At this time of year, there are few things more comforting than coming home from a blustery walk to soothe yourself with a warming drink, gently spiced with the scents of the season.

During these colder months, one of the most popular winter warmers that visitors to the gardens have been enjoying is our Hot Buttered Cyder. So, in the spirit of festive generosity, we persuaded our Restaurant Manager Danny to share his much-loved recipe with you.

To make this golden beverage, you’ll first need to make a spiced sugar syrup:

Add 425g demerara sugar to a one litre measuring jug, filling the rest of the jug with hot water. Now add three teaspoons of cloves; six star anise and one cinnamon stick, then stir all of the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.

Leave overnight for the flavours to infuse the sticky syrup, then decant into a glass Kilner bottle and keep stored in the fridge.

Once your spiced sugar syrup is ready, it’s time to make your Hot Buttered Cyder. You will need:

50ml dark rum
25ml cyder (we recommend Kingston Black)
100ml apple juice
25ml spiced sugar syrup
1 x knob of butter
1 x star anise, to garnish

For the most effective results, simply add all of the ingredients (leaving aside the star anise) to a jug and use a handheld milk frother to heat, creating a pale, buttery foam across the surface. If you don’t have a frother in your kitchen, no problem – you can also heat it up using a small saucepan on the stove.

Serve in glasses, garnishing with the star anise and a warm glow.