Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Spirit: Homemade Amaretto

Last weekend I found this post titled "Homemade Liqueurs as Christmas Gifts" on La Buona Cucina (that's Italian for "The Good Kitchen").  Ann, who writes La Buona Cucina had made lovely gifts of homemade Amaretto and Limoncello. While my gifts have already been given away or are wrapped and awaiting Christmas morning, I thought that it might still be fun to bring homemade Amaretto to the family Christmas dinner. Plus, I had everything (besides vodka) that I needed to make this super simple recipe. After trekking through the Christmas shopping traffic to the grocery for some vodka, I whipped up this easy homemade Amaretto this afternoon.

Check it out!

First, combine a cup of granulated sugar with a half cup of packed brown sugar in a saucepan. Add a cup of water and stir.

Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and cool, then stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

Pour in 2 cups of inexpensive (read: cheap) vodka. I spent less then $4 for the bottle.

Now bottle it up...or in my case, "jar" it up. Ann used glass bottles that she had recycled by thoroughly cleaning, then she dressed them up with labels. Very pretty. They look totally gift-worthy. You can take a look at her work HERE. However, I went the moonshine route and poured mine into quart-sized canning jar. I am so classy! : )

While I'm more likely to use this in baking, I needed to do a taste test... for the sake of truth in reporting. So....CHEERS!

While I'm not a fan of vodka, the Amaretto was good. It was what it should be; sweet and almond-flavored. I'd totally stir this into a pound cake...or an Amaretto Sour.

Homemade Amaretto

1 cup white sugar
2 cups of inexpensive vodka
1 cup water
2 tablespoons almond extract
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions for Amaretto
Combine water, white sugar and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until boiling and all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let mixture cool down for 10 - 20 minutes. Pour in vodka, almond and vanilla extracts. Mix well and store in a sealed glass bottle.


And now for one more recipe on this lovely Christmas Eve before I rush off to stuff a stocking...or 3.

Recipe for a Merry Christmas

To a cup of tradition, time-honored and dear,
Add a generous portion of holiday cheer,
Combine with the memories of Christmases past,
Then sprinkle the mixture with joy unsurpassed.
Add a dash or good spirits, stir fondly until...
You set it to rise in the warmth of good will.
Pour love over all in generous measure,
And garnish with laughter and heartwarming pleasure.

~~By Barbara Burrow~~

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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