This recipe is mostly taken from this month’s Waitrose magazine. I’m making a batch and decanting it into little bottles as an alcoholic stocking filler*, and let’s face it, they are the best kind.
The flavours in this remind me of a fisherman’s festival in Tossa de Mar, in Catalonia, that we chanced upon on a family holiday a few years ago. They served a clove spiced rum from enormous vats on the beach, warmed over a fire. We all imbibed quite a lot, and my Dad, with a rum induced smile, kept saying ‘Christmas drink’. In June.
I am hoping this lives up to that wonderful rum and wonderful night- you have to infuse it for a good fortnight, so I won’t know till shortly before, but I figure that a Christmas recipe that takes a fortnight will be bloody useless on December 23rd, so I’m putting it up now! It smells delicious already.
One 70cl bottle of rum
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 vanilla pods
Five gold rings
75g muscavado sugar
And a large Kilner jar (around 1 litre) and bottles.
Firstly, sterilise your jars and bottles. You do this by slowly bringing them to the boil in a large pan of water. Pouring boiling water straight on will Crack the glass. In other news, I have one less Kilner jar…
Pour 100ml (4 shots) of rum into a small saucepan. Get the requisite spicy things out, and using a potato peeler, peel a few thin strips of orange rind. Try to get just the orange part, and none of the more bitter, white membrane. Over a very low heat, warm the rum, adding all of your spices, and the sugar, and stir this until all the sugar has dissolved. It will smell amazing. I am tempted to make another batch just to get the rich and Christmassy smell to permeate the house again.
Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining 60cl of rum to the Kilner jar, then add the warmed rum and all of the spices. Close, ensuring the rubber seal is fully sealed, and give it a good shake.
For the next two weeks, give it a shake daily, to keep it infusing and to stop the sugars from settling. At the end of the fortnight, remove the spices, and decant into well sealed bottles. I’m using three little mismatched bottles, but you could use one large one, and keep it all for yourself.
* Mum, if you’re reading this, keep schtum- Dad’s getting a bottle!