With just a few short weeks to go and the entire country staring another lockdown in the face, this year more than any other it’s important to start thinking about Christmas early. With many non-essential shops already closed because of coronavirus, it looks like we face a stark choice this year: either buy your Christmas gifts online or make them all yourself.
Since we love everything homemade here at Wares, we’re going to give you some ideas today for gifts you can make at home easily and inexpensively. In a previous blog post, we covered gifts made using glass jars, so in today’s post, we’re going to switch to glass bottles to give you some great ideas for gifts for all the family.
Glass bottles filled with alcoholic treats
No doubt many of you have already got some sloe gin quietly doing its thing in a dark cupboard, ready to decant into glass bottles to give as Christmas gifts to friends and family. If you haven’t yet chosen the bottles you’ll use for this, why not check out our range online? We have an extensive selection of glass bottles to choose from in all shapes and sizes, including plenty of bottles with corks rather than screw caps and a couple of bottles that are specifically for sloe gin. As we’ve said before, when it comes to homemade gifts, presentation is everything, and choosing the right bottles will go a long way to making your gift stand out for all the right reasons.
If sloe gin isn’t your thing or you want to keep it all for yourself, there are plenty of other options to choose from that will be ready in time for Christmas if you get cracking now. Apple infused brandy is another of our favourite tipples, and it really does conjure up the spirit of Christmas once you’ve added a stick of cinnamon and a few cloves to the jar, along with the brandy, sliced apples (tart apples work best) and some sugar. The recipe and method is pretty much the same as for sloe gin, and you just need to turn the jar every few days for the first couple of weeks until all of the sugar has dissolved, then store it until the week before Christmas and decant it into clean, sterilised bottles. Add a pretty label and some ribbon and your gift is ready to go.
Our final suggestion for an alcoholic Christmas gift in a bottle is something rather quirky: Christmas pudding vodka. As the name implies, this is a vodka that’s infused with the key ingredients of a traditional Christmas pudding, and it tastes incredible. Put some sultanas, currants, raisins and mixed peel in a basin, along with a cinnamon stick, some cloves, mixed spice, nutmeg and caster sugar, and pour a standard sized bottle of vodka over these ingredients. Mix well, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to infuse for 3-4 days. Then decant into clean, sterilised bottles and decorate the bottle with a festive label and ribbon. This is one infusion that is guaranteed to be warmly received at Christmas time.
Other bottled gifts
If you’d prefer to make some gifts that don’t contain alcohol, how about making some wonderful rosehip syrup? If you haven’t foraged for rosehips already and stored them in the freezer, there are still plenty to be found in hedgerows at this time of year. Rosehip syrup is delicious drizzled over ice-cream or stirred into natural yoghurt, and it’s bound to bring back fond memories of childhood puddings to anyone you gift a bottle to.
Another non-alcoholic gift to think about is cordials. These are quick and easy to make and the world really is your oyster when it comes to choosing flavours. Experiment with whatever fruit you have to hand in the freezer or whatever is available at your local greengrocers. We recently tried a rhubarb and orange cordial which was absolutely heavenly, if we do say so ourselves! Other exciting flavours to try might include apple and cinnamon, plum and ginger or good old-fashioned blackcurrant cordial. Why not put together a batch of different flavours so that you can create a gift pack of three assorted bottles of cordials to make an impressive and thoughtful present?
Our range of glass bottles
Why not check out our range of bottles today so you can order and get started as soon as possible? If you’re anything like us in the run up to Christmas, time seems to fly by in those last few weeks, so getting a head start on gift making is a really good idea. Whether you go for fancy shaped bottles or bottles with corks, getting prepared now makes sense.
Are you going for a 100% homemade Christmas this year? If so, or even if you’re only going to make a few items to give as gifts, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!