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The holidays have arrived. Seasonal music floods retail stores and becomes all too common on radio stations; while on TV there is a seemingly unending stream of commercials touting the Christmas theme. As we check Thanksgiving off of our culinary and social list my mind instantly turns towards gift giving. Making a homemade gift is always nice and while cookies are a delicious way to go, I wanted to find that perfect gift to give that is a bit unusual. This concept takes hardly any time to make and will certainly be memorable.

I’ll admit this is far from your typical DIY gift, however the presentation is lovely and 100% unique. When I first heard about this idea from our long time family friend in Italy, Lucia, I was intrigued. In a glass jar, sugar cubes are stacked; a variety of essences can be incorporated to suit your aesthetics and your palate and lastly alcohol is added. Once things have fermented the fun begins!

My Recipe Inspiration and Good Friend - Lucia.
My Recipe Inspiration and Good Friend – Lucia.

While it is not the ideal gift for everyone, and certainly is not child/family friendly, it is an attention getter. When serving remove one sugar cube that has been fermenting in the alcohol and flavors, place it on a plate and light it on fire allowing some of the alcohol to burn off and caramelize the sugar before popping it into your mouth. Repeat for all of your guests!


Fire Sugar Cubes – Not Your Granny’s Sugar Cubes


Low opening glass jar, with a clear lid (preferred)


white sugar cubes

Everclear alcohol (151% Proof)

Flavorings (your choosing):

lemon peel



orange peel

whole cloves

cinnamon sticks

anise seeds

grapefruit peel


In your decorative jar, stack the sugar cubes and then add in preferred flavorings (see suggested combinations below).Pour alcohol over all of the ingredients. Allow to sit for 2+ weeks. When serving remove one cube of sugar and place on a plate. Light a match and set the cube on fire; to extinguish blow out when sugar is slightly caramelized. >Be very careful when using fire and do not leave it unattended or near other flammable materials.< Allow to cool slightly and place in mouth. Enjoy!

Combinations pictured:

– lemon peel (pith removed) and mint

– blackberries

– orange peel and cloves

– cinnamon sticks

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