I am a great believer of seizing the moment, and basically giving in to your urges. Which is how I happened to making mulled port on a week night. I know it should be a weekend drink. I know it probably ought to be a Christmas drink. I know I should probably be attempting some restraint given it's only the end of my first working day of the week (with four more to go and engineering works promising the week to get much worse...).
And yet, it felt like it should be done. It was the first truly cold day today. With a thick frost and icy puddles accompanying my walk to the station, and with two layers, newly installed heating and numerous trips up flights of stairs failing to keep the cold at bay at work.
So I got into my pyjamas, and followed a whim. A hint of spice here, a dash of brandy there, a squeeze of lemon and a little heat. It was easy, and warming and the perfect thing to accompany a little taster of English cricket before the eagerly awaited Ashes tests begin.
It might not be the thing for every evening, but if you need a little warmth a hint of the festivities to come, crack open the port early and treat yourself. A little one can't hurt.
Mulled Port - Makes two small but potent servings.
1/4 tsp mixed spice
5 whole cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 tbsp of ginger wine
1 tbsp of brandy
squeeze of lemon
Place all the ingredients in a small pan and heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. keep warm for five minutes to release the spices, but do not get it hot enough to even simmer. Cool slightly and pour into thick glass tumblers. Drink.
I'm sure it would be amazing with a twist of orange and some juice in place of the lemon, I just didn't have any.