised to include the airport code of your destination. Find out more.

2. Personalised Destination Blind Print


The perfect gift for a cruise, tour or multi-destination break. Collect all the stops on the recipient’s travels into this beautiful print in the style of the bus, train and tram destination blinds that signalled the start of holidays of yesteryear. Find out more.

3. Personalised Wedding / Couple's Luggage Tag

Heading off on your honeymoon or another special couple’s holiday? Celebrate in style with a luggage tag inspired by classic champagne labels. Perfect to keep the bubbles flowing after marking a big occasion together - and to create a lasting memento of your trip. Find out more.

4. If You Can Read This Fill My Drink Coaster

If you know someone who might be partial to partaking in the occasional tipple during their holiday, send them on their way with the ideal drink coaster. This affordable treat means you don’t even have to ask the bar staff for your next drink - the coaster will do it for you! Find out more.

5. Personalised Vintage Airmail Luggage Tag

What better way to commemorate your romantic break than with this luggage tag that conjures up images of overseas love letters from the golden age of travel. As with the other luggage tags on the last, it comes with the added bonus of making your suitcases easy to spot on the baggage carousel. Find out more.

August 05, 2015

5 great gifts to take to a BBQ this summer

If you’re anything like us, one of your favourite things about the summer is getting invited to barbecues. Great food, great company and (*fingers crossed*) great weather always makes for a fantastic evening.

But, if you’re planning on eating your bodyweight in beef at said BBQ, you might feel that BYOB doesn’t quite cut it in terms of paying your way a little bit. Why not say an extra thank you to your hosts for the invitation and, more importantly, for feeding you by taking a little barbecue themed gift with you.

Here are some suggestions of great gifts to take to a BBQ to let your host know you appreciate their efforts (and secure your invitation to their next BBQ!).

1. Butchers Beef Tea Towel

This tea towel features the various cuts of beef available from your local butcher. You can also  choose from designs featuring a lamb, pig or the full set. Make yourself an extra popular guest by offering to use it to do the dishes! Find out more.

2. Butchers Oven Mitt

Not only handy for transporting hot plates and trays round the garden and kitchen, but also a stylish BBQ-themed design. It features the butchers’ cuts from a chicken, lamb, pig and cow. Find out more. 

3. Butchers Apron

Why not take a gift that your host can put into use straightaway (and look very stylish in the process)? It too features the elegant infographics of various cuts of meat that might be getting served up at the BBQ. Find out more.

4. Seafood Apron

If you’re going down the stereotypical Australian BBQ route and you’re expecting your chef to be throwing another shrimp on there at some stage, this seafood apron might be a more appropriate barbecue gift. Find out more.

5. Cuts of Meat Mug

What better way to help your BBQ host quench their thirst than supplying this fine bone china Something to put in it, you say? Well, there’s nothing stopping you taking that, too! Find out more. 

Take a look at the full Butchers range for more BBQ gift ideas. 

July 25, 2014

Comics Unmasked - Art and Anarchy in the UK

A few weeks ago my brother in law and I went to go and visit the exhibition at the british library. Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

 You walked into the history of the first comics and early beginnings. They are not what you or I would think of as comics today. For example there were early illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper in the report called “Ripper Vic.’

 There were also classic illustrations from humorous  articles in Punch which include this funny portrait of Mr Punch.


The exhibition did lead into some more contemporary and mainstream artists such as Allan Moore (one of the UK’s greats exports). It was great as they had some real models which give you a scare!


We definitely recommend reading V for Vendetta


Overall it was well worth a visit. You also get to pop into the store where you can see out comic book cushions

May 13, 2013

Gifts from Dad and Gifts for Dad

We wanted to share with you one of our most favourite products that has so many individual stories. Mrs coconutgrass and myself love a holiday and are lucky enough to have been to some exotic and wild places. We call Las Vegas our second home and also had some great months travelling around South America. 

Just the name of the destination helps us remember the whole holiday and adventure. We sometimes write them on our destination blinds to frame around the house. They make a great gift and a few months ago we had some coconutgrass friends in sunny Texas who all shared in the great gift giving experience.

We thought we would attach some photos of the destinations that were picked by Dad.

This was from Dad for the ultimate bucket list. We are a big fan of vineyards having checked out Napa Valley near San Francisco. 

Unfortunately we don't have big waves in the middle of England but if we did go surfing we'd probably take the advice and go to some of these spots to catch a wave! 

Dad went one further and also wrote one destination blind for his daughter with all the Scottish Sayings she'd heard whilst at University in St. Andrews and then the American equivalents! 

As you can see every single one is different and better in their own individual way. These prints were from Dad but with fathers day fast approaching on the 16th June perhaps it is time to give dad something special. Below is our signature print which we love. CALLING ALL STOPS!

If you like our facebook page, you will automatically subscribe to exclusive discount for facebook followers and who knows you may be able to get that very special gift for dad or daddy!

May 07, 2013

Emergency uses of a tea towel from your kitchen

The bank holiday weekend was the usual pandaemonium of barbeques, entertaining and soaking up some of the sun. Everyone had had enough of the chicken tea towel so we tried to come up with some more inventive uses for tea towels. 

1. The emergency sling! (for those who take a bad fall after some dancing and want to protect the sprain).

2. The superhero cape - perfect to protect the meat on the barbecue. 

3. The baby blanket - just in case you forgot the muslin!

We've gone a little bit further for you and hand picked some tea towels we love so please take a peek.

1. The Orla 

Simple and on a panama cotton. Hopefully a timeless design.

2. The Catherine Colebrook - Proud to have this hanging on our oven. Love the colour too!



3. Butcher's tea towel - Our household favourite - available here at coconutrass, at and now up in Glasgow with Jolly Molly


Please let us know if you have anymore ideas for tea towels - we love them.



April 28, 2013

How to make a chicken out of a kitchen tea towel

We hope everyone had a lovely weekend relaxing, eating, drinking, gossping and everything else you should be doing at the weekend. If you have been hostessing with the mostessing then we've got a great little party trick for you to woo your friends next time. It's our show off piece.  Yesterday we made a chicken out of a tea towel!

Here's the how to in 6 easy steps.

1. Take a beautiful looking tea towel as modelled by our 'creative' director.

2. Lay the the towel and roll both ends in as shown below.

2. Fold the towel in half with the rolls facing out.

3. Pull the centre of the rolled ends out slightly so that the corners of the tea towel are exposed.

4. Pinch the ends of two corners opposite each other (opposite ends of the tea towel in step one).

5. Pinch the other ends below.

6. Pull your Poulet, et voila!


 If you found this useful and have a go please send us some of your photos of chicken tea towels.  I'm sure you can give us a few tips too!

No cows were hurt during this demonstration. All cows are made out of premium cotton and can be machine washed at 40 degrees. 

We're really excited as we're just finalising the details on a tea towel for our macaroon flavours print. 

We will keep on blogging and give you some other fun ideas to do in your home soon....

April 24, 2013

Our First bit of PR - Promoted on our fridge

I was looking at the fridge this morning and found some scrabble magnets given as a gift from my sister in law that had been rearranged into some string of abuse that I had let sit there for god knows how long unnoticed. I'd love to post a photo but I don't want to offend!

The general use for these scrabble tiles falls into 3 uses.

1. Rude phrases that will embarass visitors

2. The house 'to do' messages

3. Rearranging the house 'to do' messages into words / rude phrases that will embarass visitors. The added bonus is that you never saw the message/task needed to be done!


Anyway, I was looking at some magnets and found a very exciting thing that happend to coconutgrass last year. Our Personalised Destination Blind featured in the weekend suppliment of the daily mail. It was amazing as it was just before Christmas and people seemed to love them. They made a great gift and perfect for remembering those great journey's you have done with one another. I really love reading all the wonderful places but my favourite is still someone putting 'pancakes in bed.'



We also have to add special thanks to Camilla at the Travelling Souk who helped us gain this prestigous spot on the inside cover. We love this store and always find some great gifts - especially with daddys. We're also getting ready for a barbeque but don't know when we can have one. We got one of these bbq buckets for the back of the car as you never know when you may be able to take opportunity for a bbq.


Let's hope the sun keeps shining today!



April 23, 2013

Kitchen Decor - Being Bold

A brief bit of insider info into being bold and accessorising bright in your ktiche.

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