December 27, 2012

Homemade Cheer

Plenty of time to make either of these easy & celebratory offerings for a New Year's Eve party.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries

These make for an excellent snack on their own right, but are even better spooned over vanilla ice cream or swirled into a Manhattan.

1 bag frozen cherries
2.5 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz bourbon
yield: 4 250ml jars

1. thaw the cherries. if you are using fresh cherries, even better - use about 4 cups, washed & pitted.

2. bring water and sugar to a light boil in a medium saucepan. stir until sugar dissolves.

3. add lemon juice and vanilla extract. cool completely.

4. divide the cherries evenly across 4 jars. pour the syrup over the cherries. then add bourbon, leaving about 1/2 inch head space.

5. unsealed cherries should be used within a couple of weeks, while sterilized & sealed cherries will last for months.

note: those in the DC area, i bought the jars & spoons at Trohv in Takoma Park, MD, a home & gift shop that makes for a delightful afternoon excursion.


An Italian digestif, best served cold.

10 lemons
1 bottle of vodka
3.5 cups water
2.5 cups sugar
yield: 7 cups

1. using a vegetable peeler, remove peels from the lemons in long strips. as needed, trim away any white pith from lemon peels & discard.

2. place the lemon peels in a pitcher, pour vodka over the peels & cover.

3. steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

4. dissolve the sugar into the water over medium heat, about 5 minutes. let the syrup cool completely.

5. pour the syrup over the vodka mixture. cover & let stand at room temperature overnight.

6. strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. discard the peels. transfer limoncello to bottles.

7. refrigerate at least 4 hours, up to one month.

note: i used an old absolut bottle for this gift package, but world market sells resealable bottles which would work well for this purpose.


recipe inspiration from here and here.

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