As another big freeze envelopes Britain, promising a white Christmas, hooray!
One’s thoughts turn to hot toddies, just the thing when you come in from work to a heated bright house, or to nurse on the sofa, warming your hands, or lend an instant holiday vibe to dinner.
I sold this at The Underground Christmas Market, some guests said it was the best they’ve ever had. I give my recipe below but I must admit, I’ve had the present batch on the go on the black enamel of the Aga for several weeks. Every time I walk past I sling in the remnants of a bottle of booze, a few cloves, a handful of sugar or another stick of cinnamon. Last weekend I added the leftovers of my carmelised kumquats. It’s a flexible alcoholic stew!
- 2 bottles of red wine
- 2 oranges sliced
- 250 g kumquats
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 300 g sugar, any kind
- Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat through.
- Once you’ve finished the wine you can add more wine, just check the balance of sugar to wine and keep going!
This is a simple version of Charles Dickins’ Gin Punch.
- 1 bottle gin
- 750 ml hot water
- One lemon cut into thin slices
- Stud the lemon slices with cloves
- 2 or 3 all spice berries
- 300 g of sugar
- Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and warm.
- Mix ingredients together, drink.
I did this for my Little House on the Prairie dinner, again, as it was snowing outside, this glowing drink as guests entered made for a hospitable atmosphere. There is a similar British version traditionally drunk at this time of year called Wassail which uses ale rather than cider.
- 4 litres of apple juice
- 4 litres of cider
- 450 g of dark brown sugar
- 8 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 bottle of Jack Daniels or Southern Comfort or grain alcohol.
- Boil up the apple juice, cider, sugar and cinnamon.
- Let it cool then stir in the grain alcohol.
- Warm again and serve.
I had your mulled wine at the Underground Christmas Market and it was divine. So happy to have the recipe.
Inspiring. I'm hosting a Christmas get together next week, and have bookmarked these drinks recipes in prep.
Thanks Hiromi and Laura!
Hiromi, will see you tomorrow night where you can have some more!