In England, it’s cold for at least eleven out of the twelve months of the year and with pretty much half of the population evidently exhibiting an alcohol problem, it’s only fair that each and every non-teetotaller has easy access to hot alcoholic beverages rather than just those that are iced or served at room temp. And yes, I know it’s not quite Christmas, but who said mulled wine should be restricted only to this national holiday.
I think my point in making it available to the constantly cold citizens of the UK is more than valid, in fact in makes perfect sense! As a Londoner (well, ex-Londoner), I for one would love it if my local pub served hot mulled wine all year round, heck, I’d be there every bloody day so a message to all the boozers out there, if you want to up your sales, just stick mulled wine on the menu and I’m sure you’ll see a peak (apologies if not- I have no idea what it’s like to run a bar or pub so maybe everything I’m saying is merely bullshit – BUT maybe it’s not. I guess there’s only one way to find out.)
Anyway, potentially bad advice aside, as a dietitian, I’m also an uber fan of the whole 5-a-day message, not that I wish to enforce my obsession upon anyone else, but I wanted to give my guilty pleasure that added health factor, so of course, dump a fruit in, job done.
If you’re going to cook a fruit, pears are one of the best options. That soft, grainy, yet slightly crunchy texture poached in a sweet broth of your choosing is transformed by the hot liquid, into a squishy-yet-al-dente sweet ball of yum that has the ability to absorb each and every one of its surrounding flavours and as a red wine fan, naturally this alcohol will act as my poaching medium.
- 4 large pears peeled
- 1 bottle red wine
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 500ml orange Juice
- 2 oranges sliced into wedges
- 7-8 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 100g sugar
- Place all ingredients into a deep saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes, turning pears every so often.
- Remove the pears and serve hot alongside a glass of the mulled wine.
If you want to push the boat out, melt some dark chocolate in the mulled wine to make a thick, spiced chocolate sauce and drizzle over the pears.