Dishwasher vodka and other homemade liqueurs

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

If you start on these recipes now, your homemade hooch will be ready in time for Christmas. Or, stick a bow on your bottle or place in a gift bag and you've got a thoughtful (and delicious) present.

But do make sure you keep inquisitive children away from your home distillery.



Dishwasher vodka recipe

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

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.


Rhubarb schnapps

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.


Sloe gin recipe

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.


Irish cream recipe

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. 


  • 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.


Cranberry and raspbery 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.

Liked this? Try these:


Non-alcoholic mulled wine recipe

Christmas party food

Edible Christmas gifts

Last updated: almost 3 years ago