“A Merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!”
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Every year it seems I come to searching for a recipe for this Christmas treat, the website dies within 12 months and I have to go searching for another or rely on the scribblings stashed away in the cupboard. For a change, I thought I might write up my jottings so that next year I’ll have a reliable place to turn!
The recipe is enough to make about 10 glasses, and can be bottled and re-heated to drink over a number of days.
- 6 large oranges
- 2 large lemons
- 120g brown sugar
- 1 bottle (700ml) red wine
- 1 bottle (700ml) ruby port
- 8 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp mace
- 2 lemons & 2 oranges cut into wedges
- Place the oranges and lemons in the oven on a baking tray at low heat (around 100-120°C) until they are pale brown (around 1 hour).
- Stud the warmed fruits with the cloves, and place them into a large bowl. Add the spices – ginger, cinnamon, all spice and mace – and the sugar, and pour over the wine. Stir gently and then cover leave overnight.
- Halve and juice the fruits into the bowl.
- Sieve the resulting mixture into a saucepan to remove any pips and pulp, and add the cinnamon sticks.
- Heat to a simmer for a few minutes, then reduce the heat, add the port, and warm the mixture for around 15-20 minutes (without boiling off the alcohol).
- Optional: Serve with ground nutmeg and fresh wedges of lemon and orange.