As thoughts turn to log fires, woolly jumpers and festive celebrations, now seems like the right time to share the Picturehouse recipe for mulled wine. It’s not cold yet, but it will be soon – the worst winter in a century, no doubt – so make like a cub scout and be prepared!
Mulled wine isn’t just for Christmas, though. Its bitter cloves and woody cinnamon, plus the nip of port and brandy, will bring warmth to the toes and put a spring in your step from autumn and well into the New Year.
• A bottle of fruity red wine. Try something like Rey Viejo Tinto, a classic Spanish red made of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Merlot, bursting with juicy red berries and velvety tannins
• 50ml brandy, to add some pizazz (nothing too pricey needed here)
• 50ml port – this boosts the fruit in the wine with flavours of fig and a smoky tint
• 3 heaped tbsp good-quality Demerara sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 star anise
• 12 cloves
• One orange, cut into large segments
• Score and stud the orange with the cloves
• Add all ingredients, liquids first, to a pan (be aware that the wine may stain it) on the hob and slowly heat, stirring occasionally.
• Add between 100 and 400ml of hot water, depending on how strong you wish the drink to be.
• Do not allow it to boil.
• Serve with a slice of orange or lemon in a toughened glass with a handle. The liquid is hot, so be careful when using your best wine glasses.
• Swap the cinnamon for ginger and lemongrass, for a Thai-infused taste, or port for sloe gin, for a more herbal-tinged flavour.