A traditional favourite in winter, mulled wine is a great way to enjoy a bottle of red on a cold night. This recipe should take around 30 minutes to prepare and will make one glass each for four people -- simply double the recipe if you have more guests or want to continue the festive fun!
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- Orange and lemon peel (about ½ of each)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 5 cloves
- 1 bottle fruity red wine (Merlot or Cabernet work well)
- Place the sugar, peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into a large pot or pan.
- Pour in about 200 millilitres of the red wine and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil for about five minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for two to three minutes.
- Add the rest of the wine (one full bottle, or 750 millilitres, in total) and increase the heat again so the mixture is hot, but not boiling.
- Strain into a heat-proof punch bowl. You can choose to garnish by throwing the lemon and orange peel back into the bowl, or leave as it is.
- Serve immediately in mugs or heatproof glasses.
Basic Irish coffee
The combination of the whiskey and the coffee make for a delicious after-dinner cocktail. This will taste exceptional if you have access to top quality coffee, otherwise substitute with instant.
- 200 millilitres Irish whiskey
- 600-800 millilitres pre-made coffee
- 4 heaped teaspoons brown sugar
- 250 millilitres thickened cream
- Pour the whiskey, coffee and sugar into a jug or a bowl, and stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour into individual glasses.
- Whip the cream with an electric beater, then spoon a generous dollop on the top of each drink.
Rich hot chocolate
Who can say no to a mug of hot chocolate on a cold night? Beware that this concoction is super rich, so add more milk to suit your taste if necessary.
- 4 cups milk
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup chocolate, chopped
- Place the milk, cocoa powder and sugar in a pan and warm on medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
- Break the chocolate into squares and stir into the mixture until it's fully melted without any lumps.
- Turn up the heat so the mixture is hot but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, fill four mugs with boiling water, let stand for a minute or so, then empty.
- Fill each warmed mug with the hot chocolate mixture and top with a marshmallow (or two).