Winter is really beginning to set in here in England, with temperatures this week plunging to minus figures even in usually warmer central London, so my mind has been on winter warmers lately. When you think of hot tipples aged spirits tend to dominate, with drinks like Hot Buttered Rum and the traditional Hot Toddy, but gin can also make for an excellent base.
It’s likely gin has been drank warm for as long as it has been made, and by the time of Dickens it was a popular way to enjoy mother’s ruin. The two punches below are both inspired by the writings of Dickens and the hot punches that were popular in the nineteenth century, but brought up to date by the use of more modern gins.
- 1 Dried lemon peel
- ½ Dried orange peel
- 20 Whole cloves
- ½ tsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp Anardana dried pomegranate seeds
- 10 Elaichi green caradmom pods
- 10 Juniper berries
- 2 two-inch pieces of Dalchini cinnamon or Ceylonese cinnamon
- 1 pint of water
- Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan for 5-10 minutes. In a tea cup, add 50 ml Beefeater 24 Gin. Pour in the hot liquid. Top with ginger beer.
Hot Gin Punch a la Crachit was created by Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller for the spectacular Beefeater 24 launch party last year on the grounds of Syon House, London. The drink is inspired by the recipe Bob Cratchit makes in A Christmas Carol, and worked very well keeping guests warm that night. I particularly like the addition of ginger beer, which gives an interesting hint of effervescence to the drink.
- 3 teacups of Hendrick’s gin
- 3 teacups of Madeira wine
- 3 cloves
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
- 6 large lemon and orange twists
- Small slice of orange
- 1 fresh pineapple
- 4 large spoons of honey
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Mix all the ingredients in saucepan and place on the heat. Let the mixture simmer without boiling for 20-30 minutes. Add honey and lemon to taste.
The genesis of this post occurred when I was reminded of hot gin punch at the Traveling Mixologists party during BCB in Berlin, where Hendrick’s global brand ambassador Xavier Padovani was serving the drink with unadulterated glee as can be seen above. What I really love about this gin punch is the mixture of spices and Madeira wine which combines perfectly here with the Hendrick’s resulting in a warming drink that feels very seasonal.
It’s certainly less juniper led than the Hot Gin Punch a la Crachit making it perhaps a little more accessible. However I’ve found that after a Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch or two even my most gin-phobic friends begin to enjoy the Hot Gin Punch a la Crachit. And let’s be honest – why have one hot gin punch simmering away on the stove when you can have two?!
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