A winter warmer: make your own mulled wine

The nights are drawing in, the days are cold and crisp – a splendid time to light a fire in the grate, and enjoy a mug (or two) of mulled wine. Don’t reach for a bottle of pre-made mulled wine this winter, it’s so easy – and rewarding  – to make your own.

Use a punchy, fruity wine like a merlot – don’t splash out on an expensive bottle, you’ll want to let the spices do the work for the flavour. We used cinnamon, nutmeg and orange in ours, but this recipe rewards a bit of experimentation (we’ve heard grapefruit instead of orange works particularly well).

Serves 4
1 bottle (750ml) red wine
60g (2oz) brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 orange
60ml fruity spirit (like brandy, damson gin or sloe gin)

1. Place the wine, sugar, spices and half the orange (sliced) in a saucepan.
2. Heat gently (don’t boil – you’ll evaporate the alcohol). Once the sugar has dissolved, you’re good to go.
3. Stir in a fruity spirit like brandy for a bit more oomph – we used Sipsmith sloe gin in ours.
4. Serve with an orange slice for garnish.