After my experiments with infused vodkas and homemade gin last Christmas, the requests have come in. Mostly from my husband. So when I came across this super simple Apricot Brandy recipe on Buzzfeed’s list of 30 Best DIY Food Gifts, how could I resist? PS–there’s a ton of other awesome suggestions as well like bacon salt, cinnamon honey butter and homemade dog biscuits.
I’m not Irish, not in the littlest bit. A pure bred Polish girl is what you’re looking at. But when my mom remarried over a decade ago, she chose an Irishman, with roots from Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast. I met his family for 5 minutes when they came for the wedding in 2001. When I really met them for first time we went to Ireland in 2002 and spent barely a week with them, but they welcomed me like I had always been part of the family. Two years later when my friend and I backpacked across Europe, my stepfather’s parents welcomed us into their home and insisted on taking us to visit every tourist location and castle within a 50 mile radius. I swear his mom, then in her 70s had more spunk and energy than we did at 21. We weren’t allowed to sleep in or lounge around–there was always something to see and do. His niece, my cousin in law, took us out on the town in Belfast and introduced us to Spuds (loaded baked potatoes–the Irish solution to our late night post bar diner food). So while I have no actual Irish blood in me, I think a bit has rubbed off.
This post should have probably been titled gifts from your bar, but I try to keep up the appearance that I’m not a total lush. But really, who doesn’t love alcohol related gifts? So far this year I’ve made Cranberry Lime Vodka and Buddha Hand Vodka (think citron vodka). After learning so easy those where, I’m tempted to infuse a bunch of other spirits, but really there’s only so much the two of us can drink (and I generally shy away from the hard stuff). Unfortunately for us, alcohol gifting isn’t the easiest thing to do. We travel a lot for the holidays. We’ve actually never spent Christmas eve or day in our apartment though this year we might get a few hours on Christmas Day night. So toting around bottles of alcohol on the train, or worse, plane, in addition to our other Christmas gifts does get a bit cumbersome. If people chose to visit Brooklyn for Christmas, I guarantee there would be many more alcoholic gifts! Hmm…maybe that’s the type of persuasion I need to start using.