Tiny hands will love joining in to help make the clove-studded tangerines for slicing. The kids can also help when you add the spices - quantities needn't be too precise - but obviously keep an eye on them and don't let them sample the drink as you are heating it. Leave Santa his glass of the steaming drink in a chunky glass or, even better, a mug.
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Total time: 50 minutes
Makes: 6 cups
2 cinnamon sticks
2 mace blades
2 bay leaves
100g demerara sugar
750ml robust red wine, such as Beaujolais
30ml brandy (optional)
Tangerine or orange slices, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Stud each tangerine with 5 cloves and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool slightly before slicing with a serrated knife. Transfer these tangerine slices to a large saucepan with the cinnamon sticks, mace, bay leaves, sugar and 300ml water.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the heat right down and add the wine. Heat through very slowly for 20 minutes without boiling – or else the alcohol will evaporate. Add the brandy, if you're using it, and strain.
- Add the slices of fresh tangerine or orange, then warm through before serving.