by Cora L. Diekman
Forget the cookies, the chocolates, and the baking for that matter! Surprise friends and family with the gift they really want (and need) this holiday season – vodka! And while a bottle of their favorite spirit is always much appreciated, why not go the extra (half) mile and DIY an edible treat that will amaze everyone on your gift list – even fussy foodies!
For the travel enthusiast: homemade limoncello
Anyone who has ever visited Italy (or even just dreamed of it) will appreciate a homemade batch of this zesty citrus treat. One pop of the bottle, and the delicious aroma will transport its recipient out of cold-weather winter doldrums and directly to the Amalfi coast. And no one has to know how simple this 3-ingredient recipe is to make. Simply peel 10 lemons and combine the peels with one 750-ml bottle of vodka, and cover with plastic wrap for 7 days. After 7 days, strain the peels. Then create a simple syrup with ⅔ c water and ⅔ c sugar, add the sugar syrup to the vodka, and stir to combine. Allow to rest for 1 month before gifting.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
For the baking enthusiast: homemade vanilla extract
If a boozy beverage treat isn’t at the top of everyone’s wish list, try this 2-ingredient recipe instead. Every baking enthusiast knows that vanilla extract is an absolute must, so why not gift them with a homemade bottle of the read deal? These sweet little bottles are a treat to the eye just as the dark amber liquor inside is a treat for the tastebuds. To make, simply fill a medium-sized bottle with up to 12 split vanilla bean pods and top with vodka. Allow to marinate for at least a month before gifting.
Recipe via Ina Garten
For the bloody mary enthusiast: pepper-infused vodka
Add a kick to any cocktail with a shot of spicy pepper infused vodka. While perfect for the brunch classic Bloody Mary, spicy spirits are having a moment right now on the cocktail scene, adding heat to drinks that are traditionally sweet in nature. This recipe can be made with any spicy pepper – from habanero to jalapeno to red chiles – depending on your desired level of spice. Slice peppers lengthwise, place in a bottle, and top with vodka (garlic is optional for an additional kick). Allow to rest for at least a week before serving.
Recipe via Emeril Lagasse
For the sweet cocktail enthusiast: pineapple-infused vodka
Not everyone is a Bloody Mary gal. No worries! That’s okay when you have this oh-so-delicious sweet cocktail alternative that’s perfect for so many fruity libations! This 3-ingredient treat comes together by slicing a whole pineapple and combining with one 750-ml bottle of vodka and ⅓ cup of sugar. Allow to marinate for 48 hours and then strain, and store until ready to serve.
Recipe via Saveur
For the maraschino cherry enthusiast: vodka soaked cherries
Just when you thought nothing could improve the nostalgia-inducing candy-like sweetness of Maraschino cherries, enter Vodka. Vodka soaked cherries are the perfect cocktail adornment, but are just as tempting as a poppable (spiked!) sweet treat. The beauty of this recipe is that a single bottle of your favorite spirit (nearly any liquor will do) is enough to make several jars of these oh-so-giftable cherries. To make, simply replace half of the syrup from a jar of store bought Maraschino cherries with vodka, and marinate for up to a month before serving (but they only get better with age). Bonus points for repotting these in your own decorative glass jars for a more personal touch.
Recipe via So, How’s It Taste