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December 2013 / Food & Drink / by Cassia Geller

Ho Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

There are times here at Fabric HQ – in between mouthfuls of mince pie and rousing renditions of every festive hit forever and ever amen (a little messy) – when we turn to each other, swathed in tinsel and shining with all the light of the Star of Bethlehem, and fancy we might be quite a jolly lot after all.

And since ‘tis the season, we’ve been fa la la la la-ing all the way to the nearest bar, all trussed up in our Fabric regulation elf jumpers, to get very jolly indeed. But, ‘tis also the season of giving and, since charity begins at home (yes this is getting more tenuous by the merry minute), we fancied taking our jollity back to the casa for a little in-house entertaining.

Mulled wine, though, is starting to lose its edge (we’ve been drinking it since Halloween, after all), so we called in alcohol’s answer to Santa’s little elves – the team at Reverend JW Simpson. Our go-to guys when we fancy a tipple in yesteryear, they’ve created two winter warmers as impressive – and effective – as they are festive. (They’re also all hug-in-a-mug-like for when you’ve got the post-party blues.)

Hot Buttered Cyser
A hot winter toddy-style: calvados and cider with the sweetness of mead and warming spices, balanced with orange and lemon

  • 20ml calvados                            
  • 70ml mead      
  • 15ml spiced syrup            
  • 70ml cider            
  • 10ml lemon juice        
  • 2 dashes abbots bitters
  • 20ml water                         
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 cloves   
  • 2 slices ginger 
  • Fingernail of butter

Heat all ingredients on the hob and serve in a beer mug or a brandy balloon garnished with an orange wedge and cinnamon stick   

Winter Cobbler
A combination of gin and sherry with crushed apple and citrus seasoned with herbs, garnished with seasonal fruit

  • 30ml gin
  • 20ml sherry
  • 2 slices apple
  • 2 slices orange
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 10ml herb syrup
  • 15ml plum liqueur

Muddle all fruit in a cocktail shaker add liquids and shake vigorously strain into a hi-ball glass over half cubed ice and top with crushed ice – garnish with apple slices lemon slices and thyme/rosemary sprig

Reverend JW Simpson have been holding ‘Spirited Sermons’ throughout the festive period, where their renowned cocktail connoisseurs will be teaching London’s cocktail lovers to delight in the world’s oldest and oft overlooked drinks. The season kicked off with mead, but you can still catch sherry and spiced wines tomorrow, and port next year

Main image: John Short