This homemade beverage is an ideal balance of sweetness, spice, and liquor to warm your Christmas Party. This beverage was initially considered while trying to get rid of the last remnants of a cold. I’d been making up a blend of honey, ginger and lemon vodka yet as delicious as it was, it was getting monotonous.
So I added some ground flavors for warmth and a little vanilla bean paste for sweetness, and it changed the taste totally – exactly what the doctor ordered.
Every year I make a spiced cranberry vodka for Christmas by soaking dried sweetened cranberries and a few spices in vodka and putting the bottle in a cool dark place for about a month. This year I wanted something different.
The lemon and honey drink I’d made amid my cold came to mind, so I begin making an alcoholic version adding whole spices this time and the zest of the lemon and also the juice. The result was a deliciously sweet and fragrant beverage with a lovely spiciness and a gentle kick of alcohol.
You can chop the ginger as fine or as general as you need, it will all be sieved out of the final mixture. I chop mine generally then crush it in a mortar and pestle to guarantee it gives up all its hot ginger goodness.
This would be tasty served hot, to warm you up after a long winter walk, or over ice with soda water, tonic or even champagne for a festive drink.
Spiced honey, Ginger and Lemon vodka
Makes about a litre
- 250ml runny honey
- 250ml boiling water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 allspice berries
- 150g ginger, roughly chopped and smashed in a mortar and pestle
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and scrape out the seeds
- Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
- 750ml of vodka
Put the honey into a large mason jar and pour over the boiling water. Stir thoroughly until the honey has dissolved completely. Add the cinnamon stick, allspice berries, smashed ginger, vanilla beans, and vanilla pod and stirred again. Leave aside to cool.
With a fine grater take the zest from the lemons at that point squeeze out the juice. Add both to the cooled mixture. Pour in the vodka and blend well. Seal the container and leave to rest at room temperature for 24 hours for every one of the flavors to mix.
After resting the blend, strain through a muslin-lined sieve, pour into a sealable bottle and refrigerate. This is now ready to drink but only gets better the longer you leave it.
To serve as a liquor, pour a little glass and topping with a bit of lemon peel, or heat very gently and add a small knob of butter to each glass. Alternatively, serve in a tall glass, over ice, and top up with soda water, tonic or champagne.
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