Kris Kringle: a joy when you get someone who you know lots about, a nightmare if you haven’t a clue about them. Luckily for me, my Kris Kringle this year is an awesome person (hello if you are reading this) who I know a fair bit about. I was very happy when I found out that I would be buying a gift for her, as she is an easy person to buy for. But funnily enough, I couldn’t think of anything to get for her. But then I came across a recipe for homemade lemonade and along with that, I bought a bunch of other little food things and I made my own little hamper for her – it’s amazing how far you can stretch $30 when you really try, and I think that adding something homemade is a nice touch. So here is the recipe I found, in this years Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas magazine. Including prep, it’ll take about 15mins to make, plus cooling time.
HOMEMADE LEMONADE (makes about 3 cups)
- 4 cups caster sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place the sugar and water in a large saucepan and over a low heat, dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly. Make sure you brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush as you go to prevent sugar crystals. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium then leave to simmer for about 5 minutes without stirring. Then remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled,stir through lemon juice, then strain into sterilized bottles.
I deviated a little from the recipe here – you’re meant to leave the syrup to cool completely, but I left mine for about half an hour (the pan was just warm to touch), then stirred the lemon juice through, before pouring into warm bottles. I sampled some last night and it tastes lovely. So I think that if you just leave the syrup to cool to a temperature that isn’t boiling hot, you’ll be fine. But next time I make it, I will leave it to cool completely to see if there is a difference.
Once made, make sure it is kept refrigerated and to use it, simply stir through two tablespoons of syrup into a glass of iced water or mineral water. Yummy on a hot summer day like the ones we have been experiencing here in Sydney!
To store it, I found these great little 250ml swingtop bottles. They are the perfect size to give as a Kris Kringle gift. These ones were $2.50 each and I found them at a website called Pack My Product. They have stacks of different jars and bottles, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The swing tag is hand made, as I couldn’t find anything like this in any stores I visited. I just bought some brown cardboard, drew the shape I wanted and using the magic of scissors, cut out the shape. I think it’s pretty cute! On the reverse of the tag, I put storage instructions and serving instructions.
So if you’re stuck for a Kris Kringle gift, why not make something yourself? There are plenty of little things like this you can make. You will be able to stretch your Kris Kringle budget a lot further and the person receiving will appreciate your gift that much more (at least I hope so!!).