This mulled wine is a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you've got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too.
-1 lemon and 1 lime
-200 g caster sugar
-6 whole cloves
-1 stick cinnamon
-3 fresh bay leaves
-1 whole nutmeg, for grating
-1 vanilla pod , halved lengthways
-2 star anise
-2 bottles red wine
Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
Add cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg.
Add halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
Simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and 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 – this creates a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It's important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you'll burn off the alcohol.
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 glasses and serve.
Thanks to Jamie Oliver for the recipe. Tried and tested by the Webteam. Always drink responsibly (Christmas Day excepted.)