How’s your Thanksgiving hangover? Mine mostly consists of wishing eat-all-you-want holidays and Christmas decorating lasted MUCH longer.

But, the time is upon us..Christmas shopping! You may groan or rejoice, but my belief is that if you gift someone with food or booze, they will silently thank you for secretly helping them through the holidays in the form of icing or a new cocktail recipe to go with that homemade liquor.

When said gift is easy as pie (that’s coming later this week) to make and absolutely non-hard liquor tasting, I think it’s a win for everyone involved. This can seriously be thrown together 15 minutes before you have to be at that Christmas or housewarming party, throw it in a pretty bottle with some ribbon and voila! My favorite bottles to gift in come from Sur La Table or antique decanters.

I have always loved amaretto, but this takes it to another level. Not having to go out and buy a very expensive bottle of amaretto liquor and being able to make a delicious cocktail anytime is a almond-y score!

Homemade Amaretto

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the mixture is boiling, and all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes (hard part!).

Stir vodka, almond extract and vanilla extract into the mixture. Store in sealed bottle and give as gift or drink up!

adapted from Shutterbean

Amaretto Cocktail

  • 2 ounces amaretto
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • dash of bitters (these are local and my favorite!)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 3 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker, shake for 10 seconds. Pour into glass and serve.