Thursday, 3 November 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas: Raspberry Vodka & Raspberry Jam

Hello! Are you all feeling slightly more festive now that we're in November??

I made another potential Christmas gift yesterday - Raspberry Vodka! Except that when I went to make it, I hardly had any vodka in the house (only 85ml to be exact!)...


This morning I bought some more vodka to finish it off...

Raspberry Vodka
  • 150g raspberries (I used frozen ones, although they had partially defrosted by the time I used them)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 835ml vodka (or a slightly more even number if you like!!)

I've read varying advice about when to strain fruit vodkas - some sources say it will be ready in a week or so, whereas others advise waiting as long as a year before straining! I will wait a couple of weeks (shaking daily) and then test it to see if it needs more sugar/is ready to be strained. It is such a gorgeous colour!

I have also been meaning to taste test my Christmas Pudding Vodka. It currently looks like this...


The colour isn't much different from when I first made it, but the citrus rind has lost a lot of colour, the sugar has all dissolved and there is lots of raisin sediment that will need straining. It still smells mainly of citrus at the moment so I'm planning to possibly strain it at the weekend, and then maybe add in some more sugar/spices but no more citrus, depending on taste. Does that sound like a good idea? Haha, as you can probably tell, this is mostly guesswork on my part...I hope mine & Liam's siblings will like it regardless!!

When I bought the raspberries for the raspberry vodka, I bought a bag of them frozen. I then went to toddler group, so by the time I came home a couple of hours later, they were partially defrosted. I didn't want to re-freeze the raspberries, so I decided to use the rest of the bag to make raspberry jam.

I followed this Waitrose recipe, but I used 350g raspberries, 350g sugar. As this was a bit of a spur-of the moment jam making session, I only had my Kilner jars to use. Note to self: when I make jams or chutneys for Christmas presents, I need to get smaller jars. The whole of this jam recipe still didn't fill one of my 500ml jars enough to form a seal. Not a problem this time as I'm keeping the jam in the fridge and treating it as a test run, but I will want the Christmas presents I make to be able to be stored in the cupboard.

 The jam making process was a lot easier than I'd feared it might be...


But the jam is super super thick...I think maybe I boiled it for a little too long? I was worried about the jam not setting so I boiled it for 10 minutes (maybe slightly longer by the time I'd got the sterilised jar out of the oven etc) Do any jam makers have any advice?


It tastes nice, and as you can see above, it has most definitely set... I think it will definitely be better in hot porridge/on toast etc rather than trying to spread it onto cold bread!

Have you started making/buying anything for Christmas yet? & have you ever made flavoured alcohol or jams before? Chutney is next on my list so any tips for that would be welcome too!! :)

3 comments:

  1. I got some super cheap jars from Ikea- 90p and they are quite a good size. :) I made plum and cinnamon jam the last 2 years and it turned out very well. I have made my Christmas cakes already :) No idea with the chutney, although on the bbc4 they had the food prog about chutneys and preserving- worth a listenhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/foodprog

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  2. Oooh, thanks Maria, those jars sound great! I wish we had an Ikea near us, but if I manage to persuade Liam to make a trip to Southampton then I will be sure to check them out!!

    That plum and cinnamon jam sounds lovely. I think I will try a more savoury chutney first, as I know my Mum would like that, but I'll see how I get on!

    Your Christmas cakes are looking great - I love the icing you've posted about today! :)

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