Please forgive me dear readers for I am about to get a bit Christmassy on your asses!
I used to struggle each year with what to get for our extended family. Between me and the boy we have lots of brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles to sort presents for and it gets both expensive and stressful. So about three years ago I started making hampers and people loved them. I include all sorts of homemade treats; peppermint creams, chocolate truffles, christmas shortbread, hot chocolate pots and BOOZE. Lots and lots of booze. Homemade alcohol to be precise.
I found that foraging for berries in Autumn and setting everything off meant that I was far less pushed for time and these delicious boozy delights taste amazing after a couple of months of fermenting. I usually make a few bottles of each and then syphon them into smaller 100ml bottles for each hamper with my own handmade labels.
These are three staples that can really add a touch of swank to the hampers and have everyone nice and merry by the time the Turkey’s out of the oven!
What you’ll need:
Either an empty and sterile 2 litre botle from soft drink or still water OR some sexy glass pop-top bottles like I’ve used (I got my from Wilkinsons)
A few handfuls of blackberries, sloe’s and strawberry bon bon’s (or any other sweet you fancy turning boozy – rhubarb and custards/skittles etc.)
Vodka and Gin (I use 70cl bottles of the cheapest possible variety for each batch)
Caster sugar (I use about 180-200g per 70cl, but you don’t need it for the sweet-based booze)
What you’ll do:
Funnel your alcohol into your chosen receptacle. I like the 1 litre kilner bottles because that spare 30cl is the perfect amount of room to get your sugar and berries/sweets in!
Funnel in the sugar and then add as as many of the berries as you can until the bottle is nice and full.
Repeat with the rest and shake every few days. You’ll see the sweets dissolve quite quickly but the fruit takes a few weeks.o get to a nice thick and sticky consistency. I also use a standard kilner jar for the sweet-based booze because you can’t actually get the sweets inside the tall bottles (I discovered this the hard way – yes I’m a numpty).
Just remember you don’t need to add sugar to the sweet-based boozes! There’s plenty in there already to push the alcohol content up a few notches!
I’m hoping this will mean I have lots of lovely alcoholic treats for the hampers this year – although the boy has already declared that these won’t be making it passed Christmas eve. Might need to whip up a second round to keep us happy too.
Side Note – If you are the kind of person that enjoys a shot, try getting a shot glass and adding half sloe gin, and then half strawberry bon bon vodka on top. We call it the strawberry bang bang and it is a total taste sensation!