The first mulled wine of the season is always something to get excited about.
And what better night for your first hot, clovey vino than a picnic at the top of Ally Pally hill on Bonfire Night?
My friend Tara had the task of mulling the wine and cooking the mini margarita pizzas (which were frozen and from Sainsbury’s but customised with chilli and mushrooms), while I made cookies.
Tara’s mulled wine recipe was loosely based on Nigella’s.
Here is what you need:
Two bottles of red plonk (we used mild Merlot from Sainsos)
An orange cut into semi circles
3 cinnamon sticks
Some more cinnamon
Some sherry (which actually we didn’t have)
Here’s what you do:
Add your wine to a pan with the cinnamon sticks, cloves and oranges.
Simmer over low heat for 10-15 mins – you don’t want to cook the alcohol out.
Taste then add a healthy dash of sherry – and more cinnamon if you fancy it.
Decant into flask if picnicking – or pour into mugs if drinking at home.
Consume and feel yourself overcome by feelings of festive well being.
If picnicking, eat on waterproof blanket under starry sky with mini pizzas and white chocolate and milk chocolate cookies which is my white chocolate and raspberry cookie recipe from before, just without the raspberries (and with 75g each of white and milk chocolate).
The combination of chilli-fuelled pizzas, toasty wine and cookies was verging on explosive, which is more than we could say for the fireworks which save for the odd banger were a right damp squib.