I’m not much of a drinker, but there was a time when I really did pride myself on bringing a fruity concoction – usually dubbed ‘jungle juice’ – to any BYO gathering. It all started after a rather disastrous attempt at sneaking booze into a festival and since then has been my mainstay gift for birthdays, dinner parties, Christmas presents, or to crack open just because it’s Friday.
You do have to prepare in advance, but I find infused vodka is always a well appreciated gift. Best of all, it costs little more than a bottle of booze, some fruit, herbs and time.
Get experimenting – try combinations of apple, pear and cinnamon, strawberries and basil, or orange, aniseed and cinnamon, pineapple, coconut and lime, and my old favourite, watermelon and ginger.
When storing, be sure to leave in a cool, dark place. Then serve in a pretty decanter or even in the original vodka bottle – topped with a bow.
What you’ll need:
- A cup of blueberries
- A few sprigs of lavender
- Edible lavender oil (available from cake shops)
- 600mls of vodka
- A sterilised container or 1L bottle.
How to make:
First, be sure that your bottle is completely sterilised by cleaning with boiling water.
Fill the bottle approximatly three quarters full with vodka.
Spoon in around 250g of blueberries add a few sprigs of fresh lavender, and a drop or two of lavender essential oil. You can buy the edible stuff in most specialized cake shops. Don’t go overboard as I did one New Years Eve – it tasted like soap (but seeing it was the last bit of booze in the house, we drank it anyway.)
Give it a shake every now and then, and in a couple of weeks, it’s ready to drink but it will keep indefinitely. To turn it into a sweet, after dinner liquour, pour it all into a large saucepan, add a cup of sugar, and simmer for 40 minutes.
Let cool, then strain into a bottle.
Don’t throw the strained blueberries out, put them in a small jar topped up with the vodka. These can be gifted as champaign toppers. WARNING: These little suckers are very potent and really sneak up on you!
Drink your lavender bluerry booze with lemonade and a fresh squeeze of lime. Yum!
If you’re more a watching than reading type, check out the video below I put together with the help of Triton Media – and no but really, how adorable is Upper the Dog!