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Tag: christmas

Limoncello 🍋 Recipe

When life gives you lemons …. Grab some vodka and make Limoncello!

I love giving gifts of food I have made to friends and family at Christmas time and each year promise myself that I will make some Sloe Gin, but of course Sloe Gin needs to steep for about 12 weeks which means by the time the sloes are ripe there is insufficient time to prepare for Christmas.   Sloe Gin is the long game but Limoncello on the other hand is quick and easy and takes only a couple of weeks until it is drinkable. The recipe below has worked perfectly and mine is ready to bottle and give as gifts over the coming weeks.

6 Unwaxed Lemons (avoid waxed lemons as you want the natural flavour of lemon)

1Litre Vodka (Supermarket own brand will do)

750g Caster Sugar

750ml Water
Zest the 6 lemons, avoiding the pith as this will make your Limoncello  bitter
Place the zest in the bottom of a 2 litre jar that you can seal tightly ( I used the Kilner jar from their Sloe Gin making set)
You may like to use the juice from the lemons to make a sorbet, a great dessert standby to keep in the freezer (for up to one month – recipe to follow)
Add the vodka and leave to steep for one week. Turn the jar each day.

At the end of one week, make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar and water in a pan. Bring to boiling point but do not allow the syrup to turn a caramel colour as this will spoil the look of your Limoncello.

When cool, add to your lemon vodka mix and leave for another week. Again turning each day.

When you are ready to bottle, strain through a fine sieve or muslin and pour into your bottles. Label and gift to those deserving friends on Santa’s Nice not Naughty list.

Add instructions to the labels as follows

Keep refrigerated 

This sweet lemony syrup is delicious over ice, in iced tea, in cocktails or drizzled over ice cream or sorbet!

You can also add a recipe for a Limoncello Prosecco Cocktail


6 sprigs Mint, fresh

1 measure Raspberries, frozen

1 measure Limoncello liqueur

3 measures Prosecco


Serve chilled in a glass



Teetotallers Spiced Apple Cup

For those not able to imbibe on Christmas Eve I will also make a Spiced Apple Cup …. alcohol free but festive, delicious and warming


2 litres Good Quality Apple Juice

Orange studded with cloves

2 Cinnamon sticks

2 Star Anise

2 Cardamom pods

A chunk of ginger

Dark Brown Sugar to taste

Vanilla Pod

Place the apple juice and sugar in a large saucepan, heat to gentle simmer.  When the sugar has dissolved add the spices and leave to heat very gently.  Do not boil …. this time not to evaporate the alcohol just because it’s not necessary.  Serve in glasses with a thin slice of apple and a couple of cranberries


Mulled Wine Recipe

IMG_5655A lot of people are under the misconception that Mulled Wine is an unpalatable hot drink to be grimaced through over the festive season …. not so. I have been known to convert even the most die-hard of haters!! Here is my recipe for a delicious mulled wine that I serve every year on Christmas Eve when friends from my village join my family for mulled wine and mince pies before Christmas Carols in the village square.


2 x 75cl bottles of red wine (don’t use your best – this is definitely one to use up the vino collapso you won on the school tombola!)

A large slug of Cointreau (optional)

1 litre Orange Juice – the stuff with bits in adds to the quality

2 Large tablespoons of rich dark brown sugar (you can add more if you feel it needs it)

Stud an orange with cloves

1 or 2 Sticks of  Cinnamon

3 or 4 Star Anise

3 or 4 Cardamom Pods

A handful of fresh cranberries

Clementines sliced

Lemon sliced


Add wine to a large pot with the sugar and bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar is melted, add all your spices and the orange juice and Cointreau and keep at a very gentle simmer – there is no need to boil this as the alcohol will evaporate.  I prefer to use the spices in their whole form, if you use powdered spices the mulled wine will form a dusty scum.  Serve in glasses with the clementine slices and a couple of cranberries as garnish – the berry colours look gorgeous and the smell is just delicious …. perhaps I should make a practise batch now …..





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