Christmas is a time of giving and sharing, and for some of us that means drinks. These easy to make gifts are a really special way to show your appreciation of someone, as is cracking open a bottle and sharing it!


Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest (avoiding the white pith) from 11 lemons. Combine the peels with 750ml vodka, seal and leave at room temperature for at least three days and up to one week. Stir together 750ml boiling water and 500g caster sugar until dissolved, then combine with the vodka. Refrigerate for one day, then strain out the peels. Store in the freezer for up to three months.

Irish cream liqueur

Combine the following ingredients in a blender: 250ml cream, 1 tin (397g) condensed milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp almond extract, 1 tbsp chocolate sauce and 350ml whiskey. Blend for 30 seconds until smooth and refrigerate for up to four months.

This next recipe isn’t drinkable, but it does contain alcohol so be aware when using it!

Homemade vanilla extract

Split four vanilla pods in half lengthwise and place in a jar. Cover with 220ml vodka or rum, making sure the pods are completely covered. Leave to infuse for at least one month in a cool, dark place. Strain if desired.