Ok, it's now official, my Christmas festivities have now begun with my first-of-the-season glass of mulled wine. My confession: I didn't make it myself. Nope it was ready to use Co-op own brand left over from last year, but it was splendid! The warming, fruity/spicy goodness has put me in the best of moods, so much so that I am contemplating actually making my own this year! I know, I know, why bother when it's like £3 a bottle at the co-op and tastes so yummy? The most peculiar need to make everything myself has swept over me this year. Would you believe I have already made the Christmas cake, and am about to go and 'feed it' (read: drench in brandy) straight after this post?! Even more weirdly, I actually made the Candied Peal for it because Tesco had run out. Yep, 4/5 hours of boiling and draining fruit peel then covering the remains in sugar. Now that is dedication I can tell you. I even saved the syrup to use in something else! Honestly I don't know what as got into me, but it's like I have been let into a big, completely wonderful secret. I've always enjoyed the odd spot of baking, but this is on another level. My prediction? This Christmas my family will be overrun by Santa shaped cookies, mince pies, Christmas cake and most other delicious delicacies that the lovely Delia has to offer. I can't wait!
So, to kick the season off, here is a lovely little recipe for Mulled Wine, which makes roughly 12 servings:
You will need:
- 2 unwaxed oranges
- The peel of 1 lemon
- 150g caster sugar
- 5 cloves
- 5 (bruised) cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 bottles of red wine
- 150ml ginger wine
- Peel and juice 1 orange and add to a large saucepan with the lemon peek, sugar and spices. Add enough wine to just cover the sugar and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-8 minutes until you have a thick syrup.
- Turn the heat down and add both the ginger wine and the rest of the red. Gently head through then serve and enjoy!
Tip: If you don't want to use it all at once, allow some of the syrup to cool and pour into a bottle or jar to use later.
However, if you can't be bothered with all this faff (frankly I don't blame you!) then either the mulled wine sachets or the ready-to-drink bottles do the job just as well.
So what do you think? Will you be giving the make-it-yourself approach a go? Are you excited for Christmas? Let me know!