Tricks & Tips

Homemade New Year’s gifts to sweeten the start of 2016

Homemade New Year’s gifts to sweeten the start of 2016

The holiday season is drawing to a close. Many of us have spent the time relaxing with our nearest and dearest. Taking the time to enjoy the company of those we wish we could see more often. Savouring festive food and drink with our family and friends. And bidding farewell to 2015.


We would like to take the opportunity to wish our pizza and pasta lovers, Espresso drinkers, Dolci connoisseurs, Specials fans, our Ladies Night ladies and all our Vapiano guests a healthy and happy 2016. 


Slowly but surely, the daily routine has crept up on us. It’s back to work, be it in the office, the classroom, the factory, the surgery, the hotel reception, the restaurant kitchen, the home or even for some of us – in space! For those who returned to work yesterday or today, as well as those who have worked tirelessly throughout the festive period, we want to wish both professional and personal success for the working year ahead.


And for those of you experiencing a post-festive slump, we have something special in store. Food and lifestyle blogger Victoria from “About Victoria’s Little Secret” lives near Aachen in Germany. She bakes, she cooks and she creates all kinds of edible delicacies she shares in her blog. And she’s come up with a fun DIY gift to cheer up anyone suffering from the January blues. After all, homemade gifts are always best. And this clever idea is just the job for giving your favourite colleagues a sweet start to 2016.


Homemade fragranced sugar adds a delicious edge to the first cup of tea or coffee of the day.

Here’s how to make it.


You will need:

  • 150g unrefined brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 clean jar



Dry the vanilla pod so it can be ground up more easily. To do so, preheat a fan oven to 150°C and leave the pod to dry out for 8 minutes. Allow to cool. Then chop into small pieces and mix with the sugar and ground cinnamon (or use a stick blender) at the highest level for 10 – 15 seconds.


Shake the mix through a fine sieve and your “sweet start” is ready. Fill a clean jar and add one of the cinnamon sticks to the mix so the aroma can develop. Decorate by hanging a cinnamon stick around the top. For a more rustic feel, place a piece of fabric over the lid and secure with an elastic band or a ribbon.

Victoria & Jana