Boozy advent calendar part two, the run up to Christmas day

andy hamilton martini glass
You could turn these infusions into cocktails!

“I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas yet to come? ” said Scrooge.
The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand. ” You are about to
show me shadows of the things that have not happened, but will happen…

I couldn’t resist but put a quote from my favourite Christmas story when I realised the boozy advent calendar consists of three spirits. I guess that make the wine infusions Jacob Marley. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then, either pick up Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and have a read or watch the best version on Netflix – A Muppet Christmas Carol!

Anyway, where were we… ah yes.

Day Nineteen to twenty three – Brandy infusions

jar and cinnamon
What do you call a mother with a huge flat face? Cine-mum

To see the other boozy advent calendar infusions have a look here. You might also be interested in my series of 12 drinks for Christmas that I ran last year. Here is the first a recipe for T’ej beer. Click on the arrow on the top right of the screen for the other eleven.

Remember each of these infusions should be made before the 1st December. I understand that you don’t have much time, therefore I have designed these last few so that they will still work if you do them by the around 10th December. The difference will be that the taste won’t be nearly so strong. Apart from the Christmas day one.

Jar Nineteen – Hibiscus Brandy

Hibiscus is my go to herbal tea and the dried flowers are easily obtained from a health food shop or from world-food supermarkets.

Fill jar with hibiscus, top up with brandy and shake. It will turn a lovely rich ox-blood colour and will match your Chesterfield.  It can be a little sharp for certain tastes so you might want to top up with some simple syrup to taste.

Jar Twenty – Ginger Brandy

Ginger always reminds me of helping my Mum make the Christmas Pudding. She used

jars and a shot
jars and a shot

also add a good glug of Stout and I can distinctly remember having a sneaky sip even back then at age 7! I don’t think I really liked it that much, oh how times have changed.

Grate 2cm ginger into your jar and top up with Brandy. Filter before serving.

Jar Twenty-one – Summer solstice Brandy

What could be better on the shortest day of the year than to have a taste of the summer. In the UK the solstice its at 23.03 this year so make sure you raise a glass to the coming year at that point!

Grab a bag of frozen summer fruits. Take out two tablespoons out of the freezer and allow to thaw, mush them up a bit.  Slodge the mush into your jar and top up with brandy.  You will certainly need to strain when serving. Again add simple syrup to taste.

Jar twenty two – Advocaat

I can remember this being the only booze available one Christmas eve round a mates house. I’m not sure that Christmas dinner when down that well after downing a bottle of it. But you should be find on a 70ml shot.

Another one for the fridge. This can be made on the same day of drinking too.

1 egg yolk, pinch of salt, teaspoon sugar, pinch of cinnamon, 28ml brandy, 28ml vodka and four drops of vanilla extract.

Bring a pan of water to a simmer. Whisk all but the booze and vanilla extract together in a bowl. The bowl should fit nicely in the pan by the way. Put the bowl over the pan and cook, whisky like buggery. After a few minutes the mixture will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, this means its ready. Allow to cool, then whack in the fridge.

Jar Twenty Three – Pear infused brandy

Stuff a ripe pair slice in your jar and top up with brandy.

The Christmas Eve Jar – Christmas pudding brandy

It had to be something a little bit special to warrant a christmas eve drink. Lets face it this will probably be the first of many!

Quarter of a teaspoon of brown sugar, a whisper of lemon, lime and tangerine peal all de-pithed, four sultanas, four and a half raisins, a crushed almond, one clove, a tiny pinch of nutmeg and dried allspice.  Put all of the ingredients in your jar and shake it as much as possible. This will be ready in less than 24 days if you forget.

The Christmas Day Jar

This time you will be using the 250ml jar.

God belss us, everyone
God belss us, everyone

Add – 1g wormwood, 2g Gentin root, 2g dried orange peel, 2g dried grapefruit peel, 1g horseradish, 2g spruce needles, 2g fennel seed, 2g fenugreek seeds, 2g coriander seeds, a small sprig of rosemary, a sprig of lavender to your jar and top up with brandy (or any spirit that you have). Shake it daily.

Make 200ml of caramel syrup. Pour two bottles of Shiraz into a massive jug, bucket or what ever you have big enough to hold 2 litres of liquid. Pour in the sugar syrup and the final jar and stir like mad. The result will be a vermouth which can be used to make cocktails throughout Christmas!

Happy Christmas from all at The Other Andy Hamilton, namely … Me, The Other Andy Hamilton!