Upcycle Your Booze as Gifts for Christmas

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Boozy Gifts for Christmas

Lynette Jarrett

Repurpose is not a word you hear very often in the same sentence as booze, yet it is a passion of mine.

If you are looking around for handmade gifts ideas that will show real thought, why not consider repurposing some booze?

I hate to say everything tastes better with booze, but some things just simply do. The more complex flavours the addition of booze brings to jams and jellies are my case in point.

This recipe for Cranberry Port Jam uses mostly local products and is a lovely hostess gift.

Local cranberries are available at Yellow Point Cranberries, just a 15 minute drive south of Nanaimo. They are open all month and they have a lot of cranberries in stock.

Lucky’s Liquor in Country Club Centre has a good selection of local ports to star in any jam or jelly recipe you love. My favourite is the Unsworth Ovation. This port style wine is made from the Marachel Foch grape that thrives on our island. Ovation is a smooth sweet port style wine that is dense with rich flavours of plum, fruitcake and black currant.

As well as being a zippy spread for toast, this jam can be used as a Christmas dinner condiment.

Cranberry Port Jam                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

1-12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

1 +1/2 cups Unsworth Ovation Port

One (1.75-ounce) package regular powdered fruit pectin

1/2 teaspoon butter

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

4 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Prepare six half pint jars for this recipe, sterilizing them and the lids.

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped. Transfer them to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and add the port and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the cranberries have softened, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the pectin over the cranberry mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the butter. Return the mixture to a boil. Add the dried cranberries and then the sugar all at once. Return the mixture to a boil and boil hard for one minute.

Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars. If you wish to preserve them use you preferred method for canning. However, they will last in the fridge for at least 3 months. A little card cautioning refrigeration is a must if you do not preserve your jam.

There are many cute ways to decorate your jars and give the gift a personal touch. A little bit of ribbon and a sprig of greenery is environmentally friendly and seasonal.

A gift of homemade food will delight your friends and family while adding a healthy dash of season’s cheer.

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