That uncommonly balmy December has given way to a frosty new year. In our little cottage by the sea, E and I have had the fire roaring from 4pm pretty much every day lately, and my pet tortoise, Stanley, is permanently stretched out under his heat lamp.
Thing is though, I love the winter. It forces you to get up early with the light, to take your afternoon runs at sunset, to cook hearty, warming food, and to comfort yourself with open fires in the evenings and thick, steaming black coffee in the mornings.
Because I work from home, I sometimes like to draw a line between the working day and the evening by making myself a drink round half six. Usually it’s an old-fashioned, or a gin and mixed, or a brandy Manhattan or something, but at the moment I seem to have been drinking a lot of hot buttered rum. Ever had it? If not then it’s pretty much the perfect drink when it’s cold and icy out.
Hot buttered rum
2 oz dark rum (nothing fancy)
1 knob butter (I always reckon on using a piece about the size of the end joint of my thumb, but I do have quite big thumbs)
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice (or you can make your own blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
1. Put the butter in a mug or heatproof glass and soften it (either by warming the mug or sticking it in the microwave for 20 seconds)
2. Mix the sugar and spice into the butter
3. Add the rum and top up with boiling water.