It’s that ‘most wonderful time of the year!’ Celebrating with food and drink, eating and drinking and catching up with friends is a lovely thing to do at this time of year. So here is a lovely seasonal, warming, celebratory mulled wine recipe (or make a mulled apple juice if you are pregnant or not drinking - I obviously couldn’t leave out all my pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing folks!) to make with love and enjoy with friends and family. Enjoy!
This recipe is as delicious as it is offbeat. You make a quick syrup infusion to ensure you get as much flavour as possible out of the spices and aromatics, then add the rest of the wine (or a cloudy apple juice) and warm through so that all the alcohol doesn’t boil away.
What you need:
100g light brown sugar or maple syrup (only use 50g if using apple juice)
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves, crushed in hands
2 star anise
1 whole nutmeg
2 vanilla pods (or good quality vanilla essence)
2 bottles good full-bodied red wine / or cloudy apple juice for a non-alcoholic version
How to do it:
Strip the zest from the clementines and limes, using a potato peeler making long large strips. Then juice the clementines and limes.
Put the sugar/maple syrup in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the pieces of peel and the fruit juice.
Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, star anise and about 10 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine or apple juice to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the liquid, then bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes to allow the heat to bring out the flavours.
Turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the wine/juice.
Gently heat without boiling, then cover and leave to sit for about 30 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, warm the mulled wine/juice again without boiling and ladle it into heatproof glasses or mugs.
Enjoy the aroma that fills the kitchen, and of course drinking this Christmas in a glass