christmas vodka

since receiving my stash of grey goose vodka i’ve been thinking about ways to use it. while david has been knocking up various cocktails (i think i’m a gin girl but am keen to keep trying the vodka creations, so let me know if you have any particular recommendations) i have obviously been thinking about food-related ways to use it.

as a result i did a vodka-themed supper for friends last week. this plum pudding vodka was the definitely the shining star of the evening and, best of all, it is wonderfully simple to make.

it has all the flavour of christmas, delivered in an easy to make, oh so very easy to drink shot. if you’re thinking about what foodie gifts to make for friend and loved ones i really recommend this. and you should knock up a bottle for yourself too.

we ate it with a slice of wonderfully light chocolate cake which i’ll be revisiting in the coming weeks. i also need to come up with a plan for the spicy boozy fruit that i have leftover. stirred through ice cream or added to a cake are my starting points for inspiration.

christmas vodka*

1 bottle (about 700ml) vodka

250g dark brown sugar

100g mixed peel

250g sultanas**

150g raisins**

grated rind and juice of 1 orange

1 tsp almond essence

6 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

place all ingredients in a large bowl and cover with cling film (reserve the vodka bottle and cap). set aside in a cool place (i put mine in the fridge) for 1 week, stirring once a day. strain the contents through a very fine sieve, pressing down well to extract all the liquid. pour liquid back into the vodka bottle and screw the cap on tightly. store in the fridge for up to 6 months.

note: the almond essence and citrus oils from the zest mean that you will get a small amount of scum in the bottle. you don’t need to worry about this other than in terms of the visual aesthetics of the drink – i decanted mine into shot glasses before serving.

* i found this recipe on the taste website, where it is called plum pudding vodka

** i used a different mix of fruit as i’m not keen on sultanas so didn’t want lost of leftovers. instead i used raisins, dried cranberries and dried cherries. i think the mixed peel is essential though, for the way the citrus flavour lifts everything.