Christmas in a Jar - gifts you can make at home!

December 09, 2021

With supply chain hold-ups and slower than usual shipping, we love the idea of making presents at home this year! Whether it's a stocking stuffer for the whole family or a little something for your neighbors, a thoughtful home made gift can put a smile on even the biggest Scrooge's face!

In this round-up we're focusing on food jar favors. And before your mind flashes to hot cocoa jars or layered cookie mix containers... we'll tell you that these aren't your average Christmas jars ūüėȬ† Let's take a look!

Cocktail Infusion Kit

Christmas Cocktail Recipe

Our first jar is to be filled with Christmas spirits! This little cocktail infusion kit is incredibly easy to make, budget friendly, adorable, and perfect for putting your own flair into!

You can gift as just the infusion kit or fill it in advance with your gift receiver's favorite alcohol. After infusing for about 3 weeks, your recipient will be left with a delicious, flavored sipping alcohol that's good for 8 pours (and can be reused again for another 8 pours!)

Christmas DIY present - cocktail infuser recipe

Here's how to make our recipe:

What you'll need:

  • Fruit! We went with oranges and apples
  • Sugar cubes (brown or white... whichever you think looks best!) or plain sugar if you'd like to flavor your cubes
  • Bitters (optional if you would like to flavor your sugar cubes)
  • Herbs - we used thyme
  • Air-tight jar

Christmas Cocktail Ingredients - Cocktail Infuser Gift

What to do:

  1. Optional - start by infusing your sugar! Add 1/2 cup of sugar into a measuring cup or small bowl along with 1/2 tbsp of water. Then dash in some bitters! Press this mixture into a mold or ice cube tray and let it dry for a few hours. That's it!
  2. Next, dry out your fresh ingredients. That means your fruit and herbs! We sliced everything up and put it in the oven at 175¬į F for about 4-6 hours. The trick is to slice up your fruit very thin so that they don't take too long!
  3. Now you're ready to assemble your jar! Throw all of your ingredients into a jar along with infusion instructions (printable instructions available here) 

Deliciously Spicy Chili Oil 

This gift is perfect for the spice-lover on your list! It's one of those items that is amazing to have in your kitchen (and so much better when it's home made) but people don't want to go through the trouble of making it themselves.  

We like this recipe from Tiffy Cooks:

What you'll need:

  • 20 cloves chopped¬†Garlic
  • 4 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 24 Whole Red Chili
  • 2 tbsp of Red Chili Flakes (Do not use the regular red pepper flakes.¬†It won't have the same flavor - I use Sichuan chili flakes)
  • 4 cups of Oil (neutral flavored oil is best - I use grapeseed oil)
  • 2.5 tbsp Korean Chili Flakes
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 2¬†Tbsp of Salt¬†
  • 2 Bay Leaf (optional)

What to do:

  1. Toast Sichuan Peppercorns, Red Chili Flakes and Whole Red Chili in a pan at medium-high for 3 - 5 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Heat up 4 cups of oil, throw in Star Anise and Bay Leaf (if using) to infuse the oil
  3. Use a large container and toss in chopped Garlic and toasted spices.  Once the oil is heated up, pour that into the container.  Add in 2 tbsp salt.  Mix and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove Star Anise and Bay Leaf from container and blend in a high speed blender for 1 - 2 minutes.
  5. Pour into a clean jar.  Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Home Jarred Olives

Home Jarred Olives

Or oranges... or apples... or persimmons... if you have something growing in your yard that you can jar, dry, marinate, or even just throw into a cute Christmas basket, you have a gift right there! Since we have olives available, we decided to marinate them for little Christmas favors to our neighbors. 

If you have olives in your yard as well, here is how to marinate them!

  1. Pick as many olives as you'd like to marinate
  2. Slice each olive a few times so that the liquid can fully soak into the olive
  3. Put your scored olives into a jar and fill with 10 parts water, 1 part salt. For our jars, we used 4 cups water and 2/3 cups salt (this does not have to be exact!)
  4. Wait! This process will take about 4 to 5 weeks. Each week, drain and replace the salt water with new salt water. 

After these steps, you'll be left with delicious, fresh olives! You can gift them in a plain jar or even add your own home label to make them even more special.

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