You know it's nearly Christmas when you go into a pub and there is a sign saying, 'Mulled Wine by the glass'. It's hard to resist those heady spices of cinnamon and cloves wafting towards you, but it is so easy and cheap to make that maybe you should mull you own wine this Christmas. I had a test-run on Sunday when we had friends over for lunch. I wanted to impress them as soon as they walked into our kitchen - the pan of my mulled wine was steaming away on the cooker. It was such a great success that I plan to repeat it this weekend.

Ingredients: (makes 12 servings)
1 unwaxed orange
1 unwaxed lemon - peel only
150g caster sugar
5 cardamom pods - bruised with the back of a knife
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 bottles of fruity red wine
150ml ginger wine

  • Put the peel and juice of the orange into a large saucepan along with the lemon peel, sugar, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and nutmeg.
  • Add enough wine to just cover the sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved into the liquid, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble vigorously for 6-8 minutes, until it becomes a thick syrup.
  • Turn the heat down, then gradually pour the rest of the wine into the pan, along wit the ginger wine and stir vigorously.
  • Gently heat through and serve while it is still hot. 
Alternatively, you can let the syrup cool and pour it into sterilised bottles for use later. If you do this, reheat the syrup before adding the rest of the wine, or it will be difficult to combine.



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