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I made this on Boxing Day evening with an anticipated glut of tangerines. I cannot risk running out of tangerines at Christmas so always order too many… this is a great way to use up a heap of them which are just about to go over.

the recipe is from this beautiful website. by the way ‘merrythought’ is a seventeenth century word for the wishbone of a bird, so called after the tradition of breaking it between two people and good things coming to the person with the longer piece. isn’t that a charming word? here’s what I did:

  • place four large sprigs (about 6 inches long) of rosemary in a saucepan
  • add a mug of sugar and a mug of water
  • bring to boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool. strain rosemary syrup into container eg jamjar and keep in fridge. (NB I recommend you stay by stove for this bit. I wandered off and forgot about it until the smell of burning sugar brought me flying back to the kitchen. rescued about half the syrup but spent half an hour cleaning petrified sugar lava off the hob. sigh. there are days when I have the brains of a particularly dim turkey.)
  • place 2 tbsp of rosemary syrup into tall glass.
  • add a few icecubes
  • squeeze as many tangerines, satsumas, oranges etc as will fill around half the glass. this will depend a bit on the strength of the juice. if it is quite watery you will need more to get the tang – if it is eye-wateringly vicious, less. add any pulp but not obviously any seeds!
  • top up with diet lemonade. I use diet Sprite for this, so extra lemon-lime buzz.
  • taste to check and add more rosemary syrup if needed.

my tangerines were quite watery as they were of the baggy-skinned easy peel variety which can be a bit tasteless. you never know with tangerines and satsumas what they are going to be like until you peel them… this would be nicest with the stronger tasting variety which would add more punchiness of flavour to the glass, but it was fine as it was, particularly with the rosemary syrup which was a lovely long-lasting herby flavour.