Mulled wine: the student way

Helen Scott shares her favourite winter drink recipe. 

Mulled wine is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. But is there anything more festive truly than the smell of Christmas spices floating through the house? At least it might fight off that smell of dank washing coming from your clothes rack or last week’s pasta bake still festering on the side.

Use this recipe to have a truly boozy mulled wine recipe that will set you up nicely for pre drinks, be just as acceptable for a civilised evening, or for your student ‘turkey-in-the-bag’ Christmas dinner (which will obviously never be anything near as good as what you’re getting at home). Splash out on the spices rather than the wine itself, as it pretty much tastes all the same when hot.


Serves 6, or 1 if you’re planning on getting wasted. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life.

Two bottles of cheap red wine

250 ml of brandy

One big navel orange with skin peeled off and juiced (in a nice spiral pattern if you can be bothered, otherwise just used a knife to hack randomly)

Either 3 cinnamon sticks

Or 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

About 1 tbsp. of cloves

1 tsp of ground nutmeg

200g of brown sugar (this depends on preference, some people like it a lot sweeter than others. 200g will give you a dry/sweet medium)

Splash of orange juice, or water, depending again on sweetness preferences and if you want to dilute the brandy a bit

  1. Peel the skin off your orange and squeeze some juice in with your sugar to make it into a paste.
  2. Pour your wine into a big pan with add the rest of the squeezed orange juice and the sugar paste.
  3. Add your brandy, orange peel and all your spices
  4. Put pan on low heat and stir well into all sugar is dissolved.
  5. Simmer until it smells really good.
  6. Taste, and add more sugar/water/juice if necessary.
  7. Feel festive and merry!


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