Perfect for chilly winter nights and festive days with friends and family, our easy mulled wine recipe offers a host of traditional sweet and spiced flavours with a zesty orange twist…

Supposedly originating in Italy, where ancient Romans would sip warmed, spiced drinks to fend off the chill of winter, mulled wine travelled with Roman traders to the far corners of Europe. Unsurprisingly, it was adopted both as a medicinal tonic and a delicious libation enjoyed by people from Spain to Slovenia.

In the Nordic regions people have continued to enjoy a glass or two of traditional glögg while in Germany, glühwein is still the festive focus of bustling Weihnachtsmarkts. In the UK, mulled wine is synonymous with Christmas and we happen to think there’s nothing quite so lovely as enjoying a warming glass or two in great company.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

5 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp of ground cinnamon or 1 large cinnamon stick
1 small mug of water
2 tbsp of Cointreau
4 whole cloves
1½ tbsp agave or honey
2 thick slices of a medium orange including the peel
2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 bottle of red wine
2 star anise
Orange slices, to garnish

METHOD

Place all your spices (with the exception of the star anise), orange pieces and agave or honey into a medium saucepan with a small mugful of water – add a little more water for a larger pan.

Bring your mixture of spices, oranges, sweetener and water to the boil and let it simmer on a medium heat for about 5-8 minutes until the water has almost evaporated.

Add the red wine, star anise and the two tablespoonfuls of Cointreau, reduce heat and gently simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Depending on your preference, strain the mixture or pour it directly into four glasses or goblets, garnish with a slice of orange and serve.