The smell of mulled wine wafting through your kitchen can mean only one thing - Christmas has arrived.
This easy recipe has everything a good mulled wine needs - cinnamon, cloves, orange juice and a glug of brandy.
Did you know the first record of wine being spiced and heated is in Plautus's play Curculio, written during the 2nd century? Those Roman's knew a good thing or two!
2 x 750ml bottles medium-bodied red wine
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half, plus more to garnish (optional)
100ml smooth orange juice
1 large orange, sliced into thin half-moons, pips removed
2 lemons, sliced into thin half-moons, pips removed
Caster sugar to taste (about 4 tsp)
5 tbsp brandy
Pour the wine into a large pan and add the spices, orange juice, citrus slices and sugar. Heat over a low-medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and bring the mulled wine to just under simmering point. Don’t let it boil.
Taste as you go, adding more sugar and spice if you want. Add the brandy at the end, then stir and ladle into thick glass tumblers, including some cloves and citrus slices in each glass. Serve with a whole cinnamon stick in each glass to stir while sipping, if you like.