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Cardamom and maple mulled wine

Cardamom and maple mulled wine

Mulled wine is as essential to Christmas as mince pies – as much for the way the wine and spices, gently simmering on the stove, fill your home with unmistakably festive aromas as anything else. But rather than warming it, ready spiced, from the bottle, we always prefer making it from scratch using a really good red wine (something you’d happily drink on its own). Our recipe is just as you’d expect, but with the addition of fragrant cardamom and maple that instantly call to mind the spiced buns and pastries of a Scandinavian Christmas. Best served outside, around the fire and with frost on the ground. Makes five or six glasses.

What you’ll need

2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
2 star anise
1 vanilla pod
3 cardamom pods
2 black peppercorns
6 tbsp maple syrup
1 lemon
1 orange
1 bottle of good quality red wine

What to do

  1. Place all the spices and maple syrup into a saucepan.
  2. Pare the rind off the lemon and orange and add to the pan.
  3. Pour in about 50ml of red wine and bring all the spices up to a simmer, stirring to combine the maple syrup and so the spices begin to release their aromas. After about five minutes, turn the heat right down and add in the rest of the wine.
  4. Allow to warm on a low heat for about 15 minutes. You want the wine to be warmed through and gently simmering to take on the flavours, but not bubbling or boiling.
  5. Serve in wine glasses or, for peak cosiness, generously sized mugs.