RECIPE: THE SMOKING BISHOP
Thirsty? Of course you are! Tis’ the season to drink some delicious mulled wine don’t you know? Prepare this particularly potent variant of warm spiced wine and fill your house with a smell synonymous with Christmas. May we present, dearest reader, the Smoking Bishop. Happy Christmas!
“Smoking Bishop!?” I hear you say. No it’s not the latest reform from the Church of England, but instead a drink popularised by Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and first mentioned in English literature via Jonathan Swift’s verse Oranges from the late 1600’s.
Alas the foundations (as we know it in this Fair Isle) of mulled wine were laid – and a particularly potent variant at that. The name is said to be taken from the resemblance of a steaming goblet of wine and a robed bishop, um, smoking.
Of course, mulled wine is not indigenous to Britain. In fact, if you were to scour the globe for similar, you would undoubtedly find at least one version of said drink from most regions, let alone countries. Glühwhein is popular amongst German speaking countries, Nordics may be familiar with Gløgg, and Brazilians may be partial to a glass of vinho quente; so it can be said that as human beings, we appreciate the combined taste of warm red wine, spices and citrus fruit.
One of the most satisfying things about this recipe is that fills your home with scents and aromas synonymous with the festive season, so get ready for a truly sumptuous bouquet of cinnamon, cloves and oranges.
Yes, it’s been a tough year and alas, we may probably have to relinquish some of our revelling for the time being – but with your favourite Christmas tunes blasting out, your finest Christmas jumper on, get this Smoking Bishop mulling and you’ll feel like it’s Christmas in a minute.
So here’s to the global appreciation of spiced wine in the winter months! Ideal for warming one’s cockles as the cold nights draw in, here’s a mulling recipe from us to you. Merry Christmas one and all!
P.S This is a really tasty recipe, so please, please, please drink responsibly.
- 4 Large Oranges
- 3 Lemons
- 2 tbsp Demerara sugar –sweeten to taste
- Star of Anise
- Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Bottle of red wine
- 35cl Armagnac or Cognac
- 1 Cup of orange juice
THE NIGHT BEFORE
1. Roast oranges and lemons in a shallow baking tray at 120˚C for 1 ½ or until golden brown
2. Place oranges and lemons into a bowl and pour any leaked juices from the fruit into the bowl as well
3. Liberally prick fruit with cloves
4. Add sugar and 2 stars of anise
5. Pour wine over fruit
6. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 12–24 hours
THE DAY AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE
1. Remove oranges and lemons and cut in half with the back of a spoon or your hand press as much juice out of the fruit as possible into the wine
2. Sieve mixture (to get rid of any unwanted pulp/cloves) into a saucepan and add your cinnamon sticks
3. Add juice and sugar to taste
4. Bring to high simmer for five minutes
5. Add Armagnac and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes (we don’t want it to lose its potency)
6. Serve with an orange/lemon wedge and cinnamon stick