Pretty little glass bottles full of something delicious make fun holiday gifts, especially when they don’t take much work for the gift-giver—that’s you—to put together.
Take flavored syrups, for example. bernalgirl says her gifts of ginger syrup were “hugely popular as an addition to cocktails, tea, and as a way to dress fruit for dessert.” sweethooch gives a spiced syrup similar to CHOW’s recipe, as well as bottles of citrus syrup, which are great with sparkling wine or bubbly water. To make citrus syrup, sweethooch simmers 4 parts orange or grapefruit juice, 4 parts sugar, and 1 part water for about 10 minutes.
On the savory side, vinegar is a popular present. megjp has gifted balsamic vinegar that she boils until it is reduced to a syrup, which “went over really well” with the recipients. She recommends drizzling it on a salad of bitter greens, or even spooning it over ice cream. And karykat suggests giving this lemongrass vinegar “for something kind of different.”
If you’d like to plan ahead for next year, some hounds say homemade vanilla extract makes a great gift. Just soak split vanilla beans in vodka or dark rum for a few months before offering as a present.