Perhaps my routes as a Medical Herbalist started with making home remedies, such as my Dad’s mulled wine which he claimed was a cure for colds.  It tastes divine and is rather alcoholic so after a large mug you are probably going to feel much better than you did before.

This recipe takes a little time, as first I create an infusion with spices and brandy.  Steeping the spices for a while helps to bring out the best aromatic flavours.  Then we use this infusion with the wine and a few other ingredients to make it really fruity too.

Start now and you will have this recipe ready to warm up and take to the hills to watch fireworks on Bonfire night, and you can save the extra brandy for Christmas liqueurs.

This recipe serves 4-6 people.

Infused Brandy

Infuse spices in 300ml of brandy. The alcohol extracts essential oils and other medicinal and flavourful compounds.

spices: 4 cinnamon sticks, 2 inches fresh chopped ginger, 8 cloves

place in a glass jar with a lid, and shake a little daily for 2 weeks before using in the mulled wine recipe

Mulled wine

2 cups red wine – don’t be too cheap, a better wine makes a better product in the end

2 cups of fresh orange juice (concentrate will do if you don’t have it fresh)

4 measures of brandy infused with herbs

2 measures of cointreau

zest of 1 orange


Heat the mix gently, never boiling as you loose the alcohol – heaven forbid! Allow to warm through for 10 minutes to encourage the spices and fruit to blend their flavours. Strain the mixture into 4 mugs. If you wish to garnish it use a slice of orange and an unbroken stick of cinnamon, as anything smaller could get stuck in the mouth or throat.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as me – feel free to experiment and add your own twist – if you discover anything particularly delightful do let us know we love to share your ideas too.

More recipes can be found in Sorrell’s book


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