Nothing suits a winter night better than a mug of hot mulled wine. Whether you are bracing the weather at a Christmas market or curled up by your fireplace, it warms you down to your toes. Rather than just whacking a bag of spices in the pan, try doing it the old fashioned way with this recipe. Better still – go really old school and warm your wine with a hot poker. Just make sure to remove the ash first.
Mulled wine (serves 6 to 8)
• 115g sugar
• 4 cinnamon sticks
• 5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
• Small handful cloves (or to taste)
• 1 orange, zest only
• 1.5 litres Chianti or other Italian wine
Place two wine glasses of water, and the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and orange zest into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting and simmer, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced to form a thick syrup, about 15-20 minutes. Add the wine and stir well. Increase the temperature until the mixture is piping hot, but not boiling. Serve immediately in wine glasses. Strain the mixture before serving, if desired.
Photo: Graham Hills