Mulled wine Who doesn't enjoy a nice glass of mulled wine over the Christmas period? Forget shop bought, try making it yourself. This recipe is from Mr Jamie Oliver and is absolutely delicious. We put up the Christmas tree, listened to traditional carols and sipped on mulled wine. Ingredients... 2 clementines 1 lemon 1 lime 200 g caster sugar 6 whole cloves 1 stick cinnamon 3 fresh bay leaves 1 whole nutmeg, for grating 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways 2 star anise 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
Method... This is dead simple to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It's a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you've got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in. Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I'm doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It's important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you'll burn off the alcohol. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve. Here are a couple of ways to serve... Simple and modern, you could use jam jars to save buying ones with a handle. Or traditional using old glasses that you could pick up from the charity shop. Perfect for dinner parties and will certainly impress your guests!!