This warming Christmas vodka recipe makes a delicious Christmas pudding flavoured vodka liqueur which is ready in less than a week. Perfect for winter nights and holiday cocktails, it makes a welcome homemade seasonal gift.
I love making infusions at this time of year, capturing flavours to brighten the winter months. This vodka has all the flavours of a warm, sweet Christmas pudding in a glass. It makes the perfect nightcap by the fire.
Vodka is a very neutral tasting spirit and is therefore great for infusing with your own choice of flavours. This homemade Christmas pudding vodka liqueur makes a great Christmas gift for vodka lovers, and one that you can feel confident won’t be duplicated.
Better still, your Christmas vodka takes only about three to four days to infuse, so if you are running short of shopping time, you still have time to make this!
Why make Christmas vodka
- A great alternative to sloe vodka
- A novel after dinner drink for Christmas parties and delicious in a New Year cocktail
- Christmas pudding vodka makes a stylish and unique homemade Christmas gift
- So easy and quick to make!
Christmas pudding vodka ingredients
- Vodka – It doesn’t need to be expensive but you do want something smooth. A rough spirit will spoil all your effort. Supermarket brands are generally good and a bit cheaper than famous brands.
- Mixed Dried Fruit – I’ve used equal quantities of currants, raisins and apricots for a good fruity base. You can use your favourites, adding figs and dates if you prefer. Make the weight up with your favourite fruit, but have a good base of dark vine fruit.
- Muscovado Sugar – This adds both colour and a delicious dark treacle note. You can use dark brown soft sugar instead. A lighter sugar like golden caster will make a lighter drink in both appearance and flavour.
- Orange – For the zest, so choose unwaxed fruit. You can use clementine or lemon if you prefer, or a mix.
- Spices – I use a mix of cinnamon, mixed spices, cloves and all spice. You can choose your own, and any warming spices would be delicious. I don’t like too much spice, however, and don’t want to smother the fruit. If heavy spice is your thing, then you can add more but be cautious. You can always add but you can’t take away.
How to make Christmas pudding vodka – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Use a vegetable peeler to pare some thin strips of orange zest. As you do this, take care not to get the bitter white pith. There is no need for fine grating – big strips are just fine.
Step Two – Cut larger pieces / whole fruit like apricots or figs to the same size as a large raisin and then add all the fruit to a wide-necked jar that is large enough to take all the ingredients. Add the sugar, spices and orange zest.
Step Three – Pour over the vodka , seal and then give it a swirl to mix. Swirl the jar rather than shaking it, as you don’t want any leaks. Leave for 3-4 days to a week, so that your Christmas vodka has time to infuse.
Step Four – After a few days, the fruit will be plump, the sugar dissolved and the vodka a rich, deep tawny colour. There will be some sediment in the bottom of the jar.
Now taste the vodka! At this stage, you can still adjust the flavours if necessary, by adding a little extra sugar, fruit or spice. If you do this, leave to infuse for a couple of days longer.
Step Five – Strain the vodka into a jug, using a fine sieve. Discard the peel and spices but reserve the fruit. Save it in a jar or tub in the fridge to add to mince pies or other recipes.
Step Six – It is now time to filter your Christmas vodka. Although this is not strictly necessary, it does look better and I prefer to do it if I am making a gift.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
Although you don’t have to filter your Christmas vodka, I think the results are worth the effort. The simplest way is to use a sieve lined with kitchen paper. If you plan to make lots of liqueurs, then it is worth buying a basic filter coffee cone and filters.
If you have a fancy filter for your regular coffee making, then you can use that. Be warned, however, that filtering starts fast and then slows right down. It can take hours, so do it when you aren’t going to want to make coffee!
Step Seven – Your vodka will pour much better from a bottle, so seal it in a clean, attractive bottle. Use a jug and, if you have one, a funnel. The bottle needs to be clean and dry, but you don’t need to sterilise it unless you want to.
You can add the cinnamon stick to the bottle along with a fresh twist of zest, and even a pinch of edible gold leaf for decoration. This attention to presentation turns your vodka into the perfect Christmas gift. The gold will look gorgeous if you use your Christmas vodka in holiday cocktails.
- I like to sip my Christmas vodka slowly from a shot glass but it is also good over ice or added to cocktails.
- Drizzle over ice cream desserts.
- Whisk into double cream for a fancy trifle topping.
- Vary the dried fruit – For the best Christmas pudding flavour, keep a base of about half dark vine fruit (currants and raisins) and then make up the rest with apricots, dried figs, dates, cherries, mixed peel, or any combination to taste. Cut larger pieces of fruit into smaller pieces, about the size of a raisin.
- Sugar – Different sugars have different flavours, so take this into account. Because the dried fruit already adds lots of sweetness, you should not be tempted to over do it. Soft dark brown or muscavado sugar adds notes of treacle and caramel, while a lighter sugar would pair well with lighter fruits.
- Spices – Add more, or less to taste. Remember that not all brands are the same, and that fresher jars of spice will have far more flavour than older ones. Because of this, err on the side of caution. It is best to add less and then if you feel it needs a little more, adjust and leave to infuse for a bit longer.
- If you want your Christmas vodka gifts to look really fancy, you can crumble in a pinch of culinary gold leaf when you bottle your gin.
As with other liqueurs, store this in a cool dark cupboard. It is best consumed within a year, because the flavours can start to fade if you keep it longer.
Hints and tips
- Don’t waste the fruit. You can add it to all sorts of dishes. Eat it on ice cream, in mince pies, or use it instead of mincemeat in this Christmas fudge recipe. If you make your Christmas vodka early enough, it can go in the pudding or the Christmas cake! Alternatively, add it to a fruit tea loaf.
It really is as easy as it sounds. Try it!
I would avoid the floral and Mediterranean herbal versions. You can often find citrus tonic waters at Christmas and these would work well.
It’s absolutely safe and you can replicate the effects in expensive store-bought Christmas liqueurs very easily. You can buy a small pot of culinary gold leaf to add, and just add a pinch when you bottle your Christmas Vodka. You can use it to decorate homemade sweets and celebration desserts too.
No, just keep the ingredients in proportion and it will be fine.
More homemade liqueurs and infusions
- Rhubarb and ginger gin – pretty pink and so so delicious.
- Sloe Gin – this British classic is so much better when homemade.
- Toffee Vodka – this popular flavoured vodka uses just two ingredients and is so easy to make at home.
- Christmas Gin – All the flavours of a Christmas pudding makes this infusion perfect for presents.
- Cranberry Gin – Jewel coloured cranberry and orange gin – perfect for Christmas sipping!
- Bramble Whisky – packed with blackberries and sloes, this is an ultimate winter warmer.
- 150 g dried fruit
- 40 g muscovado sugar
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 3 all spice berries
- zest of half an orange
- 350 ml vodka
- Use a vegetable peeler to lift strips of orange zest, avoiding the white pith.
- Cut whole fruit like apricots and figs to the size of a raisin. Put all the fruit in a wide-necked jar. Add the sugar, spices and orange zest.
- Pour in the vodka. Then seal and swirl the jar to mix. Leave for three days to a week, so that your Christmas pudding vodka has time to take on all the flavours.
- When the vodka is ready, the fruit will be swollen, the sugar dissolved and the vodka a rich brown colour. A sediment will have settled at the bottom of the jar.
- Strain the vodka through a sieve. Save the fruit, as this can be used in cakes, on pancakes and in other recipes.
- (Optional) Filter your vodka through a sieve lined with kitchen paper, or use a coffee filter if you have one. This can take several hours but results in a clear, attractive spirit.
- Bottle and seal your Christmas vodka, ready to drink.
- Use a mid range vodka, nothing too grand, but not the cheapest. Supermarket own brand vodka is ideal.
- To change the flavours vary the dried fruit – apricots, figs, and cherries are all delicious, but keep half to two thirds of the mix as currants and raisins.
- Vary the sugars to change the flavour. I like a good fully flavoured muscovado sugar. A lighter sugar will make a lighter infusion.
- Swap in some different spices – but don’t go too wild and swamp the flavours.
- Filtering takes ages – it starts fast and then goes to a slow drip. I usually leave it overnight.
- This recipe is 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion