Warm Winter Cocktails - Part Two

If you fail to indulge at Christmas you've failed as a person. With this in mind, we thought we'd pave the way with two spankingly good hot cocktails from Nick Strangeway, chief bartender at Hix, Soho, following on neatly from the first round of drinks, revealed last week.

STRIPE The port-based one - The Bishop
By Nick Strangeway, Hix, London

Apparently favoured by the dons of Oxbridge, this rich infusion will prime you for some traditional festive revelry. An after-dinner winner.

Ingredients –
2 lemons studded with 12 cloves each
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 orange studded with 12 cloves
3 bottles port
300g sugar
Spices: 6 cloves, 6 allspice, 1 stick cinnamon, small piece of mace, 2cm grated ginger
Grated nutmeg to serve

Method –
Stud two lemons and one orange with 12 cloves each and roast in a hot oven until brown. In a pan boil ½ pint of water with the spices. Simmer for 15mins and then add three bottles of port. Quarter the roasted fruit, discard the cloves and add the fruit to the spiced port mixture. Gently crush to release the juice.

Crush the grated peel and juice of 1 lemon with 300g of sugar using a pestle and mortar. Then add this to the spiced port mixture and allow the sugar to dissolve. Finally strain through muslin and it is ready.

To serve re-heat and garnish with a slice of lemon and a generous grating of nutmeg.


The cider brandy-based one - Wassailers Punch
By Nick Strangeway, Hix, London

Strangeway has a habit of digging out his brews from the history books, and it turns out this concoction was designed to cheer on cider apples for the next harvest - one of the worthiest reasons for downing our drink we've heard all year.

Ingredients –
500ml Somerset Cider Brandy or Calvados
500ml Plymouth Sloe Gin or Clarkson's Homemade Sloe Gin
500ml Fresh Lemon Juice
500ml Spiced Syrup (see below)
250ml Lemon Sherbet (see below)
1.5ml Pressed Apple Juice
1ßml Dry Cider
100g Unsalted Butter

Spiced syrup
500 ml water
Spices: 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, 2 star anise, 2 green cardamom pods, 1 vanilla pod, grating of nutmeg.

Lemon sherbert
Zest of 6 lemons
100g caster sugar
Juice of 4 lemons (200ml)

Method -
First make the syrup. Boil 500ml of water the spices. Then after 15 minutes add 500g of castor sugar. Stir to dissolve and when cool, strain through muslin. This syrup can be kept for up to a month in the fridge.

For the lemon sherbet, add the lemon zest to the sugar. Pound together and then add lemon juice. Heat if the sugar needs dissolving, and then strain.

Slowly heat all the ingredients in a pan with frozen blackberries, apple chunks and lemon wheels. Just before serving whisk in a knob of butter to give a smooth mouthfeel. Serve in sugar rimmed cups and dust each drink with nutmeg.

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