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If you end up out in the cold weather this Christmas season, it can be difficult to get yourself warmed up again. While you can get in from the cold and turn the heating on, it can be tough to chase away those last chills.
Mulled wine is a great way to enjoy a warming drink while also entering into the Festive spirit. As well as being a tasty tipple and getting rid of that cold feeling, the smell of wine mulling is quintessentially Christmas and can help put you into the mood for the season of giving.
One of the best ways to make mulled wine is to create a syrup with all the spices, rather than heating the wine for a long period of time. As well as taking less time, this traditional method ensures that your mulled wine has the right amount of sweetness, a real depth of flavour and that you don't burn all the alcohol content off.
This recipe from BBC Good Food is a simple one to try and is perfect for making large batches of mulled wine for parties.
Four cinnamon sticks
Two inch piece of fresh ginger root - peeled and sliced
A small handful of cloves, or add them to taste
The zest of one orange
Two pints of port wine of claret - although any red wine is suitable as well as non-alcoholic alternatives.
Put all of the ingredients, except the wine, into your pan along with two wine glasses of cold water. Heat the mixture gently until it is brought to the boil. Ensure that you keep stirring the mixture as it heats to stop the sugar burning.
Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer - while continuously stirring - for around 15-20 minutes. The mixture will reduce down to create a thick syrup.
The syrup can be stored for a few days or used immediately, depending on how much mulled wine you want to make.
Simply add your wine or port to the pan with the syrup and stir well until all of the syrup has dissolved. Heat gently until the wine is hot, but not boiling, and serve immediately.
You can add cider or apple juice to the syrup instead of wine for a tasty alternative.