How to make Christmas flavoured gin infused with Christmas spices (with cocktail recipes)

December 8, 2022

In this blog post I’m sharing how to make Christmas flavoured gin infused with Christmas spices, a little homemade holiday tipple I’m calling Christmas Spirit. I’m also sharing a few cocktail recipes that uses this Christmas flavoured gin to transform some of the most classic cocktails into something a little more festive for the holidays.

I was rummaging around in my spice cupboard in preparation to make my mulled wine recipe for the holidays when I got curious about how else I could use those familiar Christmas spices. It was then that I came up with Christmas Spirit, a Christmas flavoured gin infused with Christmas spices.

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This homemade infused gin with Christmas spices is perfect to serve at your Christmas party or you can make it as a homemade gift  for friends and family. You can either place all the dry ingredients in a jar and put a pretty ribbon around it with instructions on how to use it or you can infuse it yourself and strain the gin into a pretty bottle or jar and tie one of the cocktail recipes in this blog post to it.

For more ideas on homemade Christmas gifts take a look at my blog post, handmade Christmas gift guide. It’s where you’ll find other festive recipes, step-by-step sewing guides, crochet tutorials and more!

Before I share the recipe I’ll be answering a few questions you might have around how best to make this Christmas flavoured gin, so if you’re curious read on and if you’re just here for the recipe or cocktails then scroll down or use the “recipe” shortcut at the start of this blog post to skip right to it.

How long does the gin need to infuse with the Christmas spices?

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To fully take on the flavours of the ingredients you are intending to infuse your gin with, it will take a least one week with the gin kept in a cool, dark place. The longer you leave it the more flavoursome and sweeter as the natural sugars in the fruits get extracted.

After one week the scent was festive and the Christmas flavours were subtle. 

After two weeks the scent was strong and the flavour was full of festive, Christmas character.

By three weeks the scent and flavour of all the nostalgic Christmas flavours matched in intensity and it was significantly sweeter than after one week.

Does the gin need sugar to infuse?

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When I started working on this idea to infuse gin with the same flavours as mulled wine I wasn’t sure if I needed sugar. I was aware that there would be natural sugars in some of the ingredients but sloe gin and mulled wine calls for it. Unsure, I reached out to my dear friend, Marcello Cauda,  Bar Manager at the famous Blue Bar in the prestigious London hotel, The Berkeley.

Marcello and I had previously worked together on my blog post about his innovative concept cocktail menu, The Authentic Life at The Stratford Hotel, and he also helped create mine and my fiancés personalised cocktail for our engagement. He is a true artist within his craft, an experimental perfectionist with a passion for telling a story through every sip. He is known for his concept menus where every drink is part of a bigger journey, maximising the full potential of all of his ingredients and his meticulous attention to detail. Most of all, he is a master of creating his own flavours (refer back to The Foodie in The Authentic Life) which is why I went straight to him to ask whether I should use sugar.

Marcello’s response was “add the sugar for a sloe gin style as it will raise the body of the gin and make the spices stand out”. 

Which kind of gin is best for infusing flavours?

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Dry gin is best for infusing with your own flavours as it doesn’t have any sweeteners or artificial additives to alter or enhance the flavour. Therefore when you infuse the dry gin with your spices it won’t be overpowered by anything else.

I used Beefeater London Dry Gin in my homemade infused gin with Christmas spices recipe because it was one of the most subtle dry gins on my bar cart which leant itself to my experiments in the early stages of figuring out this recipe. 

I don’t intend to create a need for unnecessary purchases, especially in the current climate, so I encourage you to look to what you already have.

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What you need to make Christmas flavoured gin

  • Jar that can hold at least 2 cups (or 1 pint) of liquid
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups 
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Sharp knife 
  • Mixing glass (or jug)
  • Strainer
  • Bottle or jar to store the Christmas flavoured gin (you can use the same jar you use to infuse the gin)

Ingredients for making Christmas flavoured gin

  • 2 cups of dry gin 
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 orange slices*
  • 2 orange peel
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 8 cranberries
  • A splash of vanilla extract

*Slice the rest of the orange and dry them on a low heat in the oven to use as a garnish when the homemade gin infused with Christmas spices is ready to be made into cocktails.

Recipe for how to make Christmas flavoured gin

  1. Prepare lemon and orange slices and peel.
  2. Add all the spices, fruit and vanilla extract to a jar followed by the gin then sugar. 
  3. Stir then secure the lid.
  4. Place in a dark, cool cupboard for 1-3 weeks, stirring every 2-3 days. See above for more information on how long to infuse your Christmas flavoured gin.
  5. After the gin is infused to your liking, strain the gin using a cocktail strainer or a fine sieve. (Reserve fruit for garnishes if trying your gin straight away).
  6. Transfer it into a bottle of your choosing or back into the same jar (once cleaned) and your gin infused with Christmas spices and flavours is ready to be enjoyed.
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Read on for ways to enjoy it with different recipes for this Christmas flavoured infused gin.

5 Christmas cocktail recipes using Christmas Spirit, a homemade Christmas flavoured gin

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Here are some ideas for ways to serve your homemade infused Christmas gin for the holidays: 

1. French 75 Gold Rings

  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • 2 parts Christmas Spirit, Christmas flavoured gin
  • 4 parts Champagne (or Prosecco on a budget)
  • Lemon peel

 

  1. Fill half a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add simple syrup, lemon juice and gin then shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a champagne flute or coupe and top off with champagne or Prosecco.
  4. Garnish with a lemon peel.

2. Christmas Spirit Gin and Tonic recipe

  • 1 part Christmas Spirit, Christmas flavoured gin
  • 3 parts tonic water (substitute with ginger ale if you don’t like tonic water)
  • Orange slice

 

  1. Add a handful of ice to a glass.
  2. Pour gin over ice and top off with tonic water (or ginger ale).
  3. Garnish with a dried slice of orange.
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Christmas Spirit Negroni

3. Christmas Spirit Negroni recipe

  • 1 part Christmas Spirit, Christmas flavoured gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth 
  • 1 part Campari
  • Garnish with an orange peel

 

  1. Add a handful of ice to a mixing glass followed by the gin, vermouth and Campari.
  2. Stir and strain into a glass with ice.
  3. Garnish with an orange peel.
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4. Christmas cranberry bramble

  • 1 part simple syrup 
  • 2 parts fresh lemon juice
  • 4 parts Christmas Spirit, Christmas flavoured gin
  • 9 cranberries (3 for garnish)

 

  1. Muddle 6 cranberries in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice and gin with ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a glass filled half way with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with three cranberries on a cocktail pick and rest on the rim.

5. Christmas Spirit Martini

  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 5 parts Christmas Spirit, Christmas flavoured gin
  • 3 cranberries

 

  1. Add a handful of ice to a mixing glass followed by the gin and vermouth.
  2. Stir and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with three cranberries on a cocktail pick and rest on the rim.
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Let me know in the comments below if you tried this recipe for homemade gin infused with Christmas spices and flavours or any of the cocktail recipes. I’d love to hear what you think!

Happy Holidays, Gabriella 

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