This spiced plum punch not only tastes delicious but will make your kitchen smell heavenly. The fragrance of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg with the liquoricey tones from the star anise will waft from the stove creating the kind of inviting aroma that makes your guests stay far longer than they intended.
The recipe emerged from wanting to offer an alcohol free alternative to the mulled wine. A progression from mulled apple juice, the recipe involves stewing plums in the spiced juice which not only creates a more interesting flavour but results in a very pretty pink colour. The sweetness comes from the stem ginger syrup and you can be more or less generous with this depending on your tastes. While this is an alcohol free beverage, if you wanted to pep it up a bit a drop of brandy would work rather nicely.
- 1 litre apple juice
- 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup
- 2 star anise plus extra for decoration
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ of a nutmeg, grated
- 8 cloves
- 8 plums
Pour apple juice into a pan with the stem ginger, syrup and all the spices. Leave to infuse for an hour or two.
Stone and quarter the plums and add to the apple juice. Place on a low heat and bring to a very gentle simmer for around 10 minutes until the plums collapse and release their juices. You can encourage this process by pressing the plum segments up against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon as you stir. Ladle into little mugs and add a star anise before serving.