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December 2, 2009

Raspberry Cordial & Peppermint Liqueur

Years ago, during a Thanksgiving weekend at my brother's house, we made a couple of liqueurs for that year's Christmas gifts. I used the nicely corked and wax-covered bottles for gifts, and set aside a couple of the not-so-pretty screw top bottles for myself. Of course, I picked out the most perfect ones for my parents. When we opened the bottles at my folks that holiday, it was so awfully strong we poured it down the drain!

I am not much of a drinker, so the bottles I'd set aside were soon forgotten. I came across them the other day (FIVE years later) and cracked one open to see how it had aged. Yummy perfection! I'll be doing this again, and storing it myself for a long time before giving it away, instead of asking people to age it themselves.

We made two kinds--Raspberry Cordial & Peppermint Liqueur. We tinted the raspberry a nice shade of pink, and went with blue to indicate the icy peppermint. This is definitely something that takes a lot of advanced planning, to collect pretty jars and decanters from thrift shops or garage sales. A little goes a long way, so small containers are more than adequate. And because you likely won't be giving more than one bottle to the same person or household, they don't have to match, but can come in a variety of styles.

It was fun to embellish these with ribbons and beads, and to design the labels that I stuck to the back or bottom of the bottles.

Raspberry Cordial

2 parts Raspberry Juice
2 parts Vodka
1 1/4 parts Sugar

Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Store in large bottles for 22 days. Pour into gift bottles and seal.

Peppermint Liqueur

1/3 C White Sugar
1 (16 oz) Jar Light Corn Syrup
2 C Vodka
2 Tsp Peppermint Extract

In a 2 quart pan over medium heat, combine sugar and corn syrup. Heat until sugar dissolves, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vodka. Cover and allow to cool. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour into a sealable bottle. Makes 16 servings.

Have you ever made your own liqueurs or spirits? Given them away as gifts or kept for yourself? If you have an experience to relate please post a comment on the blog.

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