And now, for something completely different. . .
It’s fall and you know what that means–Christmas is around the corner. Blech. Okay, so part of me loves Christmas. The tree, christmas lights, mulled cider (yes, it’s not just for Halloween) ah, these are great things. Not so great is budgeting for gifts for relatives when you don’t have any money and they’ll probably hate what you get them anyway. And especially this year, as we are down to a one-income, one-car household, I am trying to be especially creative.
Every year, thinking about what to get my parents gives me a headache. So this year I decided to go for liquor. I personally love Drambuie, but I didn’t know if I could just get away with buying them a bottle, so I decided if I made it from scratch it would count more as a proper gift. I found a few online recipes and have cobbled them together. This is a work in progress, I figured I’d give myself two months for steeping, so I will update when it’s actually done.
1 Liter Chivas Scotch Whisky (Note that this is not cheap, so right here you may be better off simply buying commercial Drambuie unless you like the challenge)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/3 tsp fennel seeds
1 whole dried angelica root OR 3 tsp chopped dried angelica root (also known as dong quai)*
Zest of one lemon
12 oz. heather honey (Because I’m sure your grocery store has this. Mine didn’t, so I’m going for Buckwheat honey specifically because it was the darkest single flower honey I could find)
To 1 L of Chivas, add rosemary, fennel, angelica root, and lemon zest (but not honey). Shake frequently for 24 hours, then remove the angelica root, which will now look like the shriveled brain of morbius (obscure Dr. Who reference). Let the concoction sit for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Remove the rosemary, fennel, and lemon zest. Add honey, shake, and let sit for a month and a half (or more, if you’ve got the time)
*Angelica root is a pain to find, the internet said to try health food stores. I had a whole root from my magic stuff–it was incredibly hard, so chopping it was out of the question. So I added the whole thing in. However, I found that angelica root is undeniably funky. I removed it after 24 hours and could still smell and taste the funkiness in the liqueur. But, a week later and with some extra lemon zest, my drambuie wannabe is doing much better.
I’ll update when the experiment is done.
Edit as of 2 weeks later: Well, my feeling is not good so far. I added the honey in two weeks ago–man, that stuff does not want to go into solution, much daily shaking was involved–and I can still strongly taste angelica root. Apparently, I hate angelica root, who knew? Leif says it is not bad, but definitely not Drambuie. Dammit Jim! Next up is to have my brother taste test for a neutral opinion. Looks like he’ll be getting the whole batch anyway.