If it is heat you are after, we do have another spice up our sleeve and that is ginger which is a member of the same plant family as cardamom and turmeric. Fiery yet sweet, it has been used to flavour food since forever and was presumably a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who is said to have come up with the gingerbread man, a popular Christmas treat. Which brings us neatly back to Christmas and a recipe for mulled wine. We think the secret, as we do with everything we make, is to use the best ingredients so don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest wine and think it will not matter since you are heating it and adding spices. As we have seen, spices add to the pleasure of a taste, they shouldn’t dominate. The choice of spice is up to you but usually recipes include cinnamon, star anise, cloves and nutmeg. You could add cardamom or ginger.