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What more introduction does this fragrant, comforting cupful need? 

Time for a Tipple

Some fools try to argue November’s too early to start on the mulled wine. To them I say, if the shops have had Christmas stock in since July, and the neighbours put their fairy lights up the day the Hallowe’en decorations came down, mulled wine in November is our inalienable right as human beings trying to cling to sanity.

Not only that, but it makes the house smell heavenly. So there.

Classic Mulled Wine
Recipe* (Serves 1)
  • Bottle of red wine – any old plonk will do
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 lemons or limes, or 3 oranges, quartered
  • 2 big spoonfuls of honey
  • 2 cups of brandy
  1. Add the red wine, spices, fruit and honey to a pan, bring to a simmer then turn down and leave to cook on low heat for 5 mins.
  2. Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 20 mins with the lid on.
  3. Heat gently (do not boil!) and add brandy. Adjust to desired heat and pour into glasses with handles, or festive mugs.
  4. You can keep any leftovers in the pan with the lid on for a day or two, re-heating as required, but do be careful the fruit doesn’t ferment. That’s a whole different tipple, and one all but the bravest / most foolhardy may regret. I do not recommend it. You have been warned.

For a non-alcoholic version, choose a 0% alcohol wine or a rich black currant squash/cordial mixed with 50% (or less) water.


a blue ship's door with the sign "F.K. BELLE MARLOWE"

F.K. Marlowe is a Shropshire lass who lived in London and Beijing before settling down with her husband, three daughters and rescue pup in Vancouver. She writes horror stories with a tendency to the paranormal, and Young Adult fiction with fangs and sass.

Marlowe doesn’t worry overly much about the placement of semi-colons and the like, having spent far too long pootling about in academia to take them seriously. (She has an Oxford first in English Lit, plus a Master’s and PhD from Leeds). She has, however, discovered that life is the best education for a writer, and plans to continue her studies there as long as possible.


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