As we move into the winter months, we can expect to see the temperatures drop further and those beautiful British frosts sit throughout the day, whilst the ice steadily melts away, once the suns up. In the run up to Christmas, we are submitted to the shortest days of the year, when the light just fades away before you have time to blink. Whilst depressing that we can’t all be out in our gardens enjoying the winter sun for a few more hours, make the most of this time to cosy up inside with a hot toddy, a mulled wine or a homemade luxurious hot chocolate.

Here’s our favourite recipes..

Homemade Mulled Wine

A very popular and traditional drink in the UK, especially in the social circles of the countryside. As the drink has evolved with tastes and fashions of the time, there is no specific recipe for Mulled Wine, however it usually involves a combination of citrus fruits and spices, with some variations adding Brandy and Port for additional alcohol content and flavour.

You will need:

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine

Instructions can be found here…

Hot Toddy

Whether you’re fighting off a cold or you just fancy something to warm you, to your toes, a hot toddy is the grandfather of all hot cocktails. Also known as a Hot Whisky in Ireland, a hot toddy is traditionally drunk around the fireplace on a chilly evening, before retiring for the night, or in wet or cold weather.

You will need:

  • Boiling water, to fill a mug
  • 4  Cloves
  • 1  Lemon twist
  • 2 tsp Demerara sugar or brown sugar
  • 14oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz Bourbon, rye whiskey, Irish whiskey or scotch

Instructions can be found here…

Luxury Hot Chocolate

For the children, we’ve picked out our favourite hot chocolate recipe. It’s a biggie, so get prepared with all the ingredients beforehand!

You will need:

  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints milk
  • 150g/5½oz plain chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • sugar, to taste
  • freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting
  • Marshmallows, for decoration (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 170g unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) water
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) golden syrup
  • 5ml instant coffee, dissolved in 15ml boiling water
  • 15g butter

Hot chocolate instructions can be found here:

To make the sauce, melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water (ensure the water does not boil) and then add the other ingredients and stir until it looks the correct thickness. Pour over your hot chocolate

Pop your whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate, marshmallows on top and then pour your sauce over the hot chocolate for the finishing touch. If you fancy a alcoholic version, add in a shot of Baileys or Brandy to give it a little more kick. Enjoy!

Tag us at @countryfieldgardens to show us your home brews!