‘Tis the season to get mulling. That simple glass of red we’ve enjoyed all year is now blinged up with orange and spices – and we absolutely love it. The taste is richly warming: perfect after a winter walk or clutched in a mug at a cold Christmas market. At Dexter & Mason, we tend to think with our noses, and we love the smell every bit as much as the flavour.

In fact, we love it so much, that we’ve created a Mulled Wine scented candle in its honour. The warm claret tones mingle with zingy orange and woody spices – just like the real thing. As we’ve discussed before, smell is closely linked to memory, and mulled wine is full of scents we associate with Christmas. The citrus scents evoke memories of satsumas and that orange in the toe of the Christmas stocking. Woody spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves remind us of Christmas cake and mince pies baking in the oven.

If you like the zesty notes the best, accompany your mulled wine with our Spiced Orange candle. This contains similar oils to the Mulled Wine fragrance, but the balance is different. We’ve increased the orange and toned down the spices; and this adjustment has created a scent that isn’t just for the festive season. Love the spicy smell of the cinnamon and cloves? Our Christmas Spice scented candle brings these woody scents to the forefront. If you’d like to spend Christmas with a gentle background scent of mulled wine, try our new reed diffuser.

We’ve been talking about the scents of mulled wine; however, there are all sorts of gorgeous variants on this favourite festive tipple. Try cider as a change from red wine, or go Swedish with a glass of Glögg. This warming wine has port and brandy splashed in: no wonder its name means “glow”. Virgin versions include cloudy apple juice or cranberry juice: both are delicious.

Prefer white to red? We found this lovely mulled white wine recipe, that combines the traditional flavours with a gentler wine. Rosé fan? Don’t save it for the summer. Mull it with the usual spices, and splash in some crème de cassis: festive perfection.

On the whole, we reckon that you can’t beat the classic recipe. Here’s how we mull our wine at Dexter & Mason. We take…

  • A bottle of full-bodied red wine (don’t scrimp on this. We’re not being medieval here, and using spices to disguise a rough bottle)
  • 2 oranges, zested (in strips) and squeezed, and a third for garnish
  • 1 lemon, ditto (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 60g brown sugar

Then we like to keep it simple. Throw everything into a pan with about half a litre of water, and gently warm until the sugar dissolves. Add a splash of brandy for an extra warming effect, then simmer with the lid on for about an hour. Strain before serving, and add a slice or two of orange.

Light your Mulled Wine candle, feet up, and enjoy. Merry Christmas!