I love to make homemade gifts and usually work at it throughout the year, especially with canning up summer’s bounty. To “mix it up a bit” (pun intended), I decided to make a few elixirs and extracts to give as gifts this year, too.
If you’re planning on giving homemade vanilla extract for Christmas or more potent potables like infused liqueurs, you will need a head start of anywhere from two weeks to two months.
Better get crackin’. Christmas will be here before you know it.
Toni at Boulder Locavore has sooo many lethal infusions to make. Check out her 26 Infusions and Liqueurs. At Common Sense Homesteading, you can find out how to make your own vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts.
Here is my rendition for vanilla extract (compiled from a few different sources).
from Eliot’s Eats
10 vanilla beans
750 ml inexpensive vodka (70-90 proof) in a glass bottle
Chop or break the beans into 1/2 inch pieces. Place chopped beans in the vodka bottle. (If your cheap booze comes in a plastic bottle, transfer to a quart jar.)
Place in a cool dark location and shake the bottle once a day for a month.
Filter extract if desired. Pour into individual sterilized bottles for gifting.
I ordered my beans from Amazon.
Click here for link. I am making different varieties of vanilla for gift giving using these different Madagascar beans.
For my first batch, I used the bourbon planifolia vanilla beans. (That little bottle is from a kit I made last year.) I also received 10 Tahitian vanilla beans and 10 more of the bourbon plinifolia. I can make two more bottles. Whoo hoo!
I will have to do my best to remember to shake it once a day. (If you think about it, please remind me.)
The chopped beans make me think if tequila worms.
Stay tuned for some more elixir recipes that you can prepare for Christmas gifts.
Before I leave today, I wanted to show you what this elixir looked like after just one day.