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The spirits of Christmas: drinkable homemade gifts – recipes

Clementine cordial

This will keep for three weeks in the fridge, so it’s not one to leave under the tree in the run-up to Christmas.

Makes About 375ml

450ml freshly squeezed clementine juice50ml lime juice500ml water500g caster sugar

Put all the ingredients in a deep pan, bring to a boil, and simmer on a medium heat, stirring regularly. Once the liquid has reduced to a quarter of its original volume, turn off the heat and leave to cool, then pour the cordial into a sterilised bottle(s), which must have an airtight lid.

Instructions for gift tag Keep in the fridge and drink within a week of opening. Mix 25ml cordial with 25ml cranberry juice and top with either cava or sparkling water. Garnish with a slice of clementine or orange.

Chestnut brandy syrup

This needs to sit for at least two weeks before it’s consumed. Once jarred, it’ll keep for at least three months, and probably a lot longer, so long as the jars are properly sterilised.

Makes 3-4 jars, depending on size

500g fresh chestnuts500g demerara sugar500ml brandy (nothing too fancy)

Score a cross on the bum of each chestnut, then roast in a high-sided pan or wok over a high heat until they split, which is a sign they’re cooked. Tip out of the pan, leave to cool, then peel.

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