Winter cheer: Mulled wine

01:25, Jul 23 2013
mulled wine
WINTER WARMER: Mulled wine is pretty much the most comforting drink out there.

It has been the classic warming drink since the days of ancient Rome; alight with spices and fragrant with winter fruits. Now the country's coolest bartenders are ladling out mulled wine, Austrian and German gluhwein, Nordic glogg, and its contemporary equivalent, hot cider.

Why should I care?

Because it's instant central heating when you've come in from the cold.

Can I do this at home?

Easily. Just don't boil it too long or the alcohol will evaporate - and don't overdo the cloves.

MULLED WINE

2 mandarins
750ml dry red wine (merlot, shiraz)
100g brown sugar
6 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
4 star anise


1. Cut the unpeeled mandarin crosswise into four slices, discarding ''ends''.

2. Combine 250 millilitres red wine and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Add one sliced mandarin, cinnamon, cloves and star anise, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until syrupy and reduced by almost half, skimming off any froth as necessary.

3. Add the remaining wine and simmer gently, without boiling, for 10 minutes. Strain into heatproof glasses, add remaining fresh mandarin slices, and serve with the cinnamon sticks.

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