Clementines are by far and away, the ingredient I get most excited about in the winter. Their fragrant scent and sweet juice is an absolute god-send and there are always a couple of boxes to hand in family houses over Christmas. Although they become available in the markets from November, I routinely wait for December before mass binging on them.
Clove makes for a superb partner to the clementine and brings a warming layer of winter complexity to the refreshing clementine.
These two ingredients form the basis for of our Clementine & Clove blend which we release to a handful of selected bars on December 1st. The blend is gone by January 1st in what is a brief, but very sweet, Christmas romance.
Here’s how you can recreate our Clementine & Clove blend and scroll down further for some ideas on how you might like to use it.
To prepare the blend, we firstly make a clove syrup and separately, a clementine syrup, before combining the two and balancing with lemon juice.
1 litre of Clove Syrup (1:1)
25g whole cloves
600ml white caster sugar (or 570g)
1 litre (or just over) of Clementine Syrup (2:1)
500ml clementine juice (1.2kg fresh clementines)
1000ml white caster sugar (or 950g)
Add cloves to a pan and heat gently to release the oils of the cloves without burning them, or the pan.
With the scent of clove in the air, add water to the pan. Gently heat, getting close, but not all the way to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave the cloves to infuse the water for 10 minutes.
Strain off the cloves, and add the sugar to the pan, whisking as the sugar goes in to create a lovely clove syrup.
Slice each clementine in half across the belly, ready to juice using a citrus press or Mexican elbow style hand juicer.
Juice the clementines and strain off the pips and pith.
Add caster sugar to create a 2:1 syrup. I often find it difficult to dissolve sugar to create a 2:1 syrup and to help with this, I create a warm water bath of sorts – inserting the container with the clementine juice and sugar, snugly in to another containing boiled water.
Completing the Clementine & Clove syrup:
Feel free to work to the ratios that suit your palate. We like 67% clementine syrup to 33% clove syrup and for ease of measurement, you can comfortably work to 650ml clementine syrup and 350ml clove syrup to create 1 litre of your finished syrup.
A Christmas Spritz
Our Christmas Spritz is our December prequel to the Mimosas we should all be drinking on Christmas morning.
35ML ICELY DONE “CLEMENTINE & CLOVE” BLEND
10ML SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE
BUILD OVER ICE IN A SPRITZ OR RED WINE GLASS & STIR
ORANGE WHEEL, STUDDED WITH CLOVES
A different kind of Champagne Cocktail
This is an easy twist on the Classic Champagne Cocktail, traditionally made with a whte sugar cube, Angostura Bitters, Cognac & Champagne.
15ML CLEMENTINE & CLOVE SYRUP
1 DASH OF ORANGE BITTERS
TOP WITH CHAMPAGNE
Clem Spritz (non-alcoholic)
This is my favourite grown up soft drink for the Christmas table. Bags of seasonal flavour and refreshment, without the drink driving charge.
You can leave a milk sized jug of the syrup on the table for folks to help themselves – alternatively make a large jug full of the finished blend with orange wheels packed in amongst the ice.
25ml Clementine & Clove
Top with soda or bitter lemon (preferably)
Served in a tall glass over lots of ice