Festive season recipes
This makes a great present as well as a fantastic warming drink if mixed with some warm pressed apple juice
1 Litre vodka ( better the vodka the nicer the drink )
40g soft dark brown sugar I use muscavado
2tbsp clear runny honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1vanilla pod ( split & seeds scraped
2 bay leaves
Peel from 1 orange and 1 lemon cut into thick strips but without any pith
You can either get your hands on a kilner style bottle or as I do empty the vodka into a jug and re-use the vodka bottle, this will mean that you have some vodka left over for consumption now. If you are using a storage bottle ensure it is sterilised before use if using the vodka bottle it will be okay to use as is. Place all the dry ingredients and the honey in the bottle and then fill with the vodka, give the bottle a good shake and store for at least two weeks ( shake weekly ) before use, I find four weeks is enough. If not using the vodka immediately I recommend decanting the vodka into another bottle to stop the spice flavours becoming to strong. Drink on the rocks or served with warm pressed apple juice garnished with a thick wedge of apple with a light dusting of cinnamon powder.
Spiced whisky or Rum
To a bottle of Whisky add strips of orange and lemon peel a vanilla pod, 4 cloves and a cinnamon stick seal and store for at least two weeks for the flavours to develop. I use this to make a Hot Toddy simply put a measure in heat proof glass ( Irish Coffee glass ) or if at home on your own your favourite mug will do and add honey to taste then top up with freshly boiled water.
I could give you loads of variations on a theme here but quite simply these days I prefer a drink that is freshly made to order thus avoiding the drink becoming stewed. So next time you are out shopping pay a quick visit to Waitrose and buy yourself a bottle or 2 of Bottle green Spiced Berry cordial, a pot of cloves, cinnamon sticks, Red Wine (a rich fruity Spanish) and some fresh oranges and you have everything you need to make a great Mulled Wine.
175ml red wine
25ml spiced berry cordial
thick slice of orange
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
Heat proof glassware ( Irish coffee glass is good )
Stud the orange slice with the two cloves and place in the glass with the cinnamon stick add the cordial and red wine, heat in the microwave until piping hot but not boiled. We serve this throughout the winter season at the Charles Dickens so come in and find out how well this works.