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A little Christmas Spirit

Anyone who has ever visited our home kitchen on a December evening will be familiar with the sweet & spicy aroma of freshly steeped mulled wine. There’s nothing quite like it at the end of a long, cold winter’s day.

A quick search online will reveal hundreds of different recipes but one of the joys of making nightly batches of this heart-warming festive drink is that you can refine the type and quantity of each ingredient to suit your own taste.

We make ours by adding fresh cranberries to the spice mix; this gives added depth, whilst a splash of port with the wine improves the body. However you choose to make yours, cheers!


spice mix

150g fresh cranberries

1 litre orange juice

1 orange cut into 4 slices

1 lime cut into 4 slices

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick halved

1 whole nutmeg halved

12 cloves 3 per orange slice

to finish

750ml bottle red wine

150ml port

150g castor sugar


Pour the orange juice into a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Add the fresh cranberries.

Cut the orange and the lime, each into four slices. Stud each orange slice with 3 cloves. Add to the pan.

Break the cinnamon stick in half, cut the nutmeg in half and add to the pan, together with the star anise.

Gently heat the spice mix until it starts to simmer and then leave simmering for 10 minutes (allowing the cranberries to burst). Remove from the heat and stand for 30 minutes whilst the mix infuses.

Pour the mix through a fine meshed sieve to leave the spiced orange and cranberry juice. Discard the fruit and spices and rinse the pan.

Put the spiced orange and cranberry juice back into the pan and add the bottle of wine and 150ml of port. Then add the sugar.

Heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved, being careful to not allow the contents to boil.

Ladle the warm mulled wine into stemmed glasses and enjoy!

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