Need some Christmas drink inspiration or alternative gift ideas? These special brews are perfect to be shared with friends and family. Take one as a gift when you next go and visit a friend or bring with you to the Christmas dinner. Your efforts will be much appreciated!
Here are 5 easy (but awesome) recipes to make your own flavoured vodka at home!
Before you get started:
1 To make the gift extra special choose a nice glass bottle or a jar, some ribbon and other Christmassy items to decorate the bottle with. You can also make your own labels.
2 Sterilise any bottles or jars: preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas. Wash your bottles and lids in hot soapy water, rinse well, then leave to drain briefly. Put the bottles into the warm oven and leave for at least 15 minutes before using. Make sure the bottles don’t touch each other.
3 Choose a good-quality vodka, otherwise your efforts will be wasted. (Sipsmith, Grey Goose, Belvedere, Ciroc, Koskenkorva…)
4 Do not freeze the ready-made vodka if you have used water in the recipe.
5 All the ready-flavoured vodkas should be kept in the fridge for best quality.
1 Candy cane vodka
Candy cane vodka can be used as a base for different martinis, a hot chocolate, or enjoyed as a shot. Just buy a nice bottle and some ribbon to decorate it with, and you will have a great easy gift for someone!
8 × candy cane
Add the canes to a jar, jug or bottle and pour vodka over them. Shake occasionally until the canes have fully dissolved. Pour the ready liquid into your chosen bottle (alternatively, you can make it directly in this bottle), and decorate the bottle with a ribbon and a candy cane.
2 Gingerbread vodka
A lot of calories, but hey, we are allowed to indulge at Christmas! It is recommended to leave this recipe for 4 days, but the longer you leave it, the tastier it will be!
75g fresh ginger, finely chopped
75g crystallised ginger, chopped
2 × cinnamon stick
10 × clove
Half a vanilla pod, split lengthways for more flavour
100g light muscovado sugar (or normal brown sugar)
1 tsp black treacle
Put all the ingredients into a large jar, give it a stir and leave it to infuse in a cool, dark place for 4 days, shaking it a few times each day. Double strain the ready vodka into a bowl. Pour the finished vodka into bottles or decanters.
3 Bathtub Gin – homemade gin-flavoured vodka (say whaat??)
Yes, behind every gin is a great vodka… Here’s how you can make your own gin without the hassle of distilling.
2 tbsp juniper berries
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried lemongrass
2 small strips dried orange peel, avoid white pith as it’s bitter
Half a cinnamon stick
Other possible spices: 1 stick liquorice root, dried lemon peel, 2 cardamom pods, 1 sage leaf or half a bay leaf
Add all ingredients together and leave for 24 hours, shaking just once during this time. Check the taste and leave it to rest for another day. If you wish to boost the taste of any specific spice, add it in after the first 24 hours. Strain and pour into your chosen bottles.
4 Cranberry & Rosemary Vodka
The bright red colour screams of Christmas and everyone loves a bit of rosemary. This vodka is great on its own or served with soda or prosecco.
4–5 cups of cranberries
50cl of water
6 sprigs of rosemary
First blend the cranberries and water in a blender (or crush them with potato crusher if you don’t have a blender). Transfer the blended liquid into a saucepan and add sugar and rosemary. Bring to the boil for about 30 seconds and then lower the heat and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Test the flavour before taking it off the heat. Strain the cranberry and rosemary mixture and let it cool down. When ready, add vodka and pour into bottles. Decorate the bottle with a sprig of rosemary.
5 Christmas pudding vodka
300g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, figs)
75g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp ground mixed spice
finely grated nutmeg (be careful with nutmeg as it can become overpowering)
1 orange, zest
1 lemon, zest
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Mix all the spices and top up with vodka. You can use a big saucepan or a bowl covered with cling film. Store the mixture in the fridge for two to three days. Try it after two and decide on the flavour. Strain the vodka mix before pouring into bottles.
Have you made flavoured vodkas or other spirits at home before? What is your favourite flavour?