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Homemade Spirits for Holiday Giving from Amy Tobin

Homemade Spirits for Holiday Giving from Amy Tobin, EQ at The Party Source and Amy's Table





Cranberry Cordial


Prep time: 15 minutes
Stand time: 2-3 weeks

Make ahead: Requires 2 weeks


2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

3 cups vodka


In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool. Process cranberries in a food processor until finely chopped.

In a large glass jar with a lid combine the cranberries and sugar mixture; stir in vodka. Seal with lid. Let stand 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; discard cranberries.

Pour liqueur into clean bottles or jars.


Blood Orange Vodka

Makes 1 (750 ml) bottle

2 blood oranges, washed and dried

1 (750-ml) bottle  vodka


Cut blood oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and layer in a tall, wide-mouth jar.  Pour vodka over top (reserve bottle); seal lid. Allow to infuse in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 days. 

Strain infused vodka through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; discard solids. Use a funnel to pour liquid back into bottle. Store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to give. Tie a bow and attach a gift card, or create your own label.



Homemade Kahlua

Makes 6 cups

3 cups sugar

3 cups water

½ cup instant coffee crystals

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups vodka


In a large saucepan combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil; reduce hear and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in coffee crystals and vanilla extract; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in vodka. Let cool. Transfer to bottles.


Peppermint Schnapps 

Ready in: an instant!

Note: Homemade liqueurs look great in special bottles with minor embellishments. Tie a pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle and tie on a jingle bell or  tuck in a decorative holiday pick. Make a personalized label from cardstock and use double-faced tape to attach it to the jar.


1/3 cup sugar
1 16-ounce bottle light corn syrup
2 cups vodka
2 teaspoons peppermint extract



In a 2 quart pan over medium heat, combine sugar and corn syrup. Heat until sugar dissolves, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vodka. Cover and cool. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour into a seal-able bottle.


Chocolate Covered Peppermint Martini

2 ounces Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
2 ounces Stoli Vanilla Vodka
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
Garnish: Finely chopped peppermints and a chocolate dipped peppermint stick

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with crushed peppermints. Garnish with peppermint stick.

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