The final in our series of alternative Christmas gifts is a real corker. Warming brandy infused with fragrant ginger,cinnamon and a sparkle of orange zest are melded together in this gorgeous liqueur to create a perfect gift.

I can imagine enjoying this during those lazy days between Christmas and New Year; a long lunch at my favourite restaurant (HH of course,) then a crisp, invigorating walk before finally curling up with a glass of this warming liqueur. Just add a good book, a board game or a favourite cosy film, and there we have it.Festive bliss.

Unlike a lot of homemade liqueurs, this ones doesn’t need a long time to steep, so it’s an ideal last minute make.

Brandy,ginger,cinnamon and vanilla combine to make this cockle-warming treat.

What you need

  • 2 thumb sized pieces of root ginger
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  •  zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy

    Peel the ginger (I find a spoon is easiest tool for this) and cut it into thin slices. Split the vanilla pod lengthways.

    Place ginger,vanilla,sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around twenty minutes until the ginger is soft.

    When the ginger is tender, remove from the pan from heat and allow to cool.

    When the syrup is cool pour it into a jar along with the brandy and the orange zest. Allow to steep for one day, shaking periodically.

    After one day, remove the vanilla pod. Leave to steep for a further twenty four hours.

    Strain through a muslin cloth (or a coffee filter) and decant into pretty bottles or jars. Add your labels and decorations and there you have it ! A real winter warmer.

    The liqueur is ready to drink after one more day, and will keep for up to a year.  

    Peel and slice the ginger, bring to the boil with vanilla, sugar and water. Simmer for twenty minutes, then allow to cool.

    Place brandy and orange zest in a sealable jar. Add the cooled syrup and allow to steep.

    After steeping, strain the liqueur through a muslin cloth and decant into pretty bottles. Just one more day and it’s ready to drink !