I have been making Fire Vodka for Christmas for over 30 years. Some things have changed, back then about the only whole spice I could find was whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. Over the years though I have changed it a wee bit because sometimes even the best things can be improved on and then there are some things I wouldn't change if you held a gun to my head. I do this when I am serving it but it can absolutely be given as a gift. It can be served warm or ice cold but always use little cordial glasses or large shot glasses to serve it in whether hot or cold.
Cut the vanilla bean piece lenghwise to split it open. Add water to a saucepan. Add the vanilla bean in to the water.
Measure out the spices and add to the water. Then add in the honey and citrus zests. Add in the honey. Start cooking over medium high heat until it comes up to a simmer. Stir this well until honey is dissolved.Do not boil.
When it starts to simmer, stir one last time, then cover, drop the heat down to low, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, stir again, cover, and set the timer again for 20 minutes and allow the spices to steep. Stir in the vodka.
To store, pour the Fire Vodka into empty, clean bottles. One batch of this yields enough to fill a whole 750ml bottle, with about a cup left over.
You can drink it warm, as is. I have also found that letting it settle and age for a month gives fantastic results.
Leave the bottle undisturbed to rest for several days to a few weeks. You will notice spice sediments will begin to settle to the bottom.
Carefully transfer the clear top portion of the Fire Vodka into a fresh container for longer term storage. Pour carefully to keep the sediments undisturbed at the bottom. This transferred drink will be clear, colorful, and delicious both hot or cold!
Notes: To de-chlorinate your water simply pour it up ina container and cover it and let kit sit 24 hours. Use a good quality vodka when giving as a gift but use only the highest quality for yourself. Be careful when making this around open flames, it is definitely flammable. Use a good quality honey and orange blossom honey would be wonderful.