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Mulled Wine In The Brecon Beacons: James' Famous Recipe

A deliciously spicy winter warmer from Gliffaes’ owner, James Suter.


There is tradition at here at Gliffaes Hotel that on Christmas Eve, after dinner, as many locals as can fit into our South Wales hotel come to join the residents in a round of carol singing which is led by a local farmer and accompanied by his wife on the piano. Halfway through the proceedings we serve mince pies, sausage rolls and make a collection for a nominated local charity usually raising £400-£500.

The other tradition is that we will have mulled wine on offer over the bar at our Brecon accommodation. Due to the amount I have to make I have to begin heating this up a couple of hours before the event as the key to success with mulled wine is not to let it boil or get hot too quickly. You just have to keep tasting it!

So here is my recipe. It is fairly robust, so you can leave out the spirits if you want a slightly milder drink (but do keep the port).

Serves 6 glasses 


One bottle of robust red wine.

(Chilean merlot or a cheapish new world fruity red)

150 ml of ruby port.

70 ml of brandy

70 ml of triple sec

(Orange liqueur of which Grand Marnier is one, although you can find cheaper, look for Bols Triple Sec)

2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar

1 bay leaf

a pinch of all spice

a couple of cinnamon sticks

5 cloves


Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and heat up gently, but remember, do not let your festive mulled wine boil. Ladle into wine glasses and serve with a slice of orange. Merry Christmas!

So that’s how you make the perfect glass of mulled wine. If you fancy a tot of our favourite tipple, then why not book into one of the best places to stay in Wales this Christmas? Book here for our best rates, or give us a call on 01874 730 371 to enquire.