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How to make your own candy cane vodka this festive season

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This candy cane vodka doesn’t only make for a great addition to your festive drinks options, but could also make the perfect last minute homemade gift.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and one thing I love most about Christmas is the variety of food and drink which passes my lips without judgement, including the copious amounts of sweets.

But one festive sweet treat that has never quite appealed to me is candy canes. Great for decoration, they aren’t the easiest of things to consume with their hooked top and sticky nature.

Julia Bryce’s homemade candy cane vodka in the making.

However, I have discovered a way to use up the decorative sweets – and the best part about it is it also makes for a cracking easy-to-make homemade present.

Allow me to introduce to you… candy cane vodka.

Produced in just a few hours, I advise leaving the sugary, peppermint spirit for at least a day before serving, just to ensure all the flavours have substantially mixed around.

The candy canes have dissolved a lot more, turning the vodka into a creamy pink colour.

Super easy to create at home, all you need is a bottle of vodka (any brand will do, but nothing too cheap) and a packet of candy canes.

You’ll need to break the tops off the sweets if you’re just going to use the bottle the vodka comes in as they won’t fit otherwise, but for those who have mason jars at home, you won’t need to. However, breaking them up will certainly help the sweets dissolve in the vodka faster.

Ta da! Homemade vodka that can easily be gifted as a present.

Once you’ve added your candy canes into the spirit, leave for a minimum of a few hours – you’ll see the colour continuously changing and, when it’s ready, you won’t be able to hear the candy canes inside when you give it a shake.

Be sure to shake it lightly from time to time to get those flavours moving as it is developing to give you a well-rounded finish that is just utterly delicious.

If you want to try it out for yourself, be sure to check out my very easy recipe below.

Candy cane vodka infusion

Julia Bryce’s candy cane vodka.


  • A bottle of vodka
  • 8-12 red candy canes (or other hard peppermint sweets)


  1. Pour out a little of the vodka to make some room for the candy canes to enter without spilling, or you could always fix yourself a drink. If you are using a mason jar you shouldn’t need to pour out any vodka as you can just fill until you are happy, leaving a little space at the top.
  2. Add the candy canes into the bottle (or mason jar), breaking them up if you need to in order for them to fit, then put the lid back on and give the bottle a shake.
  3. Leave to the side (or place in the fridge) for a few hours. You will see the colour from the candy canes dissolving in the vodka and it should start to take on their festive red colour. Feel free to give it a light shake from time to time to keep things moving. [Please note: use red candy canes instead of other colours if you want your vodka to be red. Green and purple candy canes turn brown…]
  4. Make sure all of the candy canes have properly dissolved and then serve as you please. I recommend trying it on its own, or you could add some to a hot chocolate to create a boozy peppermint version. My sister loves it with lemonade though!

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