Your festive cocktail: The Christmas spirit
“Much like the delayed gratification of planting bulbs in the autumn and seeing green shoots in early spring, there’s something really satisfying about making a batch of this spiced rum and setting it aside for the festive season. Try a small glass of it with Christmas cake, or gently stirred with ice and garnished with fresh clementine (or other citrus) peel for a spiced version of the cocktail El Presidente.”
Steep all the ingredients together in the glass jar, seal shut and store somewhere dark for about a month. (If you’re too late to prepare this in time for Christmas, save it for your New Year’s celebrations – it’ll be just as delicious).
You can keep it as is or sieve out the spices. If you’ve removed the spices, decant the infused spirit into smaller, sterilized bottles for gifts or return it to the original rum bottle and add a new label.
It can be drunk as is, used in cocktails, drizzled over desserts or added to hot buttered rum. It also makes an excellent highball with ginger beer and lots of ice. Keeps indefinitely, but the flavour is best within 3 months.
Use other spirits such as brandy, vodka or whisky.
Steep dried fruit in the spiced rum, such as prunes, figs, cranberries, raisins or sultanas. When you remove them from the rum, keep them to add a little kick to desserts or ice cream.
Makes about 70 ml
Peel of 2 unwaxed clementines
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
4 whole allspice berries
3 mace blades
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 vanilla pod
70cl bottle of rum, such as Appleton, Mount Gay or El Dorado