The best homemade mulled wine

Tis the season. Mince pies and warming mugs of mulled wine... So just what is the best way to make this festive tipple? Turns out, there are as many variations of mulled wine as there are cakes.

Mary Berry adds two pints of water to her mulled wine and simmers it for an hour. Jamie Oliver starts by making a syrup with the sugar, fruit and spices and just enough wine to cover them.

Other chefs add sloe gin, maple syrup or honey. Play around to find the perfect family recipe you’ll be proud to pass it down. Try adding a dash of brandy, grated nutmeg, a vanilla pod or a couple of bay leaves. Or just keep it simple.

This is our take. We like keeping it classic and quick - it'll take you less than 30 minutes. Cheers. 

You’ll need:

2 bottles of full-bodied wine (merlot works well)

2 lemons

3 small oranges or satsumas

6 cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

150g of caster sugar (optional)

How to make:

1. Peel the lemons and slice the oranges

2. Add the lemon peel and orange slices to a large pan

3. Pour the wine on top and add the rest of the ingredients, except the sugar

4. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat straightaway

5. Slowly add the sugar, a little at a time, tasting as you go (you might not need the full 150g)

6. Simmer for 10 minutes. Gently stir from time to time. Breathe in the rich, spicy aromas

7. Pour into large mugs to serve

Easy mulled wine

Sometimes we just want the pleasure of sharing mulled wine with friends, with less of the effort involved in making it. Old Hamlet Wine & Spice Co. has been creating mulled wine blends for over 40 years.

The mixes are blended by hand in Yorkshire using Fairtrade ingredients and come packaged in cotton calico pouches. Add a sachet to a full-bodied red wine and heat on the stove. Make it your own by adding orange slices and a dash of brandy.

Happy Christmas x