Christmas in July: Homemade liquors, bitters and Luxardo cherries

Do It Yourself

As soon as Christmas rolls around, bells start ringing, and Ashley starts dreaming up all the DIY gifts she wants to give. Only, once December hits, it’s too late to make all the gifts. Luckily, DIY mixologist, Lindsay Lundeby joined us to show us how to mix up some tastey DIY gifts that will help you toast the season’s festivities in style.

Homemade Luxardo Cherries

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 lb cherries, pitted and stemmed
  1. Combine water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer. Stir occasionally as the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and cherries. Stir to coat all of the cherries in the syrup. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the cherries slightly. 
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the cherries to cool. Once cooled, store in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar. 

Homemade Fruit Liqueurs 

  • Quart jar per flavor
  • 2-1/2 cups fruit of choice – Rough chop (for fruits with non bitter skin, leave it on for more color)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Vodka 
  1. Sterilize your jars & allow to cool
  2. Fill with your fruit to the neck of the jar
  3. Add sugar
  4. Pour in your vodka- to the neck of the jar
  5. Put on lid making sure your seal is tight.
  6. Store where you will see it every day – does not have to be a particularly sunny or dark place
  7. Flip every day for 3 months – once the fruit shrinks & is floating in the liquid it’s okay to just give it a good shake everyday
  8. When the 3 months is up- strain out the fruit pieces through a colander
  9. To make the brandy more clear- strain again though a coffee filter.
  10. Transfer to air tight decorative bottles if giving as a gift.

Homemade Bitters

  • Zest of 2 grapefruits, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried grapefruit
  • 1/2 teaspoon gentian root
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 6 green cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 teaspoon dried hops
  • 2 cups high-proof vodka
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Place all ingredients except for the water and honey in a mason jar. Seal and store at room temperature, shaking the jar once a day for 2 weeks.
  2. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a clean jar to remove the solids. Transfer the solids to a saucepan.
  3. Cover the solids with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely and add to another mason jar. Shake the jar daily for one week.
  5. Strain the jar with the solids and add to the original jar of liquid.
  6. Add honey and stir.
  7. Allow the mixture to sit for 3 days, skim any debris off the top and then bottle!

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