Christmas Gin

Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you

Maroon 5

Smells are probably one of the most outstanding memories of Christmas for me. Sometimes I’ll catch cinnamon or nutmeg in the air and I’m brought straight back to my Nanny’s house in Young Grove, the twinkling coloured lanterns on the tree, the bustle of a gathered crowd of excited kids and the little money bags of coppers that she and my granddad gave to each grandchild to buy something nice for ourselves for Christmas. No expensive gift will or could ever replace the simplicity of my childhood Christmases and they were absolutely perfect, because they were just that; simple.

There is no denying I am a Christmas freak, as regular readers will know prep begins at Midterm Break with the baking of the cakes, but the early prep is so that I can put the emphasis on enjoying Christmas, spending relaxed time with family and friends and being present; not off fixing something or getting last minute stuff. Christmas is all about the experience in our house and food and drink play an enormous part in that.

We have the usual stuff; like every house, tins of roses, boxes of taytos, Christmas cake, pudding, but a new edition to the Carlos Christmas Traditions came in the form of a mulled gin my sister Liz introduced us to. We have completely jumped on the band wagon and claimed it as our own and while I’m claiming tradition rights I’m not mean enough not to share. Below is the recipe that we use from The Usual Saucepan and it is just the easiest, most delicious, glass of Christmas that you will ever taste. No thanks needed but you are very welcome

Mulled Gin

  • 70cl bottle of gin (we use O Boyles from Aldi)
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 6 Cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • Rind of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp orange juice


  1. Take a large preserving jar (I use a 2ltr Kilner one) and add the sugar, spices, snapped cinnamon stick , the orange rind and the orange juice. (The smell is divine!!!!)
  2. Open the bottle of gin and pour it in. ( I told you this was easy)
  3. Stir it all up and then close the jar and shake until the sugar dissolves. Put the jar in a cupbaord and leave it for ten days to a week, remembering to swirl it everyday. It should turn a beautiful bronze colour.
  4. When you’re ready to bottle, sterilise the old gin bottle in the oven and drain and sieve the contents of the preserving jar through a muslin cloth into the bottle and you’re done – bar the taste testing!!!!!!

I told you it was easy! The hardest thing about it is the waiting. We like to serve it with ice and tonic water and learned a neat trick of slicing oranges and freezing them – the perfect accompaniment for this mulled gin and other gins and tonics you maybe having over the festive season.

So all that’s left to do is sign off by raising my glass and toasting to you and yours and to all those we remember so fondly.

Here’s to making memories, good food, fine wine and dirty wellies.

Lots of Love

T xx

#maroon5 #threelittlebirdsillustrations #theusualsausepan #gffwdw #gin #christmasgin

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