DIY Thanksgiving: Make your own alcohol infusions, more

If you're looking to try something a little different this Thanksgiving (and get creative with your alcohol), take a few cues from DIY blogger Emily Schuman. Here, the "Cupcakes and Cashmere" author makes cranberry-ginger rum, Meyer lemon vodka, chai vanilla vodka and spiced nuts.

Chai vanilla vodka

Ingredients

    • 2 bags of your favorite chai tea
    • The rind of one orange
    • 1 small vanilla pod, split open
    • 1 good (but not premium) bottle of vodka

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Place all ingredients in a clean container and set aside the empty vodka bottle. Let the mixture infuse for several hours or several days, depending on how intense you want the flavors to become. Keep the container in a cool, dark place and gently shake it every day to help facilitate the infusion. Pour the alcohol back into the original vodka bottle, filtering out the solids.

Cranberry-ginger rum

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons of crystallized ginger
    • 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
    • 1/2 cup of sugar
    • 1 oz of water
    • 1 good (not premium) bottle of rum

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat the sugar, water and cranberries in a medium saucepan until the sugar is dissolved and the cranberries have cooked slightly. Add the cranberries and crystallized ginger to a clean container and add the entire bottle of rum (keep the empty rum bottle). Let the mixture infuse for 3 to 5 days, then pour the infused alcohol back into the original rum bottle, filtering out the solids.

Meyer lemon vodka

Ingredients

    • 3 Meyer lemons
    • 1 good (not premium) bottle of vodka

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Peel the lemons and stuff the peels into the vodka bottle. Let the infusion sit for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking the bottle every day to distribute the ingredients.

Spiced nuts

Ingredients

    • Vegetable oil
    • 2 cups unsalted cashews
    • 2 cups whole walnut halves
    • 2 cups whole pecan halves
    • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    • 3 tablespoons apple cider
    • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
    • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
    • Kosher salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Add drizzling of vegetable oil on a sheet pan and combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, the maple syrup, brown sugar, apple cider and chili powder on the sheet pan. Mix well and then add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.Spread the nuts in one layer and roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large wooden spoon, until the nuts are golden brown. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Toss one more time and let come to room temperature. Scoop nuts into cellophane bags, tie with raffia, include written recipe and add leaf for final touch.

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