vin chaud, glühwein, gløgg, glögi, mulled wine – regardless of the language or country, hot wine flavoured with spices (and sometimes other spirits) is a classic drink for the holidays where it gets colder in the winter.  i definitely had my share at Christmas markets, pubs and bars in Europe the past couple of weeks, but it’s a tradition i think we need more of here in Canada :)

not only is it a nice option to serve if you’ve got guests coming round, your home will also smell warm and inviting!

here’s a fairly simple recipe for Mulled Wine from Jamie Oliver:

• 2 clementines
• peel of 1 lemon
• peel of 1 lime
• 250g (about 1 cup) caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 fresh bay leaves
• 12-15 gratings from fresh nutmeg (or a couple of pinches of ground nutmeg if that’s all you have)
• 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
• 2 star anise
• 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine


– peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime

-squeeze juice from clementines into a small bowl

-put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat

-add the pieces of peel and the clementine juice

-add cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, nutmeg and vanilla

-stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar

-let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to a boil

-keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture becomes a nice thick syrup (Jamie’s notes: “the reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do 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.” makes sense to me!)

-when your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add star anise and both bottles of wine

-gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, it will be warm and delicious and ready to ladle into glasses and serve

cheers to that! and happy holidays :)