Get in spirit of Christmas with spiced schnaps

This schnaps is an ode to the flavours of Christmas.

Maria and Eva Konecsny suggest enjoying it in a pretty little glass after eating a big piece of gingerbread or any other cake, at any time of the year!

They also love to drink it when playing cards.


Spiced Christmas schnaps


Makes about 250ml (1 cup) at 35% to 38% alcohol
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian

5 cardamom pods, bruised

Peel of 1 orange, sliced and without pith

250ml (1 cup) high-quality 37% to 40% spirit, such as korn or gin

1 to 2 heaped tsp runny raw honey

½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

1 cinnamon quill

1 cassia stick

8 star anise

2 cloves



Place the spices and orange peel into a glass bottle that will hold at least 300ml. Add the spirit and shake. Close the lid and leave the spices to infuse for 2–4 days.

Taste daily to see when you are happy with the infusion. The longer you leave the infusion, the more the anise flavour will develop from the star anise.

Strain off the liquid, put the whole ingredients in the compost and return the infused spirit to the bottle.

Add the honey to the bottle, depending on your taste, and shake vigorously to dissolve it, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla bean and seeds and swill the bottle to disperse the seeds. Let this infuse for at least another week before serving.

You can then either remove the vanilla bean or leave it to continue infusing.

Store indefinitely in your drinks cabinet.

Cook’s notes

Korn is a popular German white spirit made from fermented grain and is commonly used to make schnaps infusions.


Kindred Recipes, spices and rituals to nourish your kin, Maria and Eva Konecsny, Pan Macmillian.