Noel-Cello Grapefruit Liqueur

This whole Christmas present malarky is getting out of hand. I’ve not spent Christmas in the UK for 4 years, and feel I’m way behind on the gift game.

My city is crammed full of people, roaming the streets, laden with a million bags, all overflowing with gifts. The shops are so full you can barely move, let alone get near any item you might want to purchase.

Must-have items sold out long ago, now being flogged on eBay for quadruple the price. Where’s the festive cheer in that?

I love hand-made gifts, they just have a more personal touch, that someone has taken the time to make you a gift, rather than grab the first thing off the shelves.

This liqueur is the perfect Christmas gift, but it is best left to sit for 3-4 weeks, so advise the recipient to resist it for a couple of weeks or so.

This recipe is based on Pompelmo, the italian grapefruit liqueur.


Noel-Cello Grapefruit Liqueur

Makes 4 x 50ml bottles


2 litres good quality vodka (I used Smirnoff)
3 grapefruits
1 orange
6-8 cinnamon sticks
7 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Christmas spice mix (ground cinnamon, ginger, juniper berries)


Sterilise the bottles in boiling water. Leave to dry.

Scrub the grapefruits and orange. Using a peeler, remove strips of the fruits, try not to take too much pith.

Divide the strips between the bottles. Adding 2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle.

Add the sugar to a pan, and add 5 tablespoons of water.

Heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until all the sugar has dissolved.

Add sugar mixture to a jug, and add the vodka, mix well. If your jug is small, do this in batches.

Divide the vodka mix between the four bottles.

Seal, and shake the liqueur.

Store in a cool place, giving it a shake every few days. Will last up to a year.



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