Mulled wine is one thing that HAS to make winter months great rather than draining. There is nothing better than a mug of the warm red stuff ones the nights get longer and now it seems it's good for us too.
Liz Earle, one of our favourite skincare and make up brands has let us into a little secret as to why a glass of mulled wine is good for us.
Liz Earle is the creator of the award-winning Liz Earle Beauty Co., mother of five, organic farmer and more recently founder of Liz Earle Wellbeing and this is what she says about mulled wine.
"The benefits of red wine have been widely publicised in recent years, with most scientists agreeing that, when drunk in moderation, it may help protect the heart, prevent blood clots and strokes, and even ward off certain cancers including colon and prostate.
A glass of red wine contains high amounts of natural polyphenols or antioxidants which not only help our cells fight against free radical damage but also increase our levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. It also contains procyanidins which help reduce blood pressure and protect against hardening of the arteries. Studies have shown that red wine may boost brain power too, especially for older women, although the jury’s out as to whether this benefit comes solely from wine or includes other alcohol. Don’t forget, it’s only a glass or two that may keep the doctor away, not a whole bottle!!
Adding spices such as cinnamon, cloves and star anise to the red wine (as you do with mulled wine) also boosts our antioxidant levels. "
Below is a recommend recipe from Liz for mulled wine we can all go home and make.
Use the below as a guideline, but feel free to add your own additional spices such as vanilla and cardamom.
· 2 oranges, organic (or well scrubbed)
· Peel of 1 lemon (organic, un-waxed or well scrubbed)
· 100g caster sugar
· A generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
· 3 sticks cinnamon
· 6 cloves, plus extra for garnish
· 2 fresh bay leaves
· 2 bottles of fruity inexpensive red wine, preferably organic
· 500 ml water
· 5 star anise
Peel and juice one orange into a large saucepan along with the lemon peel, sugar and all the spices apart from the star anise. Add just enough water or a little wine to cover the sugar, then simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil for a few minutes to infuse the spices until you have a sticky syrup. Then add the bottles of wine and star anise to the pan and heat gently until warm. Be careful not to let the mulled wine boil at this stage otherwise the alcohol will burn off, together with many of the healthy benefits of red wine! Ladle into glasses and decorate with a wedge of orange (studded with a few extra cloves if you wish). To make a less alcoholic version, simply add a little more orange juice and water. For a non-alcoholic version, replace the red wine with cranberry juice.
For more advice and tips on wellbeing from Liz Earle, head over to www.lizearlewellbeing.com.
For more details and tickets to the LiveTwice candlelit carol concert and a chance to meet Liz and the Wellbeing team please visit www.livetwice.org/shop/christmas/candlelit-carols-adult/