Posts Tagged ‘gift’
January 22, 2014 by Jenn
Managing your bar will be a new addition to the blog where I give you cheap and fun ways to create your own additions to your bar cart including bitters, simple syrups, and even liquors. A new segment for our blog was born out of sheer frustration. Two things happened recently, 1. I couldn’t find any interesting bitters flavors that I wanted and 2. When I found them, they were dumb expensive. There is a fancy liquor store in town and they wanted 19 dollars for blackberry bitters…. WHAT?! So I decided that I don’t need their stinkin’ bitters. I will make my own. Guess what? It’s SO easy.
There are a lot of posts that say you can make bitters from vodka but this just isn’t true. Vodka is not grain alcohol which is what you need in order to suck out all the flavors of whatever you are turning into bitters. If you soak a fruit in vodka, it will sort of taste like what you want but Everclear on the other hand will suck out all the flavor and make your bitters pretty colors to boot.
For those who don’t know: Everclear is a clear distilled grain alcohol that is bottled at both 151-proof and 190-proof. I used the 190-proof to get high octane result. Don’t worry about the grain alcohol having an affect your cocktails alcohol-wise or taste-wise, the amount of bitters used in a cocktail is so small that the grain alcohol won’t make a difference, it’ll just add really great flavor since it’ll be so concentrated. The bitters I created are Orange Cinnamon Bitters and Blueberry Bitters. Let’s get started!
To make these bitters you will need:
- 1 bottle Everclear
- 2 jars with tight fitting lids
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange
- vegetable peeler
The amount of Everclear you use is really up to you. I know I would use the Orange Cinnamon Bitters more often than the Blueberry Bitters, so I made more of the Orange Cinnamon. I used 1 1/2 cups of Everclear for the Orange Cinnamon Bitter. I poured the Everclear into my jar then I dropped in the 3 cinnamon sticks and the peels of 1 orange. (I ate the orange as a bitters making snack after I peeled it) For the Blueberry Bitters, I used 1 cup of Everclear and 1 Cup of blueberries. Really, the amount of product you put into the Everclear really depends on how strong you want the bitters to be. Once the fruit is in the Everclear, screw on the lids tightly and put them in a cool dark place (I used a kitchen cabinet) and let them sit for 25 days. You might be thinking 25 days?! It takes a while for the alcohol to suck out all the flavor. After the 25 days, unscrew the lid and taste the bitters. If the flavor is right, remove the fruit with tongs or a fork will do just fine. If the bitters are not strong enough, leave them be for another 3 days and taste them again. Keep checking in 3 day increments until they are perfect. My bitters sat for a total of 31 days. Depending on how much alcohol you use, you could easily make 6 different kinds of bitters from one bottle of Everclear. SO much cheaper!
What’s super weird is that once I took out my blueberries, they were really hard! Like rocks. All the juice had been infused into the bitters!
The same happened with the orange peels, they were colorless and hard once they were removed. The grain alcohol totally did it’s job.
Once you’re finished you can bottle them or leave them in the jars. As long as they are tightly sealed, the bitters will last up to 6 months. Label them and poof! You’re ready to have a delicious cocktail with a great flavor!
December 7, 2012 by Jenn
As we get closer to Christmas, we are (hopefully) almost done with our shopping and it’s time to start wrapping up all our goodies! There are a lot of options when it comes to wrapping but, as usual, we think handmade is more fun. It’s also easier on your wallet. Here are some ideas we’ve come up with this season to help make your gifts stand out!
Potato Stamp Paper:
I had a left over sweet potato that wasn’t looking so hot. I used an exacto knife to carve three potato stamps, a tree, a heart, and a circle. I then took my brown postal paper (left over from my advent tutorial) and patterned my stamps in different colors. I used a paintbrush to apply the paint to my stamps and practiced once or twice before stamping my paper. If some of the stamps look a little crazy, just use your paintbrush to fill in the gaps!
As you can see, in these photos my bows are pom poms. This is a fun extra you can add to your gifts. Make a pom pom and turn it into an ornament by keeping the tether yarn longer and tying it together! Use a piece of tape to attach it to your gift and voila! The bow now doubles as an ornament. You can use a pom pom maker or make them yourself, there’s a helpful tutorial here.
Snowflake Atlas wrapping:
I love using old magazine photos or map pages as wrapping. It adds a fun texture to your packages. I had an old atlas lying around so I used a page as my background. A friend and I were making paper snowflakes the other night to hang in my apartment and I had a few left over. I added the snowflake on top and tied my package with festive yarn. So easy and so very FREE since I had all these things lying around. Can’t beat that!
Have a great weekend!!
November 21, 2012 by Emily
Have I mentioned I’m lucky? Ok, Ok not in all manners but you’ll understand when I tell you…. My parents press their own cider. From apple trees that grow in their backyard. Sure it’s a huge ordeal and makes a mess, but I get to enjoy the most amazing apple cider (and hard cider…thanks dad!) I’ve ever had.
I’m not ready for the undertaking of making my own hard cider, but I am willing to use the cider my parents have given me for other types of adult beverages! I’ve seen a lot of post and pictures for Apple Pie Liqueur, and I had to make it for my friends housewarming party!
October 27, 2012 by Jenn
I’m a huge fan of nice smelling dresser drawers. I mean, who isn’t right? Sachets are an excellent way to keep your clothes smelling wonderful. For those who aren’t sure, a sachet is a small bag scented with whatever scent you choose. My favorites are lavender and cedar. Some of the sachets you can purchase in stores are pretty expensive and the smell doesn’t even last that long. Since I already had the felt lying around, I was able to make these sachets for under $5 bucks! I thought instead of a boring old square, we could make them into tiny articles of clothing. It’s a quick and easy craft that would make a sweet gift as well!