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Mulled drinks or toddies are great for winter entertaining – there's something really special about sharing steaming hot spiced drinks with your guests, and the smell will waft through the house for hours.

These three mulls are strictly adult-only, as they're all alcoholic, but if you want something child-friendly, or non-alcoholic, swap the alcohol for a fresh fruit juice of your liking, and omit any extra shots in the recipes.

All recipes serve 12

Mulled white wine

Red wine is the typical mull you'll find at Christmas, but a mulled white wine can be just as good. If the weather's unseasonably warm, you can serve this chilled instead of hot.

2 x 750ml bottle dry or medium-dry Riesling
6 strips of lemon peel, pared with a vegetable peeler
2 apples, sliced into rings
4 tsp coriander seed
3 star anise
75g golden caster sugar
125ml elderflower cordial

Place all the ingredients except the elderflower cordial in a saucepan and warm gently over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the elderflower cordial. Pour into glasses, discarding the coriander seeds and lemon peel, and place a slice of apple in each glass.

Chai-style mulled cider

1.5 litres medium-dry cider
2 vanilla pods, split
20 cardamom pods, bruised
3 cinnamon sticks
75g palm or soft brown sugar
6 tbsp double cream (optional)

Place all the ingredients except the double cream in a saucepan and warm over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, for 10-15 minutes or until piping hot but not boiling. Strain, whisk in the cream, if using, then pour into glasses. After a minute or two the cream will separate out slightly, creating a head like on an Irish whisky. Garnish with a shard of the vanilla pod or a piece of cinnamon stick

Honeyed mulled ale

1.5 litres golden ale, such as Badger Golden Champion
6 tbsp honey
15 cloves
¼ nutmeg, freshly grated
75ml honey whisky, such as Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until piping hot, stirring to dissolve the honey. Serve with an extra grating of nutmeg on top and garnish with a clove or two.

 

About the author

Sarah Alcock