Growing up I though that mulled wine was just plain and simply very wrong. Then I moved to the UK ten years ago and I discovered that I was the one in the wrong!
The first time I had proper mulled wine, I was in Scandinavia on a snowy Lappish holiday. The warm spices enveloped my being; sheltering me from the bitterly cold outside. Upon my return to the UK, I tried many a mug of mulled wine with varying results. Some, like those served at Borough Market, were utterly delicious. Others slightly more questionable!
This year I decided that, since I’ve tried so many different recipes, it is time to try my hand at making my very own version of mulled wine. After all I can use only the good flavours that I’ve come to love so much.
750 ml Chianti (or any other good red wine)
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, split (I couldn’t find a vanilla pod this time so I used 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
honey to taste (I found that 90-100 ml was good)
1 unwaxed orange
Measure out the spices (cloves, star anise, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla) and place in a large saucepan.
Peel the orange (avoid the pith if you can) and place into the saucepan.
Juice half of the orange and pour into the saucepan.
Slice the other halve of the orange into half-moons and place into the saucepan also.
Pour 1/2 a cup of the wine into the saucepan and gently heat until it starts to boil.
Pour in the honey and boil for a couple of minutes more.
Reduce the heat right down and pour in the rest of the wine. Gently heat until warmed through, but don’t let it boil as this would burn off the alcohol.