Ya, I was pretty hard core. I’d ditch work for the day, and go hang in dark pub, listening to traditional Irish songs on penny whistle and fiddle, sipping Black and Tans until I was bleary-eyed.
What I neglected to mention was that, usually, I was accompanied by my mom and dad.
Ok, so maybe I’m not so hard core after all. Maybe you already had an inkling. Or maybe you’ve just gotten new a glimpse of another facet of my sparkling personality.
I’ll admit that my St. Paddy’s day celebrations were less “girls gone wild,” than “families gone nostalgic,” but I sure did enjoy the heck outta them. For today’s post I wanted to share a re-creation of my mom’s favorite St. Patrick’s day drink: one that she’d always enjoy at that cozy little authentic Irish pub, and one that I’ve never seen anyplace else.
This is a lovely little hot toddy, perhaps inspired by the Hot Buttered Rum, but made instead with good Irish whiskey and strongly brewed black tea.
Evidently, somehow, it is December now. (?!?!) Just the other day I was teaching my kids how to use the slip ‘n slide in the backyard, so I really don’t understand how this happened. However, I have confirmed it with several sources, that it is, now, in fact, December the first, and that means there are just 24 days until Christmas, and only eight more days until Hanukkah.
We gotta get our butts in gear, friends.
Like many of you, I’m sure, I have a lot of wonderful people in my life who deserve nice gifts at this time of year. It can get a little overwhelming sometimes, choosing and shopping for everyone’s gift, trying to make it personal, and working it into the budget. One thing I really like to do is try to make homemade gifts, because by their very nature, they are more personal, and unique, and as a nice bonus, they are often more affordable.
Spoiler Alert (for the five most important men in my life)!
I begin by chopping the apples and putting them into a large pitcher with a lid. I also add in the cinnamon sticks and ground nutmeg.
Then, I open the bottles of bourbon and pour them over the apples and spices.
Put the lid on the pitcher and let that sit, at room temperature, for four days.
While the bourbon is infusing, I use Goo-Gone to remove the original labels from the bottles.
This stuff works miracles. You can buy it in my shop.
Just spray it on the label and let it sit for ten minutes or so. The labels just scrape right off, no sticky residue.
Clean the bottles with hot, soapy water, or in the dishwasher.
You can also print and cut out these nifty labels!
After the bourbon has had it’s four-day long nap, place a funnel in the neck of the clean, original bourbon bottle. Place a fine mesh strainer over the funnel, and pour the infused bourbon through, discarding the solids. Add 2 tablespoons of honey or agave nectar to each bottle, and replace the cork topper.
Mist the backs of the labels with spray adhesive and adhere them to the bottles.
These can keep in the fridge for up to two months!
I plan on giving them along with a six-pack of artisinal ginger ale, for a delicious and festive winter cocktail!
Do you like to receive a homemade gift? Do you like to make them and give them? What kinds of homemade gifts will you be making this year? I have some other ideas up my sleeve, you can check them out on my Homemade Gifts Pinterest Board. Be sure to also check out all the fabulous gift ideas in the Homemade Gifts Category of this blog. Let me know what you think!