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There is nothing like a nice, warming glass of mulled wine at the time of year! And if you have been visiting the famous Bath Christmas Market you’ll have seen many different options on offer, but here at Sub 13 we have our own recipe, and today we’re going to let you in on the secret.

Glass of Mulled wine at Sub 13

A steaming glass of Sub 13’s mulled wine

We always make a syrup first, and it is a great way to ensure a good extraction of the spices without losing the alcohol, and we wouldn’t want that! The other benefit of making a syrup is that you can make loads in advance and then use it as required or even decant into some nice bottles (try these ones) to give to your friends and family at Christmas.

Somewhere people often go wrong is to think that mulled wine is a good excuse to get rid of some dodgy stuff you were given from work four years ago! In fact, the same rule applies as with cooking: it needs to be drinkable. To be honest, as you’re drinking it you should really use a half-decent bottle. Something medium-to-full-bodied like a Spanish grenache, a southern French red or an Italian Sangiovese would be ideal.

Mulled Wine
Quantities are per bottle of wine used.

Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest of half a lemon
100g granulated sugar
4 cloves
half a cinnamon stick
1 fresh bay leaf (maximum of four if scaling up)
1 vanilla pod
2 cardamom seeds
1 star anise

Combine the juice, zest and all the spices except the star anise with the sugar and a little water or red wine in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until you are left with a nice syrup. At this stage, if you are making straight away, add the wine and the star anise and gently heat through but do not boil. If you are going to store it or give it as a gift, leave strain it into a bottle or bottles and add the star anise. Garnish with orange slices, lemon zest and a cinnamon stick.