The perfect gift for the cocktail-lover on your list: Cocktails in a jar, made easily with a variety of dried fruits, spices, and other ingredients.

Cocktails in a jar: Make your own DIY cocktail jars to give as a gift!

I LOVE making homemade gifts for the holidays – and my gift recipients love to receive them. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the cocktail lover on your gift list, here’s a fun idea for you: Cocktails in a jar!

I keep seeing similar products in gift shops for $20-$25 a jar, and figured it would be an easy (and much cheaper!) to make them at home.

These cost less than $5 to make.

Cocktail in a jar: Dry your own fruit (or buy dried fruit) and learn how to make DIY cocktails in a jar.

How To Make A Festive Old Fashioned In A Jar 

I made a Festive Old Fashioned mix by including the following ingredients:

  • Dehydrated orange slices
  • Dehydrated raspberries (dehydrated cherries will also work)
  • Dehydrated cranberries (just a few – they’re tart!)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Sugar cubes

I also included a small jar of Jack Daniel’s so my recipients literally had all the ingredients they needed to make an Old Fashioned. 

DIY cocktails in a jar: Make a great gift!

How To Make Other Cocktails-In-A-Jar

The first thing you need to know about making your own cocktails in a jar is that there are SO MANY options for what to fill your jars with. A variety of fruits, spices, and seasonings will work (with the addition of sweeteners, in many cases).

You can play mixologist in include a variety of different ingredients:

  • Dehydrated fruit (orange, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, apples, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, pears, apricots, etc.)
  • Spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg – don’t go overboard!)
  • Other ingredients (rosemary, lemon thyme, lavender, rose petals, dehydrated ginger)
  • Sugar cubes (look for turbinado/Sugar In The raw sugar cubes)

DIY cocktails in a jar: Dried fruit and spices + alcohol = a homemade cocktail at home!

Other Cocktail Recipe Combinations

  • Sangria: Dehydrated apples, oranges, and lemon + sugar cubes + a bottle of red wine
  • Mimosas: Dehydrated oranges + a bottle of champagne + fresh orange juice
  • Fruit punch: Dehydrated oranges, pineapple, apples, pears (and other fruit) + a bottle of vodka + sweetener (simple syrup or sugar cubes)
  • Cosmopolitan: Dehydrated lime and cranberries + a bottle of vodka + cranberry juice
  • Spiced cider: Dehydrated oranges and apples + cinnamon and clove + a bottle of bourbon

Don’t forget the mixers! Adding tonic water, club soda, fruit juice, etc., with turn these mixers into cocktails!

Tips For Making Infused Cocktails In A Jar

  • Organic ingredients: Look for organic ingredients since you are infusing them in alcohol. Everything you infuse – pesticides, chemicals, etc. – will end up in the final product.
  • Alcohol: Model your cocktail-in-a-jar after your favorite drink, using the most appropriate/obvious alcohol associated with that cocktail. For the Old Fashioned, I used Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey. For sangria, for example, use red wine paired with dehydrated fruits such as apples, oranges, and lemons.
  • Infusion time: Infuse alcohol in the jar filled with ingredients for 3 or more days.
  • Strain out ingredients: Make sure to strain out all of the dried fruit/spices/other ingredients before consuming. 
  • Dehydrate your own fruit: To save money, dehydrate your own fruit instead of buying it at the grocery store.
  • Warning! Infused alcohol is really strong. These are basically pure alcohol with the flavors and essences of whatever you’re soaking. You can use these infused alcohol recipes as mixers.
Cocktails in a jar: Make your own DIY cocktail jars to give as a gift!

Old Fashioned In A Jar

Yield: 4 cocktails in a jar
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 25 minutes

This recipe is enough to make 4 cocktails in a jar. Pair mason jar with a 375 ml jar of Jack Daniels Tennesse Whiskey or your favorite whiskey or bourbon.

Ingredients

  • 4 navel oranges, cut into 1/2-inch slides
  • 12 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, cut in half
  • 12 turbinado sugar cubes

Instructions

  1. Use dehydrator to dehydrate oranges, raspberries, and cranberries. Time will vary depending on your dehydrator and thickness of fruit.
  2. Distributed dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, and sugar cubes evenly among mason jars.
  3. Pair mason jars with 375 ml bottles of Jack Daniels or your preferred bourbon or whiskey.
  4. Instructions to make cocktails. Pour bourbon/whiskey into mason jar and allow to infuse for 3 or more days. Before serving, remove fruit & spices and strain to ensure no solids remain. Serve on ice garnished with cocktail cherries.

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