Infusing alcohol like vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy is a great way to add your own special touch to a cocktail, and it also makes a great homemade gift. Here are some recipes for making your own flavored liqueur. Prepare yourself—the flavor combinations are endless.
And while the results are impressive, the method couldn’t be easier. Just combine some ingredients in a jar and let it sit for a while (times vary by recipe, but generally anywhere from a few days to a month). All you have to do is occasionally agitate the bottle or jar, and strain it at the end.
To give as a gift (or instantly elevate your bar cart), just put them in these glass bottles with swing top stoppers and you’re set!
Swing-Top Glass Bottles with Extra Gaskets and Labels, 6 for $19.95 on Amazon
This set of six leak-proof glass bottles come with extra gaskets in case you need them, and chalkboard labels so you can identify your liqueur flavors.
Related Reading: How to Make Homemade Bitters
Blood oranges just start to come on the market as the temperature starts to seriously dip and year is winding down. This recipe relies on the peel from blood oranges to create a wonderfully aromatic digestif that does wonders for margaritas, and is just the thing to sip quietly after a long, rich, and noisy holiday dinner. Get our Blood Orange Digestif recipe.
Related Reading: How to Make Homemade Limoncello & Other Digestifs
If your holidays fill up with candy canes that you don’t know what to do with, try flavoring booze with them. A bunch of broken up stick candy lends its peppermint flavor to a few cups of vodka, infusing for a couple of days. Use the flavored liquor to add some holiday cheer to punch, or do shots if you’re feeling festive. Get our Candy Cane Vodka recipe.
Canned pumpkin purée, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, and split vanilla beans give aged rum a warm, earthy flavor that just seems to define fall and winter. Use the strained elixir as the basis for a good-cheer hot toddy, or use it to spike your coffee for a celebration brunch. Get our Pumpkin Spice Liqueur recipe.
Making your own version of this classic Italian liqueur means it’s a bit less sweet (though you can add more sugar to taste) and has a purer almond flavor. Get our Homemade Amaretto recipe.
This recipe is a great place to start experimenting with flavors. Pick a midpriced alcohol (top-shelf isn’t necessary) and try out gin with cucumber—it’s an incredibly refreshing combination, and is easy to replicate with vodka or any clear spirit. Get Northwest Edible Life’s Cucumber Gin recipe.
If you don’t want to throw down megabucks for Domaine de Canton, try this recipe for ginger liqueur that has a hint of vanilla. It’s perfect for specialty martinis or even sipping neat. Try it in a vodka tonic for an unusual twist. Get 5 Degrees of Preparation’s Ginger Liqueur recipe.
Our Meyer lemon digestif recipe is easily adaptable and perhaps the first legitimate use of Everclear grain alcohol that I’ve ever encountered. It’s a great way to keep some summer in your glass while the temperature outside is dropping. Get our Meyer Lemon Digestif recipe.
This nut-infused whiskey can be bitter, so be sure to filter it, and taste it as you let it sit and absorb the pecan flavors. This nutty spirit is a good match for a dessert cocktail and would be great with a simple cookie or biscotti for a light dessert. (Pecan-Infused Rye is also a good option.) Get The Speckled Palate’s Toasted Pecan-Infused Whiskey recipe.
Our chile-infused tequila is a tasty base for margaritas and makes for a thoughtful and delicious gift as well. It doesn’t take long to infuse (only a day or two) so you can make this quickly and in bulk. Try it with seltzer or in a Tequila Sunrise—but be sure to taste each batch, as the heat will vary. get our Chile-Infused Tequila recipe.
Coffee bourbon is the best of both worlds. With dark brown sugar, espresso, and vanilla notes, this infusion begs to be added to a boozy milkshake. It’s like the best version of Kahlúa you’ve ever dreamed of. (It’s also great made with rum.) Get Boozed + Infused’s Coffee Bourbon recipe.
This rosemary-infused gin contains a little sugar and lemon to balance out the strong aroma of the herb. Try making it with any of your favorite herbs for a new twist on gin and juice. Get Larder & Life’s Rosemary-Infused Gin recipe.
Related Video: DIY Holiday Gifts—Insta-Infusions
Header image by Chowhound.