Dishwasher vodka and other homemade liqueurs

Three different festive cocktails for Christmas

Dishwasher vodka? Christmas pudding vodka? They may sound, erm, unusual, but these homemade seasonal liqueur recipes are highly rated by Mumsnetters.

Dishwasher vodka recipe
Gummy bears inside vodka

The famous dishwasher vodka recipe, in all its glory. Use boiled sweets or chocolate to give it a flavour of your choosing but beware Skittles or fruity chews, which will require a lot of skimming after the dishwasher cycle.


  • 1 litre vodka
  • Boiled sweets of your choice or 500g chocolate


  • Remove about a quarter of the bottle of vodka, and fill with your chosen sweets to the lid. If you're using larger sweets, give them a good bashing.
  • Put the lid back on the vodka and twist cling film around it to be safe. Place bottle in top rack of dishwasher and run a 70°C normal cycle.
  • If you like, keep it in the freezer to create a thicker liquor-like texture.

No dishwasher?

“You don't even need to put in the dishwasher if you have a little patience, just stick it in a kiln jar, and give it a shake each day, and it'll be done in a few weeks.”

What about rhubarb and custard flavour vodka? Or Werther's Originals? How about chocolate and lime? Get inspiration for different vodka flavours on this dishwasher vodka Talk thread

Christmas pudding vodka
Chocolate vodka

The ultimate seasonal concoction, this Christmas pudding vodka uses dark brown sugar, orange and lemon rind and other festive flavourings for a spicy, warming drink. You could make it on Stir-up Sunday to use up any leftover ingredients?


  • 1 litre vodka
  • 4 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 25g currants
  • 25g raisins
  • 25g dried figs, halved if large


  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or jug, then decant into a large (1.3 litre) sterilised (dishwasher-safe) bottle. Seal with cork or screw cap.
  • Leave for at least two weeks in a dark place, shaking occasionally to agitate the ingredients, then use a funnel lined with a coffee filter paper to decant into “pretty sterilised bottles of your choice” – add a fresh piece of lemon and orange peel and a fresh cinnamon stick if you like.

Switch it up

“I've made batches of this with vodka and brandy, but I preferred the brandy version as it was a bit smoother.”

“You could always mix the Xmas Pud vodka with tonic or Nice Lemonade, but it's very lovely with the vodka, sweet and sticky.”

Rhubarb schnapps
Rhubarb cocktail

Got a glut of rhubarb? This sweet, vanilla-flavoured schnapps recipe is lovely with a bit of champagne or fizzy water, and uses green cardamom pods to give it a tasty twist.


  • 680g rhubarb, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit down the side
  • 8-10 green cardamom pods
  • 1 litre vodka (doesn't need to be an expensive variety)


  • Place all ingredients in a large jar. Put the lid on and shake well, then store the jar in a cool, dark place for six weeks.
  • Shake the jar every other day for the first month.
  • Strain into a clean bottle. Serve it neat and chilled, over ice with a little sparkling water, or mix a little with some champagne.

Spice it up or leave it alone

“No orange or cinnamon or other stuff needed. You don't want complex notes or whatever.”

“We've made this with rhubarb & strawberry before… it takes like pink.”

Sloe gin recipe
Sloe berries and gin

Sloe gin is effortlessly classy, and a cinch to make, only needing two ingredients (or three, if you count the gin.)


  • Handful of sloe berries
  • 1 wine glass of sugar
  • Bottle of gin


  • Fill the gin bottle with pricked sloes, add the sugar, then top up with fresh gin. Give it a shake about once a week for a couple of months, and drink in the new year.

For optimum flavour

“You have to pierce the sloe berries because the skin is quite tough and you need to let out the flavour. But once you have pierced them just put them in a large sealable jug and leave them. The longer you can leave it the better. "

Irish cream recipe
Irish cream in two glasses

Keep this ultra-simple milk-based cocktail in the fridge once it's been made, and serve over ice. If you're after an extra-alcoholic kick, add a shotglass of Kahlua to the mix.

*Ingredients *

  • 450ml whisky
  • 400g evaporated milk
  • 400g condensed milk
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml Kahlua (optional)


  • Whizz everything together in a blender for 1 minute. Bottle and store in a refrigerator.

Avoid the strange stuff

“I made this with raw egg white in it and I really didn't like the texture. Wouldn't recommend it.”

“Warning – it causes lethal hangovers if you drink too much of it.”

Cranberry and raspbery vodka
Berry infused vodka

Cranberries and vodka go together marvellously, so this recipe, which also uses raspberries and lemon, creates a juicy, tangy liqueur that tastes fantastic with lemonade.


  • 1 litre vodka
  • 600g fresh cranberries, roughly chopped (if you can't get fresh cranberries, use frozen, or substitute with any other seasonal berry)
  • 600g fresh raspberries
  • 900g sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  • Put everything into a glass container and stir gently until the sugar dissolves. Cover tightly and store in a cupboard for three weeks.
  • After three weeks, sieve the liqueur into a clean, sterilised container, pressing the fruits through with the back of a wooden spoon. Strain this sieved liquid through double muslin, squeezing the juice from the pulp.
  • Leave for a couple of hours to allow the sediment to settle, then filter again, this time through a coffee filter. This could take several hours. You may need more than one filter. All this is necessary to avoid cloudy liquid.
  • Decant into clean bottles.

Out of berries?

“This with apple and lemonade is lovely and one of my favourite drinks. Finely sliced apple slices and ice make it even better.”