Monday, 17 December 2012

Mulled Wine

Mrs Ribeye has one of her oldest Russian friends, Katariya, staying with us over the Christmas period, and we are having a lot of fun introducing her to some of our traditional English customs.

I think she thought she might get to spend the afternoon Underneath the Arches after having eaten a lunch of eel pie and mash, while Doin' the Lambeth Walk and dressing like a pearly queen. Er, actually no. Yesterday was spent wandering around Greenwich market (fab), eating a traditional London lunch of sushi (double fab), and then seeing the new Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain (triple fab). In keeping with me Lahndan roots though, we did eat mince pies at 9am and spent most of the day wandering into pubs to drink mulled wine at every single given opportunity.

Apart from calling it 'muled' wine (as in wine that comes from a mule), Katariya was enchanted by our favouritest winter beverage - or maybe enchanted is too strong a word; pissed maybe better. Pissed enough to organise herself a coach trip for today around Oxford, Warwick, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds. IN ONE DAY! Tourists are funny. I myself never succumb to touristy behaviour, of course. I'm looking forward to visiting my Russian in-laws for new year in a few weeks time, and have bought myself a new faux fur ear-flap hat, massive snow boots and padded ski gloves for the trip to -35c Syktyvkar. I am SOOOO going to fit in with the locals! Actually, not really - Mrs Ribeye tells me that her mum wears trainers and a light anorak in winter, which means that I'll be sticking out like a moronic frostbitten thumb. Fun!

Anyway, I'm not sure whether they 'mull' drinks over in Russia, but I'm going to be bringing with me a few essentials to turn the (admittedly delicious as it is) Russian Kabernet into a true winter warmer. Mulled wine is the easiest thing to make, with just a few ingredients. I serve mine in a coffee mug and place any leftovers in a jug in the fridge, ready to be hastily microwaved for emergency doses.

I buy the cheapest red plonk and this drink comes in at a super-reasonable £1 per 200ml dose. Get mulling!

Serves 3-4


1 bottle of red wine
1 whole clementine
1 clove (the spice - not garlic!)
1 cinammon stick
4-5 tablespoons of demerara or caster sugar (to taste)

Stud the clementine with the clove and place into a pan with the rest of the ingredients. Over a low heat, keep stirring the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the kitchen is filled with lovely Christmassy aromas. Make sure you do  not boil, otherwise the alcohol will dissipate. Serve hot with mince pies, four times a day throughout December...

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