Mulled wine is as essential to Christmas as mince pies – as much for the way the wine and spices, gently simmering on the stove, fill your home with unmistakably festive aromas as anything else. But rather than warming it, ready spiced, from the bottle, we always prefer making it from scratch using a really good red wine (something you’d happily drink on its own). Our recipe is just as you’d expect, but with the addition of fragrant cardamom and maple that instantly call to mind the spiced buns and pastries of a Scandinavian Christmas. Best served outside, around the fire and with frost on the ground. Makes five or six glasses.