Christmas as a kid is mind-blowing. It’s out-of-this-world magical. Then you get older, find out the kind old magical man you thought you knew turns out to be your kind, old, less-than-magical dad and it’s just not the same.
Fast forward a decade and you’re in your twenties, just as excited to go home for the festive period but for totally different reasons. Now it’s about giving the presents instead of getting them, wearing fluffy socks and big jumpers on the sofa, watching kids’ films and eating so much food you fall asleep like an old man.
Undoubtedly though, the best bit has to be being constantly a little bit pissed.
Since working in a cocktail bar aged 20, I have been making batches of Hot Buttered Rum every Christmas to ensure my family are full of Christmas spirit (by which I mean ALCOHOL).
Hot buttered Rum Ingredients
4.5 litres of water
250g brown sugar
10 whole cloves
the peel of a quarter of an orange (remove every single bit of bitter pith)
½ a nutmeg, grated
A pinch of cinnamon to taste
What to do
Before you start your prep, make sure your hands are washed, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosbys’ Christmas CD is on in the background, and you’re wearing your cosiest winter pyjamas.
Heat up the water in a big pot on the stove. Add your brown sugar, cloves and grate a quarter of an orange peel into the pot. Be sure not to grate any of the white pith into the water as it can be very fucking gross.
Now grab your real-life nutmeg.
Look at it for a bit.
Isn’t it great? It’s like a Christmas walnut.
Don’t you just feel like you’re in a scene from A Christmas Carol?
While appreciating your existence, grate half the nutmeg into the mix, preferably with one of those ridiculously tiny novelty graters, the kind of thing that’ll be in your kitchen somewhere yet you have absolutely no idea where you got it from.
This next bit is the tricky part. You want to be adding a pinch of cinnamon at a time and tasting it after. Cinnamon is an all-or-nothing kinda spice. There’s about half a milligram between not being able to taste it, and feeling like you’ve set a firework off in your mouth.
Once you’re happy with the cinnamoninness of your Christmas concoction, just stand there for a second and smell your handy work. Close your eyes.
Oh look, you’re in the north pole with Will Ferrell from Elf, he’s pouring your very own buttered rum cocktail for all the grotto workers who are giggling with glee while the elves build Kylie Jenner Lip Kits for all the little girls and boys. Isn’t it just magical?
Snap back to reality and stew your mixture until hot by simmering it on a low heat.
Get a lil drunk
Grab a novelty Christmas mug, pop in a shot of dark rum and a knob of butter, fill to the top with your new festive mixture and mix well. You can even, pop some cream and cinnamon on top for a real treat like I do.
Plonk yourself on the sofa, sip with your family and un-appropriately giggle your way through the festive period.