With winter settling in, the warmth of the house becomes more enjoyable by the day as snow and ice now cover the landscape. A traditional christmas-period drink, mulled wine (vin chaud as it’s called in France) is ideal shrug off the cold and fill the house with the fragrance of warm spices.

Mulled wine is pretty easy to do, as the basic idea is to warm up some sugared wine, and throw a couple spices to the mix to enrich the flavour. The recipe below is the french interpretation i prepared at the weekend.

For 4-6 cups

75cl red wine (Bordeaux or Pinot Noir will do nicely)
100-140g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3-5 cloves
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

Grate your lemon and orange to collect the zest, and throw it into a pot, together with the rest of the ingredients. Bring slowly to the boil stirring occasionally. Optionally, if you fancy it, you can flambé the wine in the pot when just on the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Drain, then serve in a cup with a slice of orange. Enjoy as cold becomes a faint memory!