If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know I love making the gifts we give our neighbors. But, I'm not a baker. So, I have to come up with different ideas for a gift other than your usual yummy cakes and cookies. Here's what we gave last year as our neighbor gift.
The main reason I'm posting about this gift idea in early November is because Homemade Amaretto needs time to infuse. You can't simply mix it up and drink it (it's just not as good). So, now's the time to make it. Then, when your guest receive it, it's ready to drink.
Since I decorated our home last year without using any red, I kept the theme going with our gifts and used greens and chocolate for the label and ribbon. One other great thing about homemade amaretto is that it does not need to be refrigerated (another key factor for me since we will be leaving this in mailboxes for friends who are not home when we deliver it). Also, I don't always have time to make it and immediately deliver it.
I think with any gift you pull together, it's important to make the card special. I wanted our friends to know this could be used in more ways than just adding it to your coffee (which I'm not knocking!). So, I included this on the label - "Enjoy in coffee, over ice cream with biscotti or as an after dinner drink."
I also include a recipe to the inside of the card for for Baked Brie which is oh so yummy!
OK, so the steps here are super easy. First, make your amaretto and let it begin to infuse. I used this recipe for mine - Homemade Amaretto Recipe. Next, I ordered stopper style bottles from here - Swing Top Bottles. I actually had the cardstock from a Christmas card a few years back, and I picked up the ribbon locally at Davis Wholesale. If you live in Birmingham, run (don't walk) to get your ribbon from Davis. It has been out since October, and it's already beginning to feel picked over. Here is a great online source for ribbon too (should you just not want move from in front of the computer) - Satin Ribbon.
Once your amaretto is ready, sit down and pull it all together. I love to do this closer to the Christmas season. We play Christmas music and form an assembly line to make it happen.
I already have our idea for the 2012 gift (which is the hardest part for me), but you will just have to wait until next year! If you're curious about gifts we've given in years past, here are some links to them!
I realize there's a pattern here - so no alcohol will be involved in this year's gift. Have a great day, everybody. M.