Chinnery Gin Hot Punch

The idea of serving gin warm is an old one. In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens describes Bob Cratchit's family gathering around the hearth to enjoy a hot gin punch "while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily". Somewhere along the way we lost this traditional serve but it can hardly be bettered as a welcoming drink for party guests on a cold, dark winter's night. As it gently simmers on the stove, the spices fill the kitchen with a wonderful Christmassy aroma putting everyone in a relaxed mood.

Chinnery Gin Hot Punch


  • 1 litre Pressed apple juice
  • 500ml Chinnery Gin
  • 250ml Sweet (red) Vermouth
  • 75ml Balsamic Cider Vinegar
  • The juice of 3 oranges
  • Whole cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, to taste
  • One vanilla pod (sliced lengthways)


Combine all the ingredients in a pot and warm gently on the stove for 30 minutes. Don't allow it to boil. Serve in a tea cup with a cinnamon stick and a slice of orange. Makes about 10 cups.

Notes and variations

  • The balsamic cider vinegar (Llewellyn's Irish Balsamic Cider Vinegar is particularly recommended) is optional but adds richness of flavour while knocking back the sweetness of the apple juice.
  • You could try a sour citrus juice, like lime or lemon, with honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
  • Vary the spice list to include, say, nutmeg, ginger or chilli flakes. You could also infuse the spices in the gin some days in advance.
  • In general, feel free to modify the recipe. You should sample as you go though, adjusting the sharpness, sweetness, spiciness, etc. to your own taste.