Quite early on in the planning of my Christmas content I knew I wanted to do something that might help to create gifts for hampers. There are so many people we might not be able to see or spend time with this Christmas, and not just members of our family. I’d often have Christmas drinks with friends I don’t see too much throughout the year, or those who live around me.
So over the next two weeks there will be a series of recipes here on the blog that can be created and worked into a package you can drop off on someone’s doorstep. A small selection of things to make and do that might bring some joy into someone else’s Christmas. None of the recipes will be too complex, I’m keeping it simple here, but they’re all full of festive flavour.
First up, mulled gin, turned gloriously red by fresh pomegranates. I’ll be using a motley selection of bottles for this, ones I’ve kept throughout the year from various things. It’s an excellent gin served simply with ice and some tonic, or add it to a fruit cocktail. Gin and juice is a thing too, right? Add in some juice; the pomegranate flavour and subtle mulled syrup that go into making it delivers the perfect hit of Christmas.
You will need:
A large air tight container, such as a 2L Kilner jar
Sterilised Air Tight Bottles
A fine sieve
1 x Cinnamon Stick
5 x Cloves
1tsp All Spice Berries
Fresh Ginger; around 4cm peeled and chopped
2-3 Pomegranates, depending on size
50g Caster Sugar
750ml Dry Gin
In a saucepan heat 125ml water with 50g caster sugar, along with the cinnamon stick, cloves, chopped gingers and all spice berries.
Keep the heat low until you see the sugar has entirely dissolved and then turn up the heat. You want it to boil for approximately 4-5 minutes until it becomes thick and syrup like.
In your Kilner jar add the seeds and juice from your pomegranates. You can use the ready-packaged variety if you wish. Add in the syrup straight from the pan, cinnamon sticks and all.
Add in the entire contents of a 750ml bottle of gin and fasten the lid. Once cool pop into the fridge and leave to infuse for 10 days.
When you’re ready to create your gifts, strain the gin through a fine sieve to remove the spices, seeds and ginger and then decant into sterilised glass bottles. This should make 3 x 250ml bottles, though feel free to opt for smaller bottles if you’d rather. You can also scale up the recipe if you wish.
A few notes on the bottles…
You can of course use a total hodge-podge of bottles you have at home. A ramshackle mix is quite nice! Kilner Jars work well too, you can generally pick these up in your local supermarket much cheaper than if you bought them online. Amazon do have some 0.25L options also.