As I mentioned on Friday, we're heading off this weekend for a few days in North Yorkshire with some of our best pals. It was a spontaneous trip, booked within about 20 minutes of WhatsApp conversation; we were lusting after a hygge-themed retreat run by our local yoga studio (is that the most hipster sentence I've ever typed? Sadly, probably not...) but it was far beyond our budget so we decided to throw our own.
In true 'hygge' style, we're going to be eating, drinking and being merry, so I decided to infuse a little batch of gin for us to enjoy in front of the fire. I suppose you would class clementine and cinnnamon as Christmas flavours, but I have always been a little put out that we're expected to leave all of the warmth and spice behind once we hit January - when really, the coldest month of the year is when we need that cheer the most!
I was inspired by some spiced clementine gin that Paul's parents served us over Christmas; pared with Fever Tree's limited edition clementine tonic, it was the perfect festive drink, bringing a little warmth to the gin which you usually don't find. This is rather a budget version compared to the costly bottle they'd picked up on their travels around the country in their motorhome, but I think it still has all of the flavour and joy. It only takes a few minutes to throw it all together and, of course, you can customise your own with other fruits and botanicals should you so desire - ginger and bay would go nicely with this mix. It's best served, as all drinks are, with good-sized portions and good company to go alongside. Cheers!
Clementine & Cinnamon Infused Gin
- 75cl bottle of gin
- 3 clementines
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp. caster sugar
- tonic, to serve
Using a peeler, peel 3 long strips (or a few smaller strips, if you haven't got the skills!) from your clementines, trying to keep the surface and avoid as much of the white pith as possible.
Remove the rest of the peel from one clementine and break into segments, removing all of the white pith.
Pour the gin into a clean, sterilised jar and add the peel, clementine segments, cinnamon sticks and sugar. Give it a vigorous stir or shake with the lid on until the sugar has dissolved.
Leave in a cool, dry place for at least 3 days to infuse.
Strain through a muslin cloth or through a fine mesh sieve to remove any bits and decant into a bottle (or smaller bottles to give as gifts!).
Serve over ice with tonic and a strip of orange or clementine peel.