Traditionally served piping hot in the colder northern hemisphere, this Christmas drink oozes festive cheer. For a cooler variation in our sunnier climes, try it chilled with an extra ice cube or two. It’s easy to make in advance and is set to be a Christmas party success.


COOK: 2 minutes preparation (plus chill for 2 hours at least)


SERVES: 4 - 6




  • 100g light muscovado sugar

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 4 cloves

  • 150ml water

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 mandarins

  • 150ml Cointreau

  • 750ml bottle light red wine (try Beaujolais)

  • Twist of orange zest and a star anise, to serve




  1. Put 100g light muscovado sugar in a pan with 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 150ml water. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  2. Simmer for 2 mins, then pour into a large jug and leave to cool. Add 1 lemon and 2 mandarins, both thinly sliced, to the jug along with 150ml Cointreau and a 750ml bottle light red wine, such as a Beaujolais. Stir well, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight if you can.

  3. Serve over ice, with a twirl of orange zest and a star anise.


Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2008