Nothing warms your cockles quite like a big mug of mulled wine, juice or cider, and from Bonfire Night to New Year's Eve, that's exactly what we plan on drinking. Throw in a roaring fire and a woolly jumper and we're in wintery heaven…
But back to the mulling. It couldn't be easier, and an added bonus is that it'll scent your home better than any Christmas candle. Here's our guide to get you started.
Start with a base
Here's a basic combination to try. For every litre of wine, cider or juice, add:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½tsp cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod, split in two lengthways
- 8-10 gratings of nutmeg
- 4 strips orange peel, made with a vegetable peeler
- 2 strips lemon peel, made with a vegetable peeler
Mulling your drink is simple: gently heat your base of choice with the above. If you're using wine, you might want to add a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar to keep it sweet. Want to lower the alcohol content? Try adding some fresh orange juice to wine or cider (this will also bolster the sweetness).
Once it's heated, ladle your hot toddy into mugs (or other heatproof containers) and serve. Don't worry about fishing out the spices and peel - they add to the warming, festive feel. Just make sure your guests know they're in there to avoid any choking hazards!
try a readymade mulling kit
If you don't feel like buying cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks in bulk, don't worry – grab a mulled wine spice kit off the shelf instead. Containing everything you need (in the perfect ratios) to give your festive tipple a spicy kick, simply add your kit to the wine, cider or juice of your choice and gently stir it over a low heat until hot (but not boiling).
Or, if you fancy something really fuss-free, our award-winning spiced mulled wine comes in a 2.25L wine box, making it perfect for parties. Empty it into a saucepan (or microwave it in mugs) for mulled wine in an instant!
After you've made mulled wine once, you can play around with different flavours to suit your taste. We like adding a vanilla pod, split in half, to ours, or a couple of bay leaves! Here are a few different recipes to get you started…
mulled white wine
A twist on the usual red wine favourite, this recipe calls for white wine, along with honey, orange and lemon zest, and a large sprig of rosemary. Light and fruity, this won't leave you with a purple smile, either!
Mulled pear and ginger punch
Mixing cloudy apply juice with ginger, pear, cinnamon, cardamom and lime juice, you can spike this hot toddy with rum if preferred.