No scent is quite as evocative as the smell of mulled wine. The rich aromatics of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg fill the air with warmth and comfort.
PREP TIME: 5 mins | COOKING TIME: 20 mins | SERVES 6
100g caster sugar
3 whole cloves
2 cm piece of ginger peeled and sliced
1 nutmeg for grating
1 vanilla pod
1 star anise
1/4 cup black peppercorns
750ml good quality red wine
Peel large sections of peel from the orange, lemon and lime.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the orange juice.
Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns and about 5 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then add just enough of the red wine to cover the sugar. Leave this to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved, then bring to the boil.
Continue to boil gently for about 5 mins until it makes a thick syrup. This infuses all the beautiful spices. If you wish to burn off the alcohol, you can add this prior to bringing the mixture to the boil. If you want your Mulled wine to pack a bit of a punch, when the syrup is ready, turn down the heat to low and add the star anise and the remainder of the wine.
Leave on low for around 5 minutes and then ladle into heatproof glasses and serve warm. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
If you want your mulled wine to pack an even bigger punch, you can add 1/2 cup of brandy just prior to bringing to the boil.