Mulling Syrup

I adore mulled anything. Cider, Wine or even squash and I'm in. Now that it is officially December I can indulge in my addiction with abandon.

I'm a syrup girl more than a spices girl - easier to add to EVERYTHING and the added bonus of much flavour with little alcohol loss when making mulled wine. Before the Recipease Cafe in Brighton closed, it was my go-to place for syrup. Now that it is closed, its only right I make my own.

Start with a pint of water in a medium saucepan, and then add your spices. You can vary it to taste, and make a larger quantity of syrup if you want more, but for my pint I used...

1 orange - juice and zest
Zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime
4 Whole Star Anise
1/2 a whole Nutmeg, grated
2 teaspoons of whole cloves
2 sticks of Cinnamon
3 inch finger of fresh Ginger, roughly chopped.

Heat your spice mix gently to create a "tea", and at this point you can chop and change the spices to suit how you like it - more ginger or more orange or anything else you might like - go for it and make it your own. Once you are happy with how the flavour is coming together, add a pint of sugar. If you want to use a flavoured sugar for this, I say go for it. I used a third vanilla sugar in my syrup and it worked brilliantly.

Dissolve the sugar into the "tea", keeping the heat on, and let it bubble for a little until it goes syrupy and you are happy with it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before you strain the syrup through a sieve into a bottle/jar/however you are keeping it. A funnel can be helpful with this, but if you don't have one first strain into a jug, then pour into your bottle.

And there you have it, your very own syrup for wine, squash or even coffee if that's your jam. As well as being an excellent time-saver when making Festive drinks, its also a great present. Oh and it makes your house smell AMAZING!

Happy Mulling!

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