It's tradition for us to watch the Muppet's Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve....and we LOVE IT!
It's usually accompanied with some last minute present wrapping, mince pies and a festive drink or two.
So as part of our Christmas Movies & Cocktails feature we felt it only right to do some research into ol' Charlie himself and his tipple of choice.
In Victorian times drinking alcohol was often frowned upon, but that didn't stop Charles Dickens from mentioning alcoholic drinks in a lot of his works. It is known that he had a fondness for punches and hot toddies in particular.
In A Christmas Carol he mentions a festive favourite- a mulled wine punch, known as a Smoking Bishop (named for the steam that rises from the mug as you drink).
"I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this vert afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!"
And so, we've created a Smoking Bishop for you to enjoy! And with pretty much anything at Christmas, it's best made in bulk!
3 Seville Oranges (you can use a mix of regular oranges and lemons if you can't get Seville oranges! We used two large oranges and one lemon)
Whole Cloves- 15-20
Winter Spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice- to taste
Red Wine- 350ml
Ruby Port- 350ml
Demerara sugar- 30g
Large chunk of fresh ginger
Method- make 1 day before:
Poke the whole cloves into the citrus fruit and roast in a pre-heated oven for around one hour until the fruit turns pale in colour.
Pop the fruit into a large bowl or deep tray.
In a saucepan combine around 200ml water with the spices and diced ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
In a separate pan add the red wine, bring to a boil and quickly reduce the heat and simmer. Add the sugar until it is dissolved.
After around 5-10 minutes add the spice mixture and remove from the heat.
Pour the mixture slowly over the fruit in the bowl. Cover and leave somewhere warm overnight (for 12-24 hours).
Ok! Now you can juice the fruits, and add the juice to the mix you have made.
It's best to strain the mixture- a fine sieve will do.
Now add the port, and slowly heat up the mixture.
Add more sugar to taste, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.