Sunday, December 18, 2011

Alcohol For the Holidays

DIY-ing it for the holidays continues to be trendy. Usually, I like to make a few gifts to give to family members at Christmas. Since I've started giving homemade gifts, the bar has gotten higher and higher. Cookies? That's so 2008. Bagels? 2010. This year, my homemade gifts are made out of booze.

Judging from the buzz on the Internet, making your own liqueurs is popular this year. It's also pretty easy, depending on the liqueur you choose to make. I'm trying my hand at coffee liqueur, cranberry liqueur, and the ever-popular limoncello.

I got the recipe for coffee liqueur from Epicurious. It was almost impossibly easy. I did turn my back on the coffee syrup for a second though, resulting in a sticky boiling-over mess. I sampled a bit of the liqueur in a white Russian tonight and it was better than a certain name-brand booze, if I'm allowed to say that.

The cranberry liqueur recipe came from Cooking Light. Again, it was dead simple. Chop up 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, make some simple syrup, add vodka and let sit for a month. I just started the recipe a few days ago, so it won't be ready in time for Christmas.

Limoncello. Limoncello. Everyone gets all excited about this liqueur. It was actually the most annoying to make, as it involved removing the zesty-peel part of the lemons. The zesty-peel part of 10 lemons, actually. Using a slightly dull vegetable peeler and paring knife. I got lemon juice in my eyes twice. Currently, those peels are soaking 750 mL of vodka. After about a week, I'll add some simple syrup and let sit, then strain. I've never actually had limoncello, so I'm hoping it's good.

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