I made this a while ago, in anticipation of summer - not knowing what a record-breaking summer it would be. Sorry to those of you in the northern hemisphere but here in NZ, the days have been long, sunny, hot and (miracle of miracles!) gale-free. The kind of mythical summer you imagine your childhood was full of.
And this in itself is a kind of miracle. Called The 44, which is helpful for those of us whose memories are doing some kind of disappearing trick, its ingredients are simple: An orange, 44 coffee beans, 44 teaspoons of sugar, a litre of white rum, and 44 days.
At first I thought it had drunken disaster written all over it - as a general rule, Andy, though he loves both coffee and oranges in their own right, doesn't tend to love coffee and orange flavoured things. But this actually just about converted him - somehow, it is so much greater than the sum of its parts. After merrily sitting there, soaking up the delicious rum and orange and coffee and sugar - and let's face it, which out of us wouldn't be happy after 44 days of that? - it tastes like chocolate orange in a glass - perfect for Christmas, or perfect for summer, or especially perfect for those of us whose Christmas is in the middle of summer. It mellows and melds and warms and cools and just brings a massive smile to your face.
Plus it looks like an alien.
1 orange (not too big; it needs to fit through the mouth of your jar)
44 coffee beans
44 teaspoons caster sugar
1 litre white rum, such as Bacardi
1.5 litre Kilner jar
With a small, sharp knife and a lot of care, stab the orange 44 times and insert a coffee bean into each hole - it was probably more time-consuming but I found it easier to do it one at a time, rather than searching the orange for holes afterwards.
Put 44 teaspoons of sugar (just short of 15 tablespoons if you want to go quicker) into the bottom of your jar. Put the orange in the jar on top of the sugar, then pour the rum in. Give it a gentle shake to help dissolve the sugar.
Put it in a dark place for 44 days - mark it on your calendar - and gently shake it whenever you remember.
Once the time has passed, decant into a smaller bottle and, if you have room, store it in your freezer.
This is beautiful by itself, or with a mixer.