Winter is finally here and the temperatures have dropped below zero so I thought a warming brew would be an appropriate topic for this month.

Hot or mulled wine is brewed in all European countries and therefore comes under many names and forms. Some make it red, some make it white, some with cinnamon and some with rum, some with schnapps and some with orange but they all make a hot alcoholic brew that rhymes with after-ski for me.

There’s nothing better than sitting around a table swapping stories of powder turns and black runs. My favorite recipe has been around for years and is with red wine, has orange and cinnamon and is not too alcoholic so my Scandinavian friends will probably be disappointed as every Glögg recipe I found has an incredible amount of alcohol added to the mix.

Start with a bottle of red wine, not too cheap, but no point in anything too expensive either as the mix of spices will cover up any complexities an expensive wine might have. Warm the wine in a pot, add about 60 grams of sugar and stir. Don’t let the wine boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, add half a cup of orange or lemon juice, sliced orange and a few cloves, two cinnamon sticks and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. That’s it, so no excuses for not giving it a go!

Now, if you’re entertaining Scandinavian friends or feel like adding a bit of fun to the night, or both, you can add 200ml of white alcohol, rum or fruit schnapps. If you’re here in Verbier, Pear Williams would be appropriate, Danes like Akvavit, Swedes will have it with white rum and they may expect a few raisins thrown in for good luck.

If you’re feeling lazy or out on the hill, hot wine is served all over the resort, every mountain restaurant has their own brew.

So here is the list of ingredients for one bottle. If you need two, just double the quantities etc. The key is to not rush, don’t boil and taste as you go.

1 Bottle of red wine 75cl

60 grams of white or brown sugar (3/4 cup)

½ cup of orange juice

Sliced orange

2 cinnamon sticks

4 Cloves