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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Beverages & Cooking with Spirits / Start Infusing Your Holiday Beverage Gifts Now
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    Start Infusing Your Holiday Beverage Gifts Now

    Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next Page >>
    Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:19 am Groupie

    Make Spectacular Holiday Gifts and Gift Baskets This Year!

    Christmas is almost here! Well, in two months it will be.
    That’s just enough time to begin to make that special handcrafted present that means so much to close friends. Everyone loves receiving pretty gift baskets filled with edible and drinkable goodies. Homemade liqueurs in attractive bottles with personal labels & ribbons are not only pretty, but are easy and fun to make. Coupled with a few theme items they make the perfect gift basket for the holidays! So let’s make some holiday cheer!

    Hot chocolate, teas and coffee blends are great nonalcoholic alternatives for the beverage basket.

    1 Week or Less Infusing Time

    Amaretto is a liqueur with a distinct flavor of almonds, though it's often made with apricot pits kernels. The original liqueur, Amaretto di Saronno, hails from Saronno, Italy. The almond-flavored cordial is a popular ingredient in cocktails and food preparation. By the 1980's, it was second in sales only to Kahlúa. Amaretto is know as the Liqueur of Love.

    Amaretto Liqueur
    For a different flavor, add two dried apricots (cut in half) to the jar for 2-4 days to infuse... then remove

    Photo by Blue Lotus

    The Gift Basket:

    Almond Biscotti
    Amaretto Bon Bon Balls
    Chocolate Amaretto Brownies
    Italian Chocolate Truffles

    Apricot Amaretto Jam
    Chocolate Almond Sauce
    Bing Cherries in Amaretto Juice - Syrup
    Cuciadate (Italian Fig Cookies)

    Recipes you can include in the gift basket:

    Carrots Di Amore by NcMysteryShopper
    Amaretto Sourcream Strawberries by SheriD
    Italian Amaretto Cream by Pot Scrubber
    Disaronno French Toast by Carla
    Italian Apple Cake by kookaburra
    Amaretto Cheesecake by DIBs

    Browse through all the recipes on Zaar that include Amaretto here

    3 Weeks Infusing Time

    Kahlua is a coffee liqueur, which originated in Mexico. It is produced by blending roasted Arabica coffee beans with other ingredients and a white cane sugar spirit base. The coffee is expertly blended with a range of carefully chosen rums which is when the secret ingredients are added to give Kahlúa its exotic mix of flavours that come through from the first sip to the last. The exotic taste of Kahlua can be enjoyed in many ways: neat, over ice, baking, cooking and it is an ingredient in many popular drink recipes.

    Dana's Home Made Kahlua
    Replace a portion (1/2 or less) of the vodka with rum for another variation (and the original Kahlua's secret ingredient)

    Photo by Nick's Mom

    The Gift Basket:

    Kahlua Popcorn
    M&m Kahlua Cookies
    Kahlua Almond Biscotti
    Milk Chocolate-Kahlua Truffles

    Recipes you can include in the gift basket:

    Toasted Almond Milkshake by NcMysteryShopper
    Black Russian Cake by Grace Lynn
    Chocolate Kahlua Cake by JellyQueen
    Toasted Almond by Kim127
    Kahlua Mole Chicken by Nick's Mom
    Kahlua Pot De Creme by CharlotteJ
    Heavenly Kahlua Cheesecake MelodyH

    More recipes with Kahlua as an ingredient here

    3 Weeks Infusing Time

    Originally a regional product of Southern Italy, where the best lemons were and are still grown, limoncello is now a national drink and can be found in stores and restaurants all over Italy. Drinking limoncello alone is pleasant enough, but sipping a glass of this bittersweet citrus liqueur around a table with loved ones becomes a memorably soothing experience. Refreshing and light, it is usually enjoyed at the end of a meal: it is an incomparable digestive, and with tonic water it is a sweet, tasty refreshment. It's also great with champagne or mixed with juice as a cocktail. It even does well simply drizzled on ice cream, fruit salads, or fresh strawberries. It is also the main ingredient in many desserts. Buon appetito!

    Limoncello (Lemoncello, Limoncella)

    Photo by RitaL

    The Gift Basket:

    Limoncello Pine Nut Biscotti
    Limoncello Cookies
    White Chocolate Limoncello Truffles
    Limoncello Oil
    Limoncello Vinaigrette

    Recipes you can include in the gift basket:

    Berries With Mascarpone-Limoncello Cream by NcMysteryShopper
    Grilled Limoncello Salmon Steaks by evelyn/athens
    Cheesecake Al Limoncello by mary winecoff
    Limoncello Dessert by Rachel Ray by Oolala
    Baked Crepes With Ricotta by MilanzMom
    Limoncello, Pear and Riesling Granita by Molly53
    Summer Berry Medley With Limoncello and Mint by SkinnyMinnie
    Not Yo' Momma's Lemonade by seahorse73

    More recipes with Limoncello as an ingredient here

    Irish Cream
    Must Be Refrigerated

    Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish whiskey- and cream- based liqueur made in Dublin, Ireland. Baileys is produced from Irish whiskey along with cream and coffee flavoring. It has an almond, hazelnut/nutmeg aroma and a rich, smooth, sweet taste. Many of the homemade recipes include eggs, which is not in the Irish product. The official website lists vanilla, almond and cocoa extract as some of its ingredients.

    Irish Cream
    Omit the coconut extract for a more authentic Baileys

    Photo by Marg@CaymanDesigns

    The Gift Basket:

    Easy Baileys Truffles
    Secret Agent One Bowl Brownies
    Chocolate Pistachio Fudge
    Irish Cream Bon Bons

    Recipes you can include in the gift basket:

    Barnamint Baileys by kolibri
    Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cheesecake by ~Leslie~
    Irish Cream Cheesecake With Mixed Berries by evelyn/athens
    Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse Pie by Chef PotPie
    Strawberry and Bailey's Fool by PanNan

    Recipes that use Irish Cream as an ingredient on Zaar Can be found here

    Please share your holiday gift basket ideas in this thead.

    If you have a favorite liqueur for a gift or ideas for a basket we would love to see them. If you are making a holiday basket please share what you are including.

    If you are purchasing items for your basket share your ideas and gift finds with us as well.

    Last edited by NcMysteryShopper on Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total
    Mama's Kitchen (Hope)
    Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:58 pm Groupie
    What a great idea! How about..........

    Homemade Grand Marnier

    Homemade Grand Marnier recipe# 191348

    2 Months Infusing Time

    Grand Marnier (grän' mär-nyā') is a liqueur created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It is a kind of triple sec, made from a blend of true cognacs, distilled essence of orange, and other ingredients.

    Grand Marnier is about 40% alcohol. It is produced in several varieties, most of which can be consumed "neat" or can be used in mixed drinks.

    The Gift Basket:

    A wonderful gift basket can be easily prepared by you. Just include the bottle of Homemade Grand Marnier you made - if it is not completely aged just include instructions to shake it every month and the date it will be ready

    Place the bottle in a pretty basket embellished with some ribbon and maybe an ornament or two. I like to wire some inexpensive bells to the basket with florist wire- both are available at any hobby store or even the craft section of Walmart.

    Since Grand Marnier is made from oranges I like to include some fresh oranges- plus they are inexpensive and take up plenty of room! Time permitting I stud one or two with fresh cloves to make a pomander- you can even add a looped ribbon at the top attaching it to the orange with a straight pin. A few nice glasses such as cordial glasses or even small brandy snifters would make an excellent addition as well.

    You could make one of the recipes below to include in your gift basket or just print them out and paste them to a recipe card or two and include them in the basket.

    Recipes you can include :

    Rich Truffles with a hint of Grand Marnier

    Lemon Rolls

    Mango Creamy Cheese Charlotte

    ORANGE you glad I shared this with you????


    Sorry I couldnt resist!

    Last edited by Mama's Kitchen (Hope) on Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:46 pm, edited 6 times in total
    Susie D
    Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:38 pm
    Forum Host
    How about trying fruit flavored liqueurs? There are zaar recipes for almost any flavor one would like to try including apple, blueberry, blackberry, banana, orange, tangerine, strawberry, even cranberry!!!

    Cranberry Liqueur by echo echo

    Echo Echo suggested the following for a gift basket with her cranberry liqueur: "Rita L created a cocktail called A Jolly Christmas Special Cosmo or Red Hot Lovers Cosmo specifically for making with my cranberry liqueur. In addition, Charlotte J has a shots recipe, Traffic Light, which also uses cranberry liqueur. Both those recipes could be included in the gift basket. A person could also bake up JustaQT's Arizona Sunset Cheesecake and stick that in the gift basket, too, thought they'd have to be very ambitious since the recipe has 56 steps."

    Cranberry Liqueur by Lorac
    Cranberry Liqueur (Light) by Redsie
    Cranberry Liqueur by wildheart

    I would include my Fruit and Popcorn Balls in the cranberry themed basket. The balls can be drizzled with melted chocolate for gift giving. I like to use white chocolate on the cranberry/ cashew ones. After wrapping with plastic wrap, I tie with a burgandy colored ribbon.

    Other ideas for a cranberry themed basket:
    Bergie's Colonel Grey's Chutney by Bergy
    White Chocolate Nougat by Redneck Epicurian
    echo echo
    Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:52 pm Groupie

    ..................................................................... 1

    Blackberry liqueur, also called blackberry cordial, is a fruit-infused liqueur in which the liquor base is most often vodka, brandy or schnapps. Sugar is dissolved in the liquor, whose alcohol content is usually diluted by adding water. Then blackberries are added and allowed to infuse the liquor for several days or up to a couple of weeks and then strained out and discarded (or may be served over ice cream or pound cake). Sometimes, additional spices and/or herbs contribute additional flavoring. A commercial form of this liqueur (in addition to a number of other types of liqueur) is produced under the brand name Marie Brizard. De Kuyper also includes De Kuyper Blackberry in its line of liqueurs.

    When brandy is used as the base, the result may be called blackberry brandy, and when schnapps is used, the result may be called blackberry schnapps. However, the terms blackberry brandy or scnapps may also refer to liquors distilled directly from the berries. An example of a commercial blackberry schnapps is Barton's 99 Blackberries.

    The rich dark purple color imparted by the berries makes a beautiful presentation ideal for gift-giving. Choose from a number of different recipes* at Recipezaar to manufacture your own stock for gift-giving:

    my Blackberry Liqueur
    ncmysteryshopper's Blackberry Cordial
    Mrs B's Blackberry Brandy
    KJ's Blackberry Vodka Cordial

    Goodies made with blackberry liqueurs to go in the gift basket with the liqueur:

    Annisette's Blackberry Tarts
    jars of KittyKitty's Russian Fruit Compote

    2 3 4

    Other goodies keeping up the blackberry theme:

    Baby Kato's Blueberry, Raspberry and Blackberry Cheesecake
    lindseylcw's Blackberry Chutney
    MizzNezz's Homemade Blackberry Jam
    riffraff's Lemon Blackberry Muffins
    Sherrie-pie's Blackberry and Apple Loaf
    Sue L's Fresh Blackberry Pie

    In your gift basket, also include recipes for the following cocktails and beverages:

    my Blackberry Julep
    Dienia B's James 's Blackberry Cowboy
    gingerkitten D's Frozen Jelly Bean
    Molly53's Jelly Bean #3 and Jelly Bean #4
    philocrates' New Kungaloosh Disney
    Recipenut's Black Orchid and Ultimate Suntan
    Sue L's Rum Runner
    TheresaP's Blackberry Brandy Slush
    Chabear01's Delux Kir Royal (substitute blackberry liqueur for the creme de cassis in this one)
    Cynna's Blackberry-Chambord Royale (substitute blackberry liqueur for the Chambord in this one)

    Add in other recipes that use blackberry liqueurs:

    hellokitty's Blackberry Grilled Pork Tenderloin
    Recipe Junkie's Blackberry Brandy Fruit Salad
    lynda clark's Blackberry Brandy Glazed Beef Rounds

    5 *Also try substituting other fruits for the blackberries to make similar liqueurs, such as Melody H's plum liqueur, made from my blackberry liqueur recipe and shown in this photo.

    ........................ ........................ ........................

    Apricot liqueur is created by a process similar to that used in blackberry liqueur, although the fruit used may be either fresh or dried. Again, the products may be called apricot brandy or apricot schnapps. Christian di Marco Apricot, from the same company that produces Limoncello, is an example of a commercial apricot liqueur. Many companies produce apricot brandies (De Kuyper Apricot Brandy is one) and apricot schnapps.


    Like other liqueurs, apricot liqueur (blackberry, too, for that matter) is good not only as a drink but also as a topping for ice cream. Barb Gertz shows in this photo for my recipe Apricot Liqueur that she believes in letting it do double duty.


    An apricot liqueur for your gift basket may be created using that recipe or any of these other Zaar recipes:

    Darlene Summers' Apricot Brandy
    Dee514's Apricot Brandy
    silly sally's Apricot Wine Cordial


    After making and bottling your own, make sure to save some out to produce some of these goodies for your gift basket:

    .::.Blink.::.'s Strawberry Apricot Jelly
    DiScharf's Apricot Brandy Pound Cake With Cream, Fruits and Nut Sauce and Impossily Easy Apricot Pie
    DiB's Apricot Cheesecake
    Dorel's Golden Brandy Bundt Fruitcake
    Julia Rodriguez's Apricot Brandy Balls
    Karin...'s Apricot Custard Tart
    Nane's Apricot Brandy Cake
    NurseDi's Apricot Brandy Pound Cake
    Recipe Junkie's Elmer Fudpucker Cake
    Steve_G's Apricot Foldovers
    TheLass's Almond-Apricot Biscotti
    Tisme's Apricot Jam With Brandy
    Uncle Bill Anatooskin's Uncle Bill's Christmas Fruitcake with Brandy

    Yikes! Your gift basket seems to be overflowing, but never mind--there's still room to include recipe cards for these cocktails and other beverages that use the liqueur :

    Ashley U's Lime Daiquiri with Apricot Brandy
    Bayhill's Cool Breeze
    Bev's Easter Bonnets
    Blink.::.'s Apricot-Mango Martini and Hennessy Twist
    Cheesehead's Swamp Water
    chia's Cubana Rum and Cool Breeze
    Cynna's Whisper of a Kiss
    Gay Gilmore's The Claridge
    RecipeNut's Devil's Tail and The Fun Ship and Goombay Smash
    NurseDi's Jackie O's and Paradise
    pines506's Hot Apple Pie (punch)
    Ranikabani's Apricot Sunset
    RéeLani's Aloha Martini
    southern chef in louisiana's Louisiana Orange Blossoms
    philocrates' The Franken-Jack Cocktail and Groundhog Special
    ugo girl's Cranberry Slush
    Zusie-Q's Rum Swizzle

    ............................... 8 9
    ............................. 10 11

    Uh-oh, now you're reeling from drinking all those cocktails--in fact, I fear you're under the table! Well, while you're down there, pick up a pen and write out these non-beverage recipes to go in your gift basket:

    toni gifford's Bananas Ghana
    ..... 12
    Barb Gertz's Brandied Fruit
    carrie sheridan's Lentils With Apricots and Brandy
    Ed Paulhus' Brandy Fruit Pot
    karin...'s Divine Chicken Liver Pate
    s'kat's Savory Stewed Lamb
    southern chef in louisiana's Brandy-Buttered Cornish Hens With Pecan Stuffing

    .............. .............. ..............

    Photo credits:

    1 Photo of Blackberry Liqueur by Nora Marie
    2 Photo of Homemade Blackberry Jam by oilpatchjo
    3 Photo of Fresh Blackberry Pie by Sue L
    4 Photo of Lemon Blackberry Muffins by ms_bold
    5 Photo of plum version of Blackberry Liqueur by Melody H
    6 Photo of Apricot Liqueur by Barb Gertz
    7 Photo of Golden Brandy Bundt Fruitcake by Dorel
    8 Photo of Mid-Summer Madness Slush or Punch by Rita L
    9 Photo of Cool Breeze by chia
    10 Photo of Apricot-Mango Martini by Lori in Canada
    11 Photo of Cubana Rum by Rita L
    12 Photo of Bananas Ghana by ncmysteryshopper

    Finally, just let me put in a plug for myself. Recipes for all kinds of liqueur can be found in my public cookbook Liqueurs to Make. For ways to use liqueur in cooking, check out my cookbooks Cooking With Liqueurs and Desserts Containing Liqueurs.


    Last edited by echo echo on Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:54 pm, edited 10 times in total
    Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:21 am
    Forum Host

    Not just for Holidays but great for
    Bridal gift basketmade with lavender to help in those stressfull times of preparing for a Wedding!
    In the Soothing Lavender Basket you can include martini glasses and this
    Lavender Flavored Vodka to make of course martini`s
    If thats to strong try
    Lavender Margaritas or Limoncello
    Oh you don`t drink try
    Lavender Mint Tea Hot or Iced for 2

    Add to the basket some nicely wrapped Lavender Fudge

    for the couple feed each other!
    For the honeymoon night prepare a bath with Lavender or Rosemary Cleansing Lotion no picture that is for you imagination.
    You can use lavender oil in this
    Exotic Essential-Oil Body Moisturizer

    Be sure to give the bride to be one of the shower favors Lavender Vanilla Bath Salts

    Lavender or Rose Syrup

    would be pretty wrapped in a bottle to have in thier champagne toast! You can pack a Bride a Groom glasses too!
    Wrap a bunch of Lavender Cookies
    Pack this in for the first breakfast as Mr. and Mrs...........
    The first meal made by the couple can include Herbs De Provence

    with recipes for Potatoes Seasoned With Lavender and Rosemary. Grill Pork With Rosemary and Lavender  Roasted Cauliflower, Lavender, Rosemary and Garlic

    Grilled or Baked Salmon With Lavender

    Strawberries in Lemon-lavender Syrup

    Lavender Lemon Bars

    Caramelized Figs with Lavender honey and Cream

    Lavender Blue Tea

    Check out all the lavender recipes here on zaar
    Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:52 am
    Forum Host
    How About A Nice Wine Basket?

    Start with a great bottle of pinot noir - maybe a Jordan or a Byron and accompany that with a wonderful viognier from Renwood or Sebastiani.

    Add a pack of crackers made with Bananasmom's #92291Wine Crackers (your choice of options) and a small jar of #78292 Wine Jelly made with Sandaidh's recipe.

    A homemade beef stick, made using my own recipe - #180631 Beef Sticks will round out the basket.

    Tuck in a small jar of my yet-to-be-published wine mustard for another great addition to this basket:

    Wine Mustard
    Yield: 2 Cups


    3/4 cup white sugar
    3/4 cup ground dry mustard
    1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    3 eggs, beaten


    In the top of a double boiler, whisk together sugar, mustard, vinegar, wine, and eggs.
    Cook over simmering water, whisking constantly, for 8 minutes, or until thick. Allow to cool in refrigerator.
    Store in sealed containers in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

    Just a little something sweet will complete this gorgeous and delicious gift!
    Queen Dragon Mom
    Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:19 pm Groupie
    oh, boy, i should have KNOWN better than to stop in here.... another obsession. i barely have time for the ones i have already acquired at 'zaar...
    i got through the flavored vinegars, then the flavored oils, then the flavored sugars then the smoked goodies and now you guys do THIS to me.
    i oughta know better.
    somebody take my mouse away. please?
    susie cooks
    Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:52 pm Groupie
    So many great ideas and recipes! I have got to start my planning! Thanks!
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:33 am
    Forum Host
    Yes, it is time to start planning!
    The holiday season will officially kick off in about ONE MONTH!!!!
    Scary, ain't it? icon_eek.gif
    Queen Dragon Mom
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:29 am Groupie
    Wineaux wrote:
    Yes, it is time to start planning!
    The holiday season will officially kick off in about ONE MONTH!!!!
    Scary, ain't it? icon_eek.gif

    thanks for reminding me. i had managed to forget it after considerable work. icon_cry.gif
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:56 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia Culpa!!
    Please forgive me icon_question.gif
    Queen Dragon Mom
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:03 pm Groupie
    Wineaux wrote:
    Mia Culpa!!
    Please forgive me icon_question.gif

    I suppose I could start a batch of Glugg. I'd be all gone for the holidays, November all the way through Valentine's.
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:20 pm
    Forum Host
    You can't do that!
    Who'd feed Santa and the reindeer?
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:21 pm
    Forum Host
    And the New Year's Baby and Cupid??????
    Queen Dragon Mom
    Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:36 pm Groupie
    You and NCMS will have to do it... off to get the dried fruit and then... bye bye.
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