Homemade for the Holidays: Edible Gifts

Kira's Coffee Liqueur
This recipe for homemade coffee liqueur was developed by longtime Café Grumpy employee Kira Birney, who makes the drink each year around the holidays to share with friends and family. Owner Caroline Bell recommends drizzling the liqueur over vanilla ice cream or using in a White Russian. Time will temper the intense sweetness, so be sure to allow to sit for a month or more.Anna Stockwell

Last holiday season, inspired by a beautiful jar of homemade brandied cherries given to me by an old friend, I opted to make a giant batch of plum and port wine jam to jar and give to relatives instead of shopping for individual presents. As a first-time jam maker, the process was a little messy, but packaged in jewel-like jars alongside homemade candy, the result was beautiful; spread on buttered cranberry-walnut bread on Christmas morning, my gift tasted even better.

This year I'm sticking with the homemade theme, bottling homemade liqueurs for my friends and loved ones. I love the science-experiment feeling of giant mason jars lined up on my kitchen counter, each filled with multicolored fruits and flavorings steeping in high-proof vodka, getting ready to be decanted into old fashioned, clasp-top soda bottles.

For fellow DIY-minded gift-givers, we've put together a gallery of recipes that work beautifully as holiday presents or hostess gifts, from savory pickles and spice blends to candied fruit and sweet liqueurs. A few of these recipes can require up to a month before they're ready to consume, so it's best to start thinking about the process now. Happy gifting!