12 Recipes of Christmas: Whisky glazed ham

Dec 24, 2021
A little bit of whisky goes a long way with this recipe! Source: Getty Images

Ham is a must when it comes to Christmas lunch in my family. I’ve been a fan of the mustard, orange juice and clove tradition for a long time, but it was time to try something new.

Christmas time is also a time for cherries, and this whisky glazed ham incorporates some preserved cherries. The end result is a wonderfully festive dish.

Also, a little bit of whisky goes a long way with this glazed ham recipe!

Serves 10-12.


  • 1 leg ham, bone in (5kg-6kg)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 80 cloves (about 1 packet)


  • 1kg pitted black cherries
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 130 ml sherry vinegar
  • 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 20g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed spice


  • 200g maraschino cherries and syrup, stalks removed
  • 200g black cherry jam, or sour cherry jam
  • 200ml cherry juice
  • 200ml homemade pork stock, or good chicken stock
  • 100ml Bourbon
  • 100g brown sugar


  1. For preserved cherries, simmer ingredients in a saucepan over low heat for 1-1.25 hours, until cherries start to break down and have a jam-like consistency. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  2. For whiskey glaze, blend or finely chop the cherries and combine with remaining ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over high heat for 10-15 minutes, until thickened and glossy.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Gently peel back the ham skin from leg to shank, being careful not to tear the fat. Score the skin around shank with a sharp knife, then remove skin. Score fat 5mm deep to create a diamond pattern. Rub ham all over with mustard, then brown sugar and stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.
  4. Place ham in a roasting pan with 80ml water in the base to prevent burning and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 160C and keep baking, basting ham every 15 minutes with whiskey glaze, until dark and glossy (about 2 hours; if the tray dries out, add a little more water so the sugars don’t burn).
  5. Serve with cherry preserve.

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