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Christmas preparations have been progressing over the last week. The cake has been made and is currently being fed every seven days with sherry, a few bookmarks have been set up with present ideas for the family and this afternoon I started on my spiced rum.

Like everything else, I like a little extra oomph when it comes to booze at Christmas. Mulled wine and cider are always welcome, as is a hot chocolate topped up with a dash of Baileys. But as I’m hosting an open house in December and I was looking for something a bit different. Cue the Guardian’s 12 Drinks of Christmas and the amazing sounding hot buttered rum.

Now I’m sure you could go out and buy rum ready spiced, but where’s the fun in that? And honestly, how could pre-packaged stuff taste better than the fresh ginger, the cinnamon stick and the vanilla pod (as well as cloves and nutmeg) I just added to 750ml of dark rum? It couldn’t, and that’s why when I combine it with some butter, brown sugar and boiling water it will immediately evoke the taste of Christmas.

But for now, it is gently infusing away ready for the party. Happy days.