Homemade Clementine and Brandy Butter

With Christmas rapidly approaching, we have started making the lovely little side dishes that, for us, make Christmas so special. Not least of all because we don't have them at any other time of year. One such thing is Homemade Clementine and Brandy Butter.

What is Brandy Butter?

Brandy Butter is one of the alcoholic butters which are traditionally served with plum pudding, Christmas pudding and mince pies. Historically known as 'hard sauces', these mixtures of butter, sugar and alcohol are actually neither hard nor a sauce. So no, I don't understand why they're called that either. Maybe it's because when you put them in the fridge they go (relatively) hard?

Why Make Homemade Brandy Butter?

Brandy butter is (obviously) boozy so you wouldn't think you could tell the difference between homemade and shop bought. But you can. The difference is mainly down to texture. You beat the butter, sugar and brandy together for quite a long time, until it goes pale and quite light, almost like a cream. 

Not only do I prefer the texture of homemade brandy butter, but it is also cheaper than buying it. You may have a bit of brandy in your cupboard that you could use up, or you could make your own with vodka and a brandy essence. However you decide to do it, making brandy butter at home still works out less expensive than buying it ready made. 

But the best reason: happiness is homemade! Homemade Brandy Butter makes a lovely gift in a jar with ribbon. And enables you to add lovely things to it to make it even more special, like Clementine zest.

Why not use Homemade Butter too?

We started making our butter during the 2020 lockdown. It's incredibly simple, satisfying, and you get the added bonus of buttermilk too. If you decide to make your own butter, weigh out the amount you need after you've dipped the butter in water to remove the last bits of buttermilk. It's easy to mix at this point. If you're using butter from the fridge, allow it to soften before mixing.

Clementine and Brandy Butter

Homemade Clementine and Brandy Butter

This makes enough to fill a ramekin for the lunch table on Christmas Day, to go with the Christmas pudding. If you want more (which you will) then feel free to double. Or treble !


65g lightly salted butter, softened

65g icing sugar

1 clementine with skin on

2 tablespoons Brandy


A mixing bowl

A hand mixer

A grater


  1. Split the icing sugar into two halves.
  2. Put the first half of icing sugar in the mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter to the bowl.
  4. Grate in the zest of the clementine.
  5. Mix with the hand mixer for a couple of minutes, until the butter starts to go pale.
  6. Add the second half of the icing sugar plus the brandy.
  7. Continue beating until everything is incorporated and the butter looks light and fluffy.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl or jar and refrigerate.
  9. Remove from the fridge for 30 minutes or so before using.

Serve with hot Christmas pudding or mince pies.

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Clementine & Brandy Butter

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