Spiced Fruit Liqueur and Ginger and Orange Spiced Gin recipes – for festive cheer, they make delicious homemade gifts.
These recipes use kitchen cupboard ingredients so you should be able to find all of the ingredients at home or in your local shops. Both are flavoured with fragrant spices which smell of Christmas.
The flavours mature and develop during the infusing period of 4-5 weeks, so if you’d like to make these for festive presents, now is the time to make them.
The infused spirits are highly flavoured, so don’t use your best artisan gin, that would be a waste! Most supermarkets offer a decent own brand which is ideal for these recipes. Do avoid ultra-cheap gin or vodka, which is likely to cause diabolical hangovers.
For both recipes you’ll need a large jar with a lid, for infusing.
You can replace the vodka or gin with rum, brandy or whisky if you prefer. The taste will be different of course but the ingredients work with those spirits too.
This is some of last year’s spiced vodka. I’ve been using it to soak the fruit in for our Christmas cakes and to “feed” the cakes too.
The liqueurs are delicious sipped neat or mixed in cocktails.
Spiced fruit liqueur
1 litre gin or vodka
200g dried fruit (eg: cranberries, raisins, I used home-dried berries from the garden)
200g granulated sugar (I used organic unbleached sugar, regular white is fine too)
rind of 2 oranges
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
Carefully remove the rind from the oranges so that there is as little pith as possible. I used this style of peeler which works really well.
Pour the sugar into the large jar and add the spices and peel.
Pour over the vodka or gin, and stir.
I made two lots of this recipe – the large jar contains vodka and the smaller one gin.
I’m storing the jars on a dresser out of direct sunlight.
After 4-5 weeks, strain through a sieve lined with muslin and store in labelled bottles. The liqueur will keep for many years.
The boozy fruit can be used to make cakes and puddings.
Ginger and Orange Spiced Gin
You can also use vodka, whiskey, rum or brandy.
100g root ginger, sliced (no need to peel if it is organic)
100g soft brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
peel of 2 oranges
1 litre of gin
The method is exactly the same as for Spiced Fruit Liqueur.
When the liqueur is ready to strain, save the spices and peel. Place in a pan and add water so that the pan is half full. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer (or pop it on top of the woodburner if you have one). This will fill the room with delicious fragrance!
Do keep your eye on it and don’t let it boil dry.