You don’t have to be a super DIY-er to make some impressive homemade liquor and liqueur gifts for the holidays that will wow your friends and family. I mean, I’m not the best baker in the family, nor a proficient candy maker, let alone knitter, seamstress, needle-pointer…you get the idea. But, I can follow a recipe pretty well and love cocktails around the holidays, so this is one homemade gourmet gift idea that’s right up my alley.
And, hey, even if you are the best baker or candy maker, homemade liqueurs packaged in pretty bottles make a thoughtful present or hostess gift for anyone on your list who enjoys a cocktail or two. Even better than a bottle of wine! And you can even save yourself a shopping trip by ordering the libations you need for these recipes at Drizly.com or check to see if your local liquor store delivers.
Check out these 11 delicious, easy-to-make homemade liqueurs that I think you’ll have a fun time making. Just make enough so you can keep a bottle for yourself. Maybe two.
Photos at top: Homemade cranberry-ginger-infused gin from Strictly Delicious; Homemade caramel apple vodka from The Shabby Creek Cottage
Related: Say cheers for these holiday cocktails and mocktails that feature your favorite holiday flavors, from gingerbread to candy cane
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Whether they like it on the rocks, sipped from the bottle, or dashed into a cup of coffee, I can think of about five people on my list who will hug me hard if I make them their very own bottle of homemade Irish Cream liqueur. This recipe from As Easy as Apple Pie has lots of tips and tricks, as well as loads of comments from people who have adapted the recipe to tweak the flavor. You can find small glass bottles on Amazon in many sizes and shapes for gifting.
Homemade Bacon Bourbon
A good bourbon is often a great gift for the guy who has everything (and gals too!); and while I’m not a member of the brown-spirits fan club, even my mouth watered over this recipe for a homemade bacon-infused bourbon from Leite’s Culinaria. With only two ingredients, it’s hard to screw this one up — as long as you follow the steps to insure the liquor is strained properly.
Homemade Creamy Nutella Liqueur
Have they been very, very good this year? Then make them this creamy Nutella liqueur from An Italian in My Kitchen and watch them swoon all over you. It should stay fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks, though I don’t see it making it past one week in my house. You’ll find pretty tall-stem cordial glasses at both Moma and on Amazon.
Homemade Infused Vodka
I have a giant bottle of vodka in my liquor cabinet that is just begging me to dress it up with one of the homemade infused vodka recipes on My Baking Addiction. It’s been one of our favorite easy homemade food gifts we’ve recommended for years, and for good reason! Follow the recipes to make cranberry-orange, citrus-rosemary, or candy-cane flavored vodka…or do all three! There’s nothing tricky here, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with some wonderfully festive homemade liqueur gifts for some lucky people.
Related: A huge round-up of the best last-minute foods gifts for everyone on your list
Homemade Coffee Liqueur
Growing up, my parents always had a bottle of Kahlua in the liqueur cabinet, and I thought the smell was horrendous. Flash forward a few years, and I loooove the smell of coffee liqueur like Kahlua and Tia Maria. And I love that this rum-based, homemade coffee liqueur recipe from Oh The Things We’ll Make! is so detailed in its instructions, I wouldn’t even waste a single precious coffee bean in whipping up a batch.
Homemade Apple & Cinnamon Infused Bourbon
If you give a warm, cozy bottle of homemade apple and cinnamon-infused bourbon from the Kitchn, your recipient better be able to show a little restraint and give it some time to sit — the recipe requires a few weeks after making. Don’t worry, they can sip it occasionally to decide when it tastes “ready.” Good things come to those who wait, right? Grab flask-style bottles here at Amazon.
Homemade Infused Tequila
I will admit that I am no longer a tequila drinker — I blame a few late nights in my 20’s for that — but this homemade jalapeño and clementine infused tequila from The Inspired Home may break my decades-long abstinence. How pretty is this jar of bright green jalapeños and orange clementines floating in a wide-mouth jar filled with tequila?
After a couple of weeks, your recipient just needs to strain the tequila. Then, they have everything they need to make the jalapeño clementine margaritas recipe you’ll also find on the site.
Related: 8 creative, easy ways to wrap a bottle of wine to make a holiday wine gift a little more gifty
Homemade Coquito Liqueur
Homemade coquito, as made with this recipe from Liquor.com, comes together to create a delicious, classic, Puerto Rican holiday drink with a decidedly tropical flavor. When it’s 20 degrees and snowy up here in New England, a little tropical flavor is exactly what I need. I think my recipients will agree.
Homemade Caramel Apple Vodka
If you’re fairly confident in the kitchen, and watch enough of The Great British Baking Show to know how fickle caramel can be, this recipe for caramel apple vodka from The Shabby Creek Cottage may be a homemade liquor gift challenge you are willing to accept. I love that you can control how sweet the final product is because the store bought stuff is often way too sweet.
To use it in a cocktail, I’d add a splash of ginger beer to a shot of your caramel apple vodka for a twist on the traditional Moscow Mule. Mmmm…I’m ready.
Homemade Cranberry Ginger Gin
I love the flavors of cranberry and ginger separately, so this recipe for cranberry-ginger-infused gin at Strictly Delicious really speaks to me. More specifically, it’s saying, “make me tomorrow!”
The color is gorgeous for the holidays and the tart, warming flavor profile sounds perfect for the sophisticated base of a Christmasy gin-and-tonic at your next holiday party.
Related: 12 holiday cocktail and mocktail recipes to make your parties merry and bright.
The Negroni Sbagliato Deluxe Cocktail Kit
So this one’s a bit of a cheat, but instead of making your own homemade liquor gift, you can gift a good friend their own cocktail of the moment: The Negroni Sbagliato. This Negroni Sbagliato Deluxe Kit from Cocktail Courier includes everything you need to make between 8-16 cocktails, or enough for one heck of a 21+ party. ($95.99/kit)
Whether you cheers, salud, prost, or bottoms up, here’s to an awesome holiday!