Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gifts for the Holidays

One of the things that I love doing for the holidays is gift giving, but obviously giving so many gifts to people can be...well....expensive, if you were to buy gifts from the store.

But, as a crafter, I love making the gifts that I make, just for a bit of a personal touch, but making gifts for everyone on my gift list can potentially drive me to the brink of madness. So, I do some batch making of gifts -- either chocolates, cookies, or liqueurs. They allow me to give handmade gifts, without having to make every individual gift...individual.

For my tea liqueurs, I usually make an Earl Grey, but this year, I also made a Jasmine Tea Liqueur for a Jasmine-Lychee Martini mix. (I'm still experimenting with this recipe). I've also made a Gunpowder Liqueur, Irish Breakfast, and Green tea.

Here's how I make my Earl Grey tea, which is the easiest by far. (There are plenty of other web resources for making your own liqueurs. I highly suggest doing a search & experimenting!)

  1. Buy some commercial vodka. If you have a Costco or a Sam's Club, you can get a 16L bottle of Kirkland vodka for a decent price.
  2. Add 6,7,8 tea bags to the vodka bottle and let that steep for at least one week.
  3. Make some brown sugar (or regular sugar) syrup, and add to the Earl Grey. You can also just add the sugar straight into the vodka, but you'll have to shake up the bottle very well.
  4. Let sit until you're ready to bottle.
  5. Buy some bottles. I got mine from Speciality Bottles (8.5 oz). Make sure you wash the bottles and the caps thoroughly. (I find a nice hot run through the dishwasher works well.)
  6. Buy some blank labels
  7. Decant your tea into your bottles and cap.
  8. Create nifty labels for your tea.
  9. Gift wrap and give to your friends!

  Tea Liqueurs