Give your favourite spirit a winter update with these warming recipes – from hot chocolate
orange to a spicy sloe cocktail
We never thought we’d say it, but we’re ready for a Christmas tipple that isn’t mulled wine. Not that we don’t love the hot spiced stuff – in fact, one sip of glühwein and we’re mentally transported to a wintry weekend in Europe. But this Christmas, a new star has been born: hot gin.
Okay, so it’s not exactly an entirely new concept. In fact, gin makers Sipsmith reckon that Londoners have been drinking hot gin toddies since the 18th century at the capital’s legendary Frost Fairs (they enjoyed theirs straight with a side of freshly baked gingerbread). But the warm gin cocktail has seen a resurgence recently, and we can’t get enough of it – particularly this year, when we’re looking to mix up the menu at our DIY bars.
The spirit itself is a great base for a winter warmer; heating it up brings out all those gorgeously warming spices and botanicals, as well as any added flavourings. And, thanks to the recent boom in the flavoured gin market, there are now heaps of varieties to choose from – like Sipsmith’s Orange and Cacao Gin, which was seemingly born to be served in a boozy hot chocolate.
And who better to ask about creating cockle-warming cocktails than Sipsmith themselves? We’ve asked the mixology masters to share three of their most Christmassy creations – think creamy hot lemon, spicy sloe gin and, of course, orangey hot chocolate.
A creamy, angelic hot serve designed to warm you from head to toe
50ml Sipsmith® Lemon Drizzle Gin
20ml Dry Curaçao
15ml lemon juice
Full fat milk (about half a mug’s worth)
Zest of 1 lemon
- Combine the gin, Dry Curaçao and lemon juice in a heat proof vessel and gently heat in a water bath or pan of hot water.
- Gently heat the milk separately and then froth (you can do this by either using a milk frothing attachment or mashing the milk in a cafetiere).
- Pour the warmed gin, Dry Curaçao and lemon juice into a thick glass or mug and top with the frothed milk.
- Finish by grating lemon zest over the top.
Hot Mulled Sloe
This fruity cocktail pairs perfectly with early evenings and crackling fireplaces
250ml cloudy apple juice
50ml Sipsmith® Sloe Gin
Assorted spices (we use cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves & cardamon pods)
1 vanilla pod (cut down the middle)
1 cinnamon stick (to garnish)
½ slice of orange (to garnish)
- Add assorted spices and vanilla to a pan and top with cloudy apple juice.
- Gently heat the mixture to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until it’s just about to boil.
- Ladle into a mug, teacup, or Irish coffee mug and pour in the sloe gin.
- Garnish with ½ slice of orange and/or a cinnamon stick.
Hot Chocolate Orange
A boozy upgrade of classic hot chocolate – delicious, zesty and warming
50ml Sipsmith® Zesty Orange Gin
1 mug hot chocolate, made with milk
Whipped cream (optional)
Grated orange zest (to garnish)
- Pour a double measure of Zesty Orange Gin into a mug, top with warm hot chocolate and stir to combine.
- For an extra decadent serve, top with cream and grated orange zest.
All illustrations by hush's own Michael Long