They say that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Providing of course that you have sugar, otherwise your lemonade will be very bad. We’ve had a lot of lemons lately, but we are ok. The latest lemon was an emergency visit to the vet to get my poor little dog Lola treatment for a rattlesnake bite. I was planning on writing my “Week in Review” post but that’s out the window. Please enjoy this oldie but goodie from back in the day. This vodka would go great with a squeeze of lemon…



(Originally published November 19, 2013)

There are 35 days left until Christmas! And it’s the perfect time to make handmade gifts, so I will be sharing some of my favorite handmade gift ideas. My #1 rule for handmade gifts is “Would I enjoy getting this as a present?” Because frankly, there are some pretty weird and kind of lame craft ideas out there.  This one is very well received.


I’m going to tell you how I make it, then you can tailor it to your own circumstances. I happen to have a large empty Vodka bottle on hand (at all times, but that’s just me) so I buy a large bottle of Costco Vodka and pour half into the empty bottle and leave half in its original bottle. There is no need to buy expensive Vodka for this project. Decent Vodka works great. Actually, Costco Vodka is very good and it happens to be the cheapest per ounce, so that is what I use. Put 1/4 cup of cracked black pepper and 1/4 cup of crushed red peppers in each bottle, close tightly and let it infuse for at least a week. I am posting this as the first gift idea because I think the longer it sits, the better it tastes.


Decant into pretty bottles for giving, straining out the solids. The Vodka will be tinted by the peppers, so you can make custom labels and call it “Dirty Vodka” or something sexy like that. My life’s theme is black & red, so I make black & red labels and call it “Two Pepper Vodka” with a warning that it is extremely hot. That’s it, couldn’t be easier. I’ve made this for a few years now and I actually get requests for it around Holiday time.



PS: don’t forget that there are many wonderful artists offering lots of lovely handmade items for sale this Season and all throughout the year! Consider buying handmade gifts this year and support small businesses! Although I am partial, these are two of my faves-

Red Scorpio Handmade

Shadoan Photographic Arts