Wednesday, November 26

The Gift of Giving Boozy Gifts with The Usual Saucepans

What do you mean you 'don't do' homemade Christmas gifts? I don't care that it's 'only November' and you're not feeling like making stuff; it's time to throw both those ideas out of the window, because today we're talk making boozy Christmas gifts.

I'm not a 'crafter' (although some would say 'crafty', and not entirely kindly), so if I was making Christmas gifts I think people would be justified in mistaking them for the work of a primary school kid; I'm happy to stick what I'll modestly claim to be good at: booze.

OK, so that probably makes me sound like an alcoholic, but be as it may I quite like making interesting drinks, and those who get them as presents are yet to complain either. The best part is that they're all dead easy – the hardest part is being patient enough to wait for it all to settle, then having to give it away!

Each of the following works as a gift in its own right, and it's well worth making a little extra for yourself. They go along the lines of mixing sugar and flavourings then letting them infuse the alcohol slowly – the full recipe for each can be found on The Usual Saucepans on the links included. Judging on what other parts of the internet says, you can leave them for a good three-four months (and I suspect longer) without causing them harm, but none of mine have ever lasted that long.

Christmas is a great excuse for a bit of excess, so whether you're normally one for the home made or not, I suggest you try one or two of these. My one major piece of advice though is watch your base spirit – anything 'too good' would be a waste (you'll over-power the subtle flavours), but if you go too cheap, well let's just say that if you start with paint stripper you'll just end up with paint stripper that has notes of Christmas in it. I tend to use Gordons/Smirnoff red label, but it's up to you.


Bright and vibrant, both in colour and flavour, limoncello is an excellent gift. I've heard many people say that it's one of those drinks that only tastes good whilst you're on holiday, but I disagree. Serve it ice cold and you can enjoy it all year and anywhere.

Chilli & Lime Gin:

I'm a big fan of all three of those things, but combined they are even better. Both a vibrant colour – I mean, who doesn't want to drink something green? - and warming in taste, this drink is one for the guys who like to pretend they're tough (and anyone else who enjoys a warming gin!).

It wouldn't be Christmas if Christmas Pudding wasn't involved somewhere, but if yours doesn't contain enough brandy (not a problem in our family), then why not go to the other end of the spectrum and start with the alcohol and make it taste like Christmas Pudding? This vodka is flavoured by the fruit and spices, it'll be closer to the taste of an actually pudding than you'd think.

Mulled Gin:

We all love mulled wine (don't we?) and most of us are exciting that mulled cider is becoming 'a thing', so why not go the whole hog and mull your gin as well? It's Christmas-y goodness many times over and one which I will be making in an even bigger batch this year, if only to ensure there's a bottle left over for me!

So what are you waiting for? It's time to get your Christmas on and get creating something we'd all love to receive. If you like these ideas and want more Christmas, then please come over to The Usual Saucepans and join in the festive celebrations.

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1 comment:

  1. I left home in August and will be back at Christmas so I made some plum vodka (from our plum tree) to start infusing while I'm away - so excited to see the finished product!