Nothing heralds the start of Christmas better than a hearty glass of mulled wine. To ensure you’re suitably filled with festive spirit (plus much merriment), try out Liz Earle’s recipe for serving up some seasonal cheer and reap some great health benefits in the process too.
According to Liz, “The benefits of red wine have been widely publicised in recent years, with most scientists agreeing that, when drunk in moderation, it may help protect the heart, prevent blood clots and strokes and even ward off certain cancers including colon and prostate.
“A glass of red wine contains high amounts of natural polyphenols or antioxidants which not only help our cells fight against free radical damage, but also increase our levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. It also contains procyanidins which help reduce blood pressure and protect against hardening of the arteries.”
A heart-friendly winter warming treat that’ll provide some much-needed respite from the cold too? We’ll certainly toast to that. Here's the wellbeing expert's delicious mulled wine recipe (with a non-alcoholic alternative should you be the designated driver).
Use the below as a guideline, but feel free to add your own additional spices such as vanilla and cardamom.
- 2 oranges, organic (or well scrubbed)
- Peel of 1 lemon (organic, un-waxed or well scrubbed)
- 100g caster sugar
- A generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 6 cloves, plus extra for garnish
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 bottles of fruity inexpensive red wine, preferably organic
- 500 ml water
- 5 star anise
Peel and juice one orange into a large saucepan along with the lemon peel, sugar and all the spices apart from the star anise.
Add just enough water or a little wine to cover the sugar, and then simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to boil for a few minutes to infuse the spices until you have a sticky syrup.
Then add the bottles of wine and star anise to the pan and heat gently until warm. Be careful not to let the mulled wine boil at this stage otherwise the alcohol will burn off, together with many of the healthy benefits of red wine!
Ladle into glasses and decorate with a wedge of orange (studded with a few extra cloves if you wish).
To make a less alcoholic version, simply add a little more orange juice and water. For a non-alcoholic version, replace the red wine with cranberry juice.
For more advice and tips on wellbeing from Liz Earle, head over to www.lizearlewellbeing.com .