You know the festive season has begun when the mulled wine starts putting in an appearance! If you like your winter warmer drinks, there are some great alternatives you might want to try using Snowdonia’s great drinks brands. If you want some inspiration for the forthcoming party season, here are my favourite hot Christmas drinks Snowdoina Style (a mulled wine included of course!)…
HOT SPICED RUM CIDER
2 tablespoons mulling spices
250ml Pant Du apple cider
180ml dark rum
4 cinnamon sticks
Put the mulling spices in a spice ball.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the apple cider and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the spice ball and gently simmer for 20 minutes.
Pour 45 ml rum into each of 4 warmed mugs. Top each with 250 ml spiced cider and add a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.
8 small apples
1.5 litres Purple Moose Ale
250 ml sweet sherry
Pinch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
Zest of 1 lemon
2 rounds of toast
Take the apples, slit their skin and stud with cloves. Bake in an oven (400F / 200C/ Gas 6) with 250ml ale for 20 – 30 mins. Simmer 1.25 litres of ale, the sherry, spices and the lemon zest for 20 mins. Cut the toast and the apples into small pieces to float in the punch and serve piping hot.
HOT GIN PUNCH
2 litres boiling water
25 juniper berries, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 x 4in cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
75g brown sugar (or more to taste)
Zest of one lemon, cut off in pieces rather than grated
Zest of one clementine, pared off in pieces rather than grated
400ml Snowdonia Distillery Foreger’s Gin
Slices of unwaxed lemon
Parings of clementine zest
Put the juniper berries, cloves, cinnamon stick, sugar, lemon and clementine zest in a saucepan. Pour over the boiling water, bring to the boil and simmer for 25 minutes, allowing it to reduce a little as it infuses. Now use a slotted spoon or sieve to remove all the bits of spice and peel. The syrup is now ready and can be reheated as needed.
Make up the drinks by putting 50ml gin in a large glass and pouring over about 225ml of the hot, spicy syrup. Add a thick half slice of lemon, squeezing slightly so you get some of the juice. Twist a piece of clementine peel over the glass to release the oil and drop into the drink.
200 g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
1 vanilla pod
2 star anise
2 bottles Pant Du Red Wine
1. Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
2. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
3. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
4. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
5. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.