As we rapidly approach the lead up to Christmas, we felt that it was only right that we shared our favourite festive mulled wine recipe. This one is courtesy of Jamie Oliver and there is nothing that transports us back to the Alps more than a warming glass of homemade Vin Chaud!
200 g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg , for grating
1 vanilla pod
2 star anise
2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
- Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup.
- When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
Best Ever Hot Chocolate
And we haven’t left the children out; here’s a fantastic recipe, again from Jamie Oliver, for the best ever hot chocolate!
2 pints of semi-skimmed milk
HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
2 tablespoons Horlicks
2 tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons quality cocoa powder
1 pinch ground cinnamon
100 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
- Pour the milk into a large pan, and bring almost to the boil over a medium heat.
- Meanwhile, add all the chocolate mix ingredients to a large jar, finely grating in the chocolate, then give it a good shake to combine.
- You need around 10 heaped tablespoons of the chocolate mix for this amount of milk. Simply spoon the chocolate mix into the hot milk, give it a good whisk and leave to bubble away for a few minutes before serving – you’re looking for that gorgeous, thick, almost claggy, knockout texture.