A Festive Midwinter Warmer!
Around this time every year, we head into the woods to cook up an outdoor feast to celebrate midwinter, the forthcoming festive season and to toast the year past. This year we decided to focus on creating a liquid accompaniment to our feasting, something warming that celebrated the season, something that tasted like Christmas in drinkable form.
Our recipe was adapted from one created by our good friend, forager and social entrepreneur, Maidie van des Bos. Maidie is an expert on wild botanicals and creates amazing cocktails and drinks (as we discovered at Campfire Stories) so we were excited to try one of her ideas, a hot toddy infused with Christmas fruits and pine needles.
Alongside the hot toddy we cooked up a sage and onion rosti made with potatoes, bacon, cheese and a bunch of festive spices to create a seasonal snack suitable for campfire cooking.
It was a great way to spend an afternoon, cooking over the fire, keeping warm and celebrating the return of longer days.
(makes around 8 small mugs)
2 oranges (sliced)
Juice of 1 linme
200g fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
100ml elderberry syrup (or maple)
8 springs of scots pine needles* (crushed a little)
350ml bottle of Glenfidich (or whiskey of your choice)
250ml water (adjust to taste)
Put everything in a pan, hang over the fire and allow to heat (but not boil) for around 30 mins. Remove from the heat and let the flavours infuse for another 30mins. Return the pot to the fire and heat up to drinking temperature. Ladle into mugs being careful to remove any pine needles. Add some of the cranberries and a slice of orange to each glass and enjoy by the campfire!
We hope you get a chance to try it, let us know if you do!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and an Adventurous New Year!
Andrew, Emma and Benji
*A note on pine needles. Some people can be allergic, so do take care and only add them if you are 100% sure they are an edible species. When foraging any wild ingredient make sure to consult an expert before consuming anything. If in doubt, leave it out.