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Homemade Drink for Christmas Gifts.....?

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I've always infused fresh cranberries in vodka and put them in pretty bottles for Christmas gifts. This year I'd like to try something new...any ideas? TIA

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  1. Egg nog might be a nice choice. Most people have never had good nog before and it really is quite tasty. The Chow recipe is really great:

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/10758

    ... this year I made it with some allspice dram and a bit of peach liqueur in place of some of the bourbon--both modifications I found from Googling around for various recipes. But the base recipe is great as-is.

    6 Replies
    1. re: davis_sq_pro

      Thanks. I really need something to give that will keep at least a week before use in this case.

      1. re: Funwithfood

        The Chow eggnog recipe will keep up to a year in the fridge. As a matter of fact, the longer you keep it the better it gets. Last year I made it in July and it was fantastic by the end of December. This year, unfortunately, I didn't get my act together until October, but I have big plans for making another batch come January, to be consumed next December...

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          That is totally trippy--who knew you could "age" eggnog!

          (I'd like to test this first before giving it as a gift :))

      2. re: davis_sq_pro

        <Kinda bumping this thread>

        I made this eggnog on Sunday (12-6-09) and put it in the refrigerator...
        This evening I went downstairs to check it - and make sure the sump-pump was working - and well, it looked a bit iffy.
        Like it had separated a bit on the top or some of the alcohol had risen up. I took it out and gave it a swirl, opened it and smelled it (yum) and I think it's okay,

        I'm just wondering if this is normal/okay.
        Or if I should start over...?

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          Yes, that's happened to me both times. Being the kind of guy who likes to mess around where I probably shouldn't, I tend to occasionally take the nog out of the fridge to give it a shake. Over the first few weeks it separates out once or twice (if you shake it every few days), but after that the ingredients seem to coalesce (emulsify, perhaps?). According to the article the egg yolk takes some time to gelatinize, so perhaps that's what helps keep everything suspended after some time. Anyway, as far as I'm aware you have nothing to worry about.

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            oh excellent!

            Thanks for the help!

      3. A few years ago, I made a homemade coffee liquor. It was very easy...and extremely smooth. Along with the bottle of liquor, I packaged it with a couple of pretty glass mugs and a bag of high quality coffee. The gifts were a hit.
        This year, I am trying crabapple liquor mae with crabapples from my new little tree. I won't get much out of it - so I may be saving it all for myself.
        Another wonderful gift is Rumtopf - but it needs to be started in July.
        I think homemade gifts are great.

        1. I did a black pepper infused vodka for one couple (he's diabetic, so I went savory) and an "apple pie" for the other couple.

          Both were a hit, but the pepper-infused recipient STILL raves about that.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Monch

            What proportions did you use, and how long did it need to infuse?

            1. re: Funwithfood

              For the pepper, I just used whole, good quality, peppercorns. I would estimate that, for a 750ml bottle I used between a quarter cup and a third cup. The pepper I only infused for a couple of days. It went fast.

              For the pumpkin pie, it was about the same amount of spices (quarter to a third cup) in their WHOLE state. I took the proportions of spices from a pie recipe and just scaled it all up. THAT went for over a week.

              Finally, when the infusion was done, I ran the whole mess through a doubled paper coffee filter...twice. Two fresh sets of filters total.

              Hope that helps....I just winged it and it was a hit.

            2. re: Monch

              That black pepper vodka is just the thing for Bloody Marys, by the way.

              If the OP is still looking for ideas, how 'bout homemade tonic water syrup? A little trendy, but quite delicious.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                AB,

                That was precisely the intent and it went over fantastically.

                I have now made our own spiced rum. It also turned out fantastically.

                My wife drinks Capt. Morgan and I think I have created a convert.

                The recipe is at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12339...

                We infused for three days.