Alternative Christmas Cocktails

The party season is here. A time of excess and excitement. Shopping, indulgence. But it’s also a time to remember what Christmas is really all about. Yes that’s right, hot booze! Mulled wine, mulled cider, steaming away on the counters of every pub in London. Some are good, some are god awful – here are a couple of recipes to cook up your own.

The Mutts Nose Hot Gin Punch

Prep time: 10 minutes

Super easy to make and can be served without alcohol too.

In a soup kettle or saucepan add a litre of cranberry juice, a litre of cloudy apple juice, half a litre of water, 150ml honey, a few cloves, couple of cinnamon sticks and some fresh ground nutmeg. Heat until steaming and until you can smell the spices in the air. Pour into a warm mug and finish with a slice of dry orange. Alcohol is up to you but I am favouring Camm & Hooper’s Plum gin or Pear and Sage gin. Just add a single shot your mug before serving.

Xmas Pudding gin

Prep time: 24 hours

If you’re feeling really decadent and want to go full seasonal bandwagon why not try my Xmas Pudding gin as a base for your Hot Gin Punch.

A full faff version for people who love to get involved in the kitchen. A good excuse to tell the family your busy whilst hanging out making hot booze.

In a saucepan melt 100g unsalted butter and 25g demerara sugar. If previously made CBE Buttered Rum use some of the leftover butter. Next add a split vanilla pod, a few cloves, fresh ground nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, orange peel and dried figs. Pour in a bottle of gin – over 40% abv please. Simmer very gently for a few minutes, you want to start the infusion process not boil off all your alcohol. For best results leave to stand at room temperature then refrigerate overnight. Next day remove the butter solids and pass the liquid through a fine strainer or muslin cloth. If you want to speed up the process you can put your Xmas Pudding gin straight into the freezer to set the butter. All you have to do now is add this to your punch mix or warm it up and have it neat in a hip flask. Instant central heating.