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At this time of year, there isn’t much that’s more comforting than wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of something delicious. Except, perhaps, wrapping your hands around a steaming mug of something delicious with booze in it. Mulled wine, a Christmas-party fixture for generations, is just vino (usually red) that’s heated with sugar, spices and sometimes fruit. Like many traditions, this one was born out of necessity: Centuries ago, wine that either had spoiled or was just too terrible to drink was salvaged with spices and sugar. Now, of course, it’s a favourite holiday tipple. Simmer up a pot when you entertain during the festive season – your guests will be toastily happy and your home will smell delicious. Here’s how: 1 x 750 mL bottle of red wine (shiraz and Zinfandel are good options) 1 large orange, sliced 8 whole cloves 1/4 cup sugar 3 cinnamon sticks 1 x 2-inch piece ginger Combine all ingredients in a large pot and gently warm through (avoid boiling) for about half an hour (it needs time for the flavours to really come together), stirring occasionally. Serve in your most stylish mugs. What’s your favourite holiday-party cocktail?


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