Recipe: Vanilla Bean Liqueur

Working in real estate means that I am lucky enough to be invited to many housewarming parties hosted by my clients.  I have one this weekend and this particular couple is very crafty and creative so I wanted to add a small personal touch to accompany the "main" gift.   

I've been making a small batch of Vanilla Bean Liqueur and it was finally ready so I tasted it, (my favourite part) packaged it and now I have a delicious homemade liqueur that my clients can add to their cocktails as they host more parties in their new home.

The recipe is very simple and you can make it right in your bottles if you have the space or, in a larger batch (which I recommend) to pour into pretty bottles after:

Vanilla Bean Liqueur
2 Cups Vodka
1 Cup Sugar
3 Vanilla Beans
1. Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife.
2.  Mix the sugar and the vodka.
3.  Add vanilla beans.
4.  Store in cool, dark room for 1 month.
5.  Remove vanilla beans and pour into bottles.
6.  Add fresh vanilla beans if desired.
I love this easy recipe and the liqueur is just delicious when added to a cocktail.  I often buy pretty bottles when I see them just for the purpose of making this liqueur.  The bottle pictured on the right is a plain salad dressing (oil and vinegar) bottle. 
I thought it would be prettier if I dressed it up with a bow.  Normally, I choose rafia but I opted for something a little more festive.
And Voila!  This small addition makes my main gift (which is useful but a little impersonal) just a little more special!  What do you think?  What's your "go-to" hostess gift?

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