I usually knock up a batch of mulled wine or cider for Christmas dinner every year but I fancied trying something different this year.
Seeing that I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for gin, I thought I’d try mulling some of the juniper based spirit. As gin usually comes with tonic, which isn’t exactly Christmassy on it’s own I decided to go with a twist on one of gin’s most famous classic cocktails, the Negroni.
Negroni is usually equal measures of gin, sweet vermouth, which is a a fortified red wine with added botanicals and herbs and Campari, a bitter orange Italian aperitif.
To me that’s basically a grown up mulled wine in the making and what I think would make the perfect Christmas cocktail. You could have this with dinner for the main event or for a welcome drink that could be knocked up in a batch, in a slow cooker and given to guests when they arrive.
I’ve gone for a couple of alternative mulling spices below, but you can work with what you’ve got for your mulled Negroni if you don’t have the ones below, or don’t like them.
Mulled Negroni Recipe
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 clementine, leaves and all
- 1 bottle of Fentimans ginger ale
- 50ml gin (I used Edinburgh)
- 50ml Campari
- 50ml Sweet vermouth
- 1 tonka bean
- 5 cloves
- Squeeze of honey to taste
- Squeeze of clementine juice
- Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and half the rind of a small clementine to a hot dry pan and toast for a few minutes to get a bit of a char and to start releasing some of the flavours.
- Turn the heat down to a low-medium heat than add the rest of the ingredients and 3 slices of the clementine.
- Warm in the pan slowly to get the flavours to impart but without burning off the alcohol.
- Put a tea strainer over a clear glass cup and pour half of the liquid in each of the cups. Garnish with a slice of clementine and stick of cinnamon from the pan.
You could leave to cool and serve with a wedge of ice, but it’s winter and there’s nothing better than a nice warm, boozy cup.