December 6, 2017 6:57 am Leave your thoughts
We think Christmas should be just a little bit less ordinary this year! Let’s avoid the heaving, sharp-elbowed crowds of the high street, abandon the mounds of plastic wrapping and packaging that fill our bins – and see what wonderful gifts we can make ourselves, in the snug comfort of our own homes.
Spirits are set to be a really popular present choice this Christmas. They’re also particularly easy to personalise, turning a mass-produced product into something much more special.
One of our favourite options for Christmas is cranberry and lime infused vodka. The red berries crammed into the bottle give a real festive appearance, and the recipe is rather soothing to follow! It requires just the right amount of concentration to allow you to make it while listening (and singing along) to carols… Find a good, decorative bottle for this vodka, and tie it up with a fancy red bow.
To make one litre, you’ll need the following:
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- 1 lime
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- Enough vodka to fill the bottle you’ve chosen.
Peel your lime and cut the peel into smaller segments. Pierce each cranberry, probably with a skewer or the tine of a fork. Layer the cranberries and lime in the bottle. When you’ve got as much in as you can, shake the sugar down and fill the bottle with vodka. Seal the bottle and shake again gently, to disperse the sugar. Then place in a cool, dark place for five days or so (topping up with extra vodka if required).
For other infused spirits, you follow the same basic idea: piercing the smaller berries and peeling the larger fruit, to release flavours. Here are three other great infusion ideas:
- Ginger and lime gin (to see off the winter cold!)
- Citrus gin (a mixture of sweet and sour citrus – you’ll need to strain it off at the end)
- Cardamom fig brandy (wonderfully rich and fruity)
The most important thing is to make sure that your ingredients are the best they can be – fresh, bright and full of flavour.
If you’re making presents for non-drinkers, infused oils are a good option instead. We’ve got an amazing range of cold-pressed and organic oils here – olive oil is always a popular choice for infusing, as it has so many culinary uses and carries other flavours well. Oils infused with fresh chilli or sprigs of fresh or dried herbs are perhaps the easiest and most flavoursome options.
Infusing oils is slightly more complicated than infusing spirits. We’d recommend you take a look at this website for full instructions on how to infuse oils hygienically and safely.
Candles in a tea-cup
Teacup candles make a great homemade present, with a vintage feel. Scour your local charity shops for pretty tea-cups, which, of course, the recipient gets to use again when the candle has burnt down! You’ll also need a wick and some kind of wax, whether that’s old candle stubs that you’re re-using, or proper beeswax, paraffin wax or soy wax. You can colour your candles too, and of course, give them extra scent, with essential oils or fresh herbs and flower bases.
Drink-in-a-mug and Cake-in-a-mug
Drinks-in-a-mug and cakes-in-a-mug are really popular edible gifts for slightly older kids – and for many adults too! The idea is that you provide all the ‘kit’ for making a drink or a cake, in a beautifully decorated container.
Or a cake-in-a-mug or cake-in-a-kilner-jar kit? Choose a pretty mug or jar and fill it with all the dry, non-perishable ingredients you need for making a cake or drink. Be sure to include a simple, well-written recipe. If you’re using a kilner jar, layer your ingredients for a great decorative effect.
These kinds of gifts are often gratefully received by people on gluten-free diets. Naturally Good Food stocks all the dry ingredients you need to make the perfect ‘free from’ cake – visit our Free from section to see what we’ve got.
Natural body scrubs
Many of us like the sound of natural body (or facial) scrubs, but it’s rarely something we get around to making ourselves. Presented in a lovely jar or tub, a homemade scrub is a simple, yet luxurious present. Try one of these:
- Sea salt, rosemary and lemon scrub
- Coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla scrub
- Sugar, citrus zest and oil scrub
Get your ingredients for gifts from us
Whether it’s an essential oil for a teacup candle, all the ingredients for a cake-in-a-jar, or everything you need for a natural body scrub, Naturally Good Food can help you out with the very finest organic and natural ingredients. Browse our website to see what we can offer for your perfect homemade Christmas gifts!
Tags: christmas, cinnamon stick, cold-pressed oil, essential oils, gifts, handmade, homemade, hot chocolate, less ordinary, nutmeg, olive oil, organic oil
This post was written by Yzanne