The latest Degustabox has just arrived and this special festive edition provoked as many oohs and aahs as the kids' stockings on Christmas morning !
Here are the contents of this month's box and it featured a lot of sweet snacks, which is why it was so popular with the Madhouse kids !
Starting with the drinks, there were a trio of glass bottles, containing two alcoholic options and one soft drink.
The Good Cider (2 x £1.50) is a brand that I've tried before and enjoyed in previous Degustaboxes. This time I got two flavoured ciders, Wild Berries and Strawberry-Lime, both of which are refreshing, zingy, fruity drinks that reminded me somewhat of the alcopops I used to favour in my early drinking days. They can be drunk over ice in a glass or straight from the bottle, after being chilled in the fridge.
J20 Glitterberry (£2.49 but can be bought as a 4-pack for £4) is a wonderful addition to your festive dinner table or New Year's Eve party. It is a unique grape and cherry spiced flavour drink, with echoes of mulled wine. The real wow-factor comes when you shake the bottle though, because it's like a snowglobe in drink form, containing edible glitter that sparkles when the bottle is shaken. This led to the question of whether you'd end up with glittery wee if you drank too much - answers on a postcard !!
Continuing on the sparkly theme, the kids were delighted to discover a duo of Hartley's Glitter Jellies (2 x 75p), which also contain edible glitter for a sparkly effect. The Degustabox recipe card this month was for a fun blue glitter jelly snow globe, that we will definitely be making once I've stocked up on snowflake cake decorations. You can't have too much glitter at Christmas as far as I'm concerned, and that includes on your plate !
There were both sweet and savoury snack options this month, which appealed to the whole family.
Butterkist Choc Mallow Popcorn (£1.49) is an indulgent snack that I found slightly too sweet but the kids loved it. I preferred the Butterkist Sweet Cinema Style Popcorn (28p - this is the multipack size, which costs £1.69 for 6) and I like the single portion size, which makes it perfect for snacks on-the-go or lunchboxes.
Pipers Crisp Co put their newest flavour into this month's Degustabox - Atlas Mountains Wild Thyme and Rosemary crisps (£2) are crunchy and tasty, with a sophisticated flavour that appealed more to the grown-ups than the kids.
Ahmad Tea Pear & Cinnamon Strudel Tea Pyramids (£4) were the alternative option to the alcoholic drinks, depending on your Degustabox preferences. Sophie squealed as soon as she saw them and flicked the kettle on, but she found that the taste of the black tea overpowered the fruity dessert flavour and she needed to add a fair amount of sugar to get the taste she wanted. If you're a black tea fan, you'll like them though and there are five other dessert-inspired flavours to try.
The Appy Kids Co Golden Apple Juice (£1.49) got a big thumbs up from the Madhouse kids, both for the sweet flavour and the Gruffalo-themed packaging. They are 100% natural with no added sugar and are sweetened with plant stevia, making them a lunchbox-friendly option.
I was intrigued by the Hollandaise Sauce by Christian Potier (also available in two other varieties - £2.50), which comes in convenient single serve sachets that offer a no-waste option because each pouch has enough for one plate. They can be heated in the microwave for 10 seconds or incorporated into whatever dish you're preparing.
I poured the contents of two sachets over some bacon wrapped leeks (full recipe coming up on the blog later in the week), which was lovely. Hollandaise sauce also goes nicely with poached eggs, fresh asparagus and fish.
Ryvita are always handy options for smorging or putting on the side of a festive cheeseboard. Their Caramelised Onion Flatbread Thins (£1.89) are great for dipping in guacamole, cheesy dips and salsa but also boiled eggs or soup. The Cracked Black Pepper Crackers (£1.29) can be topped with anything from cheese, tomato and smoked salmon to pâté. Ideal for light suppers when you've been overdoing the turkey and Christmas pud !
Broderick's Crunchy Slam-Dunk Peanut Chunk (£1.20) is a thick, delicious and totally indulgent bar that we all enjoyed, despite cutting it into five mini slices so that we could all try it ! It contains whole roasted peanuts, crunchy rice krispies, chunky peanut butter and a marble top of Belgian white and milk chocolate. Yum !
Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps (£1.19) are a deliciously rich, crispy biscuit that can be enjoyed on its own or topped with banana, ice cream and caramel sauce for a naughty but nice dessert.
And finally, Michel et Augustin 4 Cookie Squares (89p) was another unanimous hit - easy to share, clean to eat with the chocolate in the middle and decidedly moreish.
As a Degustabox blogger, I got to sample all of the products that went into this month's boxes but subscribers received a slightly different combination of products depending on their preferences when they signed up.
A subscription to Degustabox costs £12.99 per month including delivery, with each box having a value of much more than that, but the great news is, I have a discount coupon code for you which now gives you a whopping £7 off the price of your first box, so you'll get it for just £5.99 - just enter code 0BS6T at the checkout.
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Disclosure : We received the box in order to write an honest review. As a Degustabox blogger, I receive all of the products that go into the monthly boxes, but subscribers may not get exactly the same selection.