Ohhhh, mulled wine! The second best part of the run up to Christmas! (The first is putting the Christmas tree up whilst dancing around to Wonderful Christmastime, obviously!) I went into town last night with my family to soak up the late night shopping atmosphere (more relaxed than the BUYBUYBUY during the day!) and to sneak ideas for homemade Christmas decorations! They were selling hot mulled wine for £2.50 a cup. Quite expensive, but it was very cold so mum and I happily got some!
The way they were making it was to heat a vat of wine with some clove-studded oranges floating around in it. That's the simple version. The better tasting and more interesting gift idea is to make a spice parcel!
These spice parcels contain a cinnamon stick (cut into two), 30 cloves, 20 allspice berries (aka pimento berries – you might have to find a specialist shop, or they can be bought online HERE), three green cardamom pods and some dried orange peel. I got the recipe from this website.
You tie all the ingredients up inside some muslin, using some white cotton. Then just tie a bow around it to make it look nice. They literally take seconds to make and are an ideal gift to post because it's very light yet festive. To make the mulled wine, the recipient just has to remove the ribbon and heat the spice parcel up in a saucepan containing a bottle of red wine and three tablespoons of sugar.
I'm also giving some local family members a cheap (I usually buy a half price bottle that would normally be around £8 or £9) bottle of red wine with the spice parcel, to make it a bit more exciting! :) Considerably less than £2.50 a cup too!
I'm currently storing these spice parcels in my room. It smells soooo nice!! :D Win win!