One of the Cabinet kindly sent this on (it has my hearty endorsement, as it’s full of Holiday Spirits and Good Cheer):
This one is from Mr Christmas Himself, and it’s really good! I use the adapted version, but I’ve listed the original here if someone wants to be authentic!
The Authentic Hot Gin Punch
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 stick of cinnamon to stir
- 1 clove
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 large measure sweet dark Madeira wine
- 1 large measure dry gin
- pot of boiling water
- grated nutmeg
Into a warm tumbler put the juice of half a lemon, the cinnamon and clove, and the sugar and honey. Fill the glass three-quarters full with boiling water, stir it up with the cinnamon stick, add the Madeira and gin, and stir it with the cinnamon stick again. Grate nutmeg thereon and drink quickly.
Adapted Modern Version
Adjust quantities up or down for the number of cups being made. Makes enough for 10 to 15 large glasses depending on the measure served… use the same serving glasses to measure out the gin, water, and wine.
- 4 large glasses of London Gin
- 6 large glasses of Madeira wine
- 1 large glass of water
- 4 whole cloves (put the cloves and star anise below in a cheesecloth pouch for easy removal)
- 1 star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of grated nutmeg, plus a dusting of grated nutmeg on each cup to serve
- 1 generous teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1 generous teaspoon of ginger
- 2 generous tablespoons (30 ml) brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) honey
- 6 oranges and 6 lemons. Zest 3 lemons and 3 oranges, keep zest in largish pieces to drop in to the mixture (take care not to cut off too much of the bitter white pith). Juice 3 lemons and 3 oranges (use the fruits that you zested). Cut 3 oranges and 3 lemons (unzested), in slices about 4 millimetres (1/6 inch) thick.
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and place it on very low heat. Let the concoction warm through without boiling for 20 minutes (don’t let it come near boiling; the alcohol will boil out). Taste and rebalance the sweet/sour flavours with more honey or lemon, if needed. Increase the heat somewhat, but make sure that it doesn’t boil, for another ten minutes. Be careful of the cloves and star anise, you should remove them soon after you take the punch off the heat, to stop the drink becoming like medicine… that‘s why you put them in a cheesecloth pouch (it saves you the bother of fishing for them). Then, pour the punch into heatproof glasses with a handle (or into a punch bowl at a party). When serving either pop into the glasses a few orange and lemon zest pieces with a little grated nutmeg on top, or decide to keep the drink clear, this depends on your presentation. It can remain warmed in a pan on a low heat for repeat servings. Do take Mr Dickens’ advice… “Grate nutmeg thereon and drink quickly”. Repeat if necessary, but I’m not responsible for the condition of your head the next morning if you go beyond two of these… do keep the pickle juice at hand if you overindulge… we Russians do know a thing or two about “mornings after”, don’t we?