Spiced Arancello

Five Homemade Gifts With Vodka

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Both hubby and I drank vodka as students.  It was cheap and reasonably palatable (our mixer of choice was limeade – you could buy a 2 litre bottle for about 50p! We were classy kids in those days…)  Nearly 20 years on and we still find ourselves being given bottles of vodka by well meaning friends and relatives.  Neither of us drinks the stuff anymore (quite frankly we had enough to last a lifetime at uni!) but I’m still very pleased to receive it because it’s so versatile when it comes to homemade gift giving.  Here are five of my favourite gifts with vodka…

1) Limoncello

Limoncello – BBC Good Food

Everyone’s favourite holiday liqueur! SO easy to make and a fab gift to receive.

Limoncello Recipe – BBC Good Food

2) Blackberry Vodka

Nigella has done a great recipe for this.  It transforms the vodka into something sweet and delicious – think alcoholic Ribena!  The recipe isn’t online so here’s a quick rundown:

You will need:

1 x 70 cl bottle vodka

500 g blackberries

200 g caster sugar

  • Sterilise a 1.5 litre bottle or jar and pour in the vodka, blackberries & sugar.  Seal and shake until the sugar dissolves (this takes a while!)
  • Store in a cool, dry place and shake each day for 2 weeks and then once a week for another month
  • After 6-8 weeks your vodka is ready to strain and decant into the (sterilised) bottles of your choice
  • The booze soaked berries can be enjoyed with ice cream 🙂

3) Arancello (spiced vodka)

Spiced Arancello – BBC Good Food

This is really unusual but absolutely yummy. Like Limoncello, it’s a tasty little tipple but is also great on puddings.

Arancello Recipe – BBC Good Food

4) Vanilla Extracts

Just so you don’t think I’m a complete booze hound! I get through quite a bit of this stuff and it’s not cheap so I was very excited when I discovered that it could be made so easily.

You will need:

1 x 70 cl bottle vodka

2 vanilla pods

  • Cut your vanilla pods in half lengthways, so as to expose the lovely, fragrant seeds
  • Add them to your bottle of vodka and store in a cool, dark place.
  • Shake occasionally and leave for around 6 months before decanting into some pretty (sterilised) bottles

The same theory can be used for other flavoured extracts too – orange or lemon peel can be used to make lovely citrus extracts. Some mint leaves can be used for (you’ve guessed it!) mint extract. Why not experiment with other ingredients and see what exciting extracts you can come up with?

5) Chilli Vodka

Just give on it’s own, or add some tomato juice, Worcester Sauce and Tabasco to make a great little Bloody Mary Kit.  Perfect for those Christmas hangover brunches 😉

You will need:

1 x 70 cl bottle vodka

2 red chillis

So simple – just stick your chillis in your vodka and leave them to infuse for a couple of weeks.  If you’re giving as a gift, then feel free to decant into a pretty bottle and add your own label!

What do you think?

Get in touch and let me know if there are any other vodka based homemade gifts that you make!

Colette Broomhead

I am a 30 something mother of 2 little boys and I live with them and my husband in Nottingham. My passions are my family and friends, my kitchen, my cookery books and all things food and drink!

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