Smoking Bishop is a warm mulled wine and port drink, sometimes known simply as ‘Bishop’. Out of all the mulled drinks around Christmas this one is my favourite. Bishop is made with oranges, or sometimes lemons, or sometimes both, with wine, port, spices and sugar, which is added according to taste – it received the name ‘Bishop’ from its purple colour, similar to a Bishop’s formal attire – and ‘Smoking’ comes from the vapours rising when it is being mulled or heated.
Although Jonathan Swift, in the late 1600s, wrote about it, in his verse ‘Oranges’, the drink itself was made famous when Charles Dickens has a reformed Scrooge say to Bob Cratchit, (at the end of ‘A Christmas Carol’, 1843) “… we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon over a bowl of Smoking Bishop, Bob!” And indeed it is just the sort of drink you want to sit down with friends in front of a log fire with …
Apparently the trick is that you bake/roast the oranges so that they caramelize first. I desperately want someone (who is not me) to make this (for me).
Just in case anyone needs it, Joel Hodgson just tweeted a picture of the sheet music for “Let’s Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas”.