zoom Clemencello

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    A twist on classic limoncello, this tipple is full of the scent of Christmas. It’s delicious served chilled on its own, or added to zz for a festive cocktail. 

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus infusing and cooling
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes, plus infusing and cooling

    Makes: 1½ litres


    16 clementines, unpeeled
    1 litre vodka
    2 vanilla pods
    1 cinnamon stick
    3 star anise
    10 cardamom pods
    2 cloves (optional)
    300g caster sugar 


    1. Wash the clementines and cut each into eight. Remove the flesh from each piece (set aside to eat at a later time). Using a sharp knife, carefully trim away the white pith from the peel.

    2 . Put the peel in a new, large sterilised jar and add the vodka and spices. Leave to infuse for 5 days.

    3. After 5 days, put the sugar in a pan with 300ml cold water. Melt the sugar over a low heat, then bring to the boil and bubble until you have a light syrup. To test if it’s ready, take a teaspoonful, put it in cold water to cool slightly, then rub it between your fingers – it should feel like Vaseline. Leave to cool completely – if you add it while warm, the clemencello will go cloudy. (Alternatively, use 300ml Monin pure cane sugar syrup.)

    4. Strain the vodka and add the sugar syrup. Pour into new sterilised bottles and decorate for gifts. You can add a few spices to each bottle if you like. This is best drunk within 3 months.

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