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Christmas spiced whisky marmalade

It's that time of year again — the time where we spend a vast amount of our hard earned cash on celebrations and pretend that it's okay to consume alcohol on a daily basis before midday only followed by an inevitable 1000 calorie lunch, effortlessly leaving room for nibbles every fifteen minutes — but who cares? It's Christmas, and I like doing that. Christmas wouldn't be the same if we sat around discussing the culinary hierarchy of the avocado while we sip on over-priced jasmine and ginseng tea, chewing on Ryvita you found in the cupboard from last year. There's a time and a place for all that and Christmas certainly isn't one of them — So pour yourself another mulled wine and who cares if you're being overly generous with the brie, it's bloody Christmas! Anyway, here's how to make Christmas spiced whisky marmalade.

I am a big fan of the old fashioned. It's probably my favourite cocktail and arguably the coolest. There's something about sipping on a neat whisky infused with citrus oil from the orange peel that oozes cool-ness, at least I think so, it's cool, okay? Naturally, I wanted to pair my love for the old fashioned with my dads favourite spread. Keith (my dad) is a loyal marmalade follower, I don't believe I've ever witnessed a time in my family home where a full jar of the orange stuff isn't lurking on a shelf somewhere, it's a strong commitment. An admirable commitment to the marmalade society you might say and I shall certainly be adding to it by surprising him with a jar of my own when I disembark from London at the end of the month and head on home to over indulge on cheese and wine with the fam.

TIME: 2.5 hours MAKES: 2 jars


250g of seville oranges

2 lemons

700ml of water

700g of caster sugar

60ml of bourbon whisky

30ml of cream sherry

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of quatre epices


1.) Peel the oranges and lemons with a knife carefully, try not to include too much pith when peeling, the orange peel wants to be predominantly the rind. Once peeled, juice the oranges and lemons and then slice the rind into thin, inch long strips and place in a saucepan.

2.) Add the water and bring to the boil, once you’ve reached a rolling boil, reduce to a low heat. Add the cinnamon and quatre epices and simmer on a gentle heat for around 2 hours, or until the rind strips are soft and pull apart easily.

3.) Add the sugar and mix until it has dissolved completely. Once dissolved, add the whisky, sherry and cranberries, increase to a high heat bringing the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil the mixture until the temperature reaches 105 degrees Celsius or 221 degrees Fahrenheit using a cooking thermometer. If you do not have a cooking thermometer, you usually need to boil the mixture for around 10 minutes before the sugar reaches the right temperature to be able to set during cooling. You can test the marmalade by taking a small amount of the mixture with a spoon and pouring it onto a cold plate, put in the fridge and check a few minutes later to see if it has started to set, if it has become gloopy and thick then it has boiled for enough time.

4.) Pour the hot mixture immediately into two well washed jars leaving about 1cm headspace in the top of the jar. Add the lids and shake the mixture to kill any bacteria inside the jar. Leave to set overnight in the fridge. Serve and enjoy!

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