Flavoured with sugar and spice and all things nice, this Christmas vodka has all the sweet tastes of the festive season in one glass!
This festive vodka is the perfect tipple to serve with Christmas pudding or a slice of Christmas cake.
Like my Cranberry and clementine gin it is made by infusing the base spirit with other flavours, in this case, dried fruits and spices.
However, unlike many flavoured gins and vodkas, this is really quick to make and takes just 3 days for the flavours to infuse into the vodka. Most take several weeks! Despite this short time the end result is a rich, fruity, sweet drink that packs a punch of flavour in just a few sips.
I've used a mixture of dried fruits that go into a figgy Christmas pudding.
- Figs - use no soak ready to eat dried figs.
- Mixed dried fruits - use a mixture sultanas, currants and raisins.
- Mixed Peel - this adds some lovely citrusy notes to the vodka.
I've used light muscovado sugar (an unrefined soft brown sugar), which imparts a lovely soft caramelly tone to the drink. Dark muscovado or dark brown sugar will be too strong. Golden caster sugar could be used and will give a lighter flavour.
Cinnamon, cloves, allspice – Cinnamon and cloves are almost mandatory festive spices. I like the complexity of allspice so if you have some allspice berries then I highly recommend you add them. However you don't want to buy them specially for this then you could add some grated nutmeg instead.
The zest of lemons is full of aromatic oils that add a little zing. Remove the zest in strips with a small sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler. Take care not to include the white pith that is bitter and will add off notes if included.
The first time I made this I used gin. Gin is made from a neutral spirit with the addition of aromatics including juniper which must remain the predominant aromatic flavour. However the strong flavours of the fruit and spices completely drowned out any of the gin undertones.
I now make it with vodka which has a more neutral flavour and is ideal for pepping up with additional flavourings. You do not need to buy a premium vodka for this recipe, use a supermarket own brand or any of the more popular brands if it is on special offer.
Don't throw away the soaked fruit. Discard the whole spices (consider trying them into a small muslin bag before adding to the fruit to make this easier) and lemon zest. Use the soaked fruit to make a cake or put it in your Christmas pudding. It is also delicious served spooned over ice cream.
Serve as an aperitif or after dinner with dessert course in place of a sweet dessert wine.
Try pouring some over vanilla ice cream.
This vodka makes a fabulous festive gift for grown-ups. Last Christmas I made a batch of Christmas vodka and Cranberry and clementine gin and served them in mini bottles with name labels to use as table gifts/place markers.
Step by step
- 100 g dried figs chopped
- 200 g dried mixed fruit
- 50 g chopped mixed peel
- 50 g light muscovado sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 cloves
- 6 allspice berries
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 500 ml inexpensive vodka
- Place 100g chopped dried figs in a large bowl and add 200g mixed dried and 50g chopped mixed peel.
- Add 50g light muscovado sugar, 1 cinnamon stick 12 cloves and 6 allspice berries. Then pour in 500ml vodka.
- Pare the zest from the lemon taking care not to include the white pith and add to the bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and leave to steep for 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Line a sieve with muslin and strain the vodka into a large jug. Pour the infused vodka into a sterilised bottle . Seal, label and store in a cool dark place.
- Sterilise bottles in the same way you would sterilise jam jars for preserving.
- Discard the whole spices and use the fruit to make a fruit cake or Christmas pudding. Or serve spooned over vanilla icecream
- Best used within 6 months