Christmas pudding spiced rum

This is great for lighting the Christmas pudding or for cocktails. You will need to prepare the rum at least two weeks before you plan to give it away.

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes, plus 2 weeks infusing
  • Cooking time: 3 minutes
  • Total time: 8 minutes, plus 2 weeks infusing

Makes: about 750ml

Ingredients

70cl bottle dark rum (or bourbon)

2 vanilla pods

2 large cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

3 whole cloves

75g light brown muscovado sugar

1 orange

Method

1 Pour 100ml rum into a small saucepan. Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla pods down their length, then add to the pan with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and sugar. Using a vegetable peeler, pare thin strips of peel from the orange and add to the pan. Slowly  warm the rum over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar; do not allow it to boil.

2 Pour the contents of the pan into a large, sterilised jar, then add the remaining rum. Once cool, tightly seal the lid and shake vigorously. Leave the rum in a cool, dark place and give it a good shake every day to muddle the spices.

3 After 2 weeks, strain and discard the whole spices and orange peel. Decant the rum into small new, sterilised bottles (or a larger one, if you prefer) to give to your lucky friends.