Homemade Presents

This season I decided to make all of my gifts. Seeing as how I will be celebrating my Christmas in January, I thought it might not be too late to post this. My two criteria for the gifts were that they be made from natural ingredients, and that they be packaged with reusable materials. I decided on infused liquor, goatsmilk soap, bath salts and salt rubs. I found glass jars for scrubs, flasks for the liquor, and old cigar boxes for the soaps. I am using biodegradable Aspen wood chips for packing the soap and found a beautiful biodegradable ribbon for bows.

This was my first attempt at making soap. I found a recipe for Dr. Brent Ridge's goats milk soap on the Martha Stewart website. I chose this recipe because it was unscented, used nice ingredients and seemed relatively easy to follow. After several batches, I perfected the method and experimented with adding natural exfoliants such as coconut shavings, dried orange peel and lavender buds. I also attempted to color and scent the soap using natural food coloring and essential oils however, these experiments were less successful.

Colored Bath Salts
For the bath salts and salt rub I used a very simple recipe out of an old book I had called Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox.
1 cup epsom salts
1/4 cup sea salt
natural food coloring
Stir salts together and add desired coloring.

Salt Rub
2 cups sea salt
1 cup almond oil (or coconut, avocado, or olive oil)
Essential oils
Mix together salts and add desired coloring and scents.
It will keep for 1 to 2 months and does not need refrigeration.

Liquor Infusions
For the liquor I chose to use 4 different spirits. Hendrick's Gin with Earl Grey tea; Sauza Hornitos Reposado Tequila with pineapple, tarragon and serrano chili; Jim Beam Bourbon with pecans (Pecans have a very tanic skin. Before infusing liquor I soaked them for 2 hours and then toasted them in the oven); and Christian Brother's Brandy with pear and sage. Except for the tequila, I infused them all for about 2 weeks and included a favorite recipe for each. The tequila was infused for about 3 days.

Lady Grey Martini
2 oz Earl Grey infused gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
shake without ice to infuse egg. add ice and shake for aprox. 1 min. serve up.

Lark Creek Inn Margarita
2 oz Lark Creek Inn tequila
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
shake. serve over ice.

Pecan Flip
2 oz pecan bourbon
1 egg
1/2 oz cream
1 tsp superfine sugar
shake without ice to infuse egg. add ice and shake. serve in collins glass. garnish with nutmeg.

Orchard Sidecar
2 oz pear sage brandy
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
shake. serve up.

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2 Responses to Homemade Presents

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