Smoking Bishop Recipe
This recipe will make enough for about 10 small glasses, double the ingredients to make a large punch bowl to serve around 20 people. It can also be re-corked in the wine bottles once cool and be re-heated and drunk in small batches over a few days.
You can use just oranges (older, bitter varieties) or just a few lemons (making it an Oxford University ‘Bishop’) although this recipe gives the right balance and authentic taste using 6 modern variety oranges and two lemons, which is then sweetened to taste with sugar.
- 6 large oranges
- 2 large lemons
- 120g of brown sugar (demerara)
- 1 bottle (750ml) red wine
- 1 bottle (750ml) ruby port
- 8 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground mace
- 1 or 2 lemons, cut into wedges to serve
- 1 or 2 oranges, cut into wedges to serve
- a grating of nutmeg over the top
The day before: bake the large oranges and lemons in the oven on a shallow baking tray (with a lip to contain any leaking juice) on a low heat at 120°C until they are pale brown (after about an hour and a half). If any liquid leaks from the fruit when baking pour this from the tray into the bowl with the fruit and wine. After the fruit has baked in the oven stud the oranges and lemons with one of the cloves pricked into each, place into a large bowl, add the ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and mace. Add the sugar and pour in the wine – but not the port or the cinnamon sticks. Stir gently for a few minutes. Cover and leave in a warm place overnight or for 24 hours.
The next day: cut the baked oranges and lemons in half and squeeze all the juice into the spiced wine in the bowl. Do not worry about adding in the pulp and pips, this will be strained through a sieve next. Pour this wine, fruit and spice mix through a sieve into a large saucepan, use the back of a spoon to press out the juice from the pulp in the sieve. Then add the cinnamon sticks. Heat the wine to a high simmer for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat under the saucepan and add the port and heat for 20 minutes very gently (so as not to boil away the alcohol). In the last two minutes turn up the heat to a medium simmer and get the Bishop ‘smoking’ hot with vapors rising.
Following the advice given in 1836, “sweeten it to your taste, and serve it up with the lemon and spice floating in it” – taste the Bishop and add in a little more sugar if it is needed.
When the Bishop is hot through and ‘smoking’ pour into a heat-proof punch bowl or serving jug (including the cinnamon sticks) with fresh cut wedges of lemon and orange, and serve in goblets, or heat-proof glasses, and drink warm – optional, take the advice from Eliza Acton in 1845, either grate a little nutmeg on top of the Bishop in the serving jug or bowl, or as I do, grate it individually on top of the Bishop in the glasses if people request it.
I heated for 20 minutes, then transferred back to the wine/port bottles and stored overnight at room temp. An excellent drink; I described it as mulled sangria.