Crispin's easy mulled wine recipe

I've rediscovered the joy of mulled wine over the Christmas period, and thought I'd make a note of my recipe for future reference. I made this up a few days ago, inspired by distant memories, and it turned out lovely (and popular with the ladies of the house). Of course the actual quantities, times and methods can be interpreted with great flexibility, depending on what's in the cupboard and how desperate you are for the finished product.

Zero expensive sachets of mulled wine spices, and zero bottles of gl├╝hwein!

3/4 pint water in a pan

5 cloves

1/2 a stick of cinnamon

1/2 a tsp of mixed spice (omit if you don't like sediment)

1/2 a lemon, scrubbed and sliced

1/2 an orange, scrubbed and sliced

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Bash the fruit a bit to release the juices and pulp.

Then add...

3 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)

1 bottle of red wine (I used Aldi's Baron St Jean but any cheap red will do)

3 tablespoons of cheap brandy (vary according to desired effect). I used Aldi's Napolean Brandy.

Give it a quick stir, and continue heating until it is hot but not scalding. Don't boil the brew.

Serve in handled glasses or pewter.