Nov 12

 'A Feast of Ice & Fire' Mulled wine

“The Old Bear was particular about his hot spiced wine. So much cinnamon and so much nutmeg and so much honey, not a drop more. Raisins and nuts and dried berries, but no lemon, that was the rankest sort of southron heresy...” Clash of Kings

Medieval Mulled Wine

Makes about 4 glasses
Prep: 5 minutes cooking: 20 minutes minimum
Pairs well with *Beef and Bacon Pie or *Roasted Aurochs, and *Spiced Honey Biscuits

Hippocras. Take four ounces of very fine cinnamon, two ounces of fine cassia flowers, an ounce of selected Mecca ginger, an ounce of grains of paradise, and a sixth [of an ounce] of nutmeg and galingale combined. Crush them all together. Take a good half ounce of this powder and eight ounces of sugar [(which thus makes Sweet Powder)], and mix it with a quart of wine. le Viandier de Taillevent, 14th Century

The medieval recipe produces a hearty mulled wine, rich in spices. It is heavy and strong, without the sweetness of modern mulled wine. To match the Old Bear's description, we added raisins, cranberries, and almonds, creating the ideal drink if you are planning to walk The Wall at night.


  • 1 bottle of an inexpensive red wine (Cabernet Saugignon, Malbec, and Pinot Noir are all good choices)
  • 1½ Tbs. Poudre Douce 
  • Handful each of dried cranberries, raisins, and almonds

Bring the wine to a simmer. Stir in spices, and continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After sitting, the spices will create a thick residue which will settle to the bottom.

Using a ladle, serve into individual mugs or other heat-safe vessels.

Southron Mulled Wine – The Modern Twist

Makes about 10 glasses
Prep: 10 minutes cooking: 45 minutes
Pairs well with *Poached Pears, *Rack of Lamb, and *Arya’s Snitched Tarts

The modern recipe comes from the chaplain’s wife at a top British university. It produces a delicious hot wine that, while spicy and rich, is medium bodied and easy to drink. The sweetness of the honey and cane sugar combines brilliantly with spice of the fresh ginger, resulting in an arresting tingle that floods the palate without compromising the other flavors.


  • 2 clementines, halved, or 1 small orange
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 2 bottles of red wine- Shiraz and Cabernet work well
  • 3 cups pulp-free orange juice (1/2 as much orange juice as wine)
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbs. nutmeg
  • 3 1" cubes of fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 4 heaping Tbs. sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shot of brandy, cognac, or Armagnac (optional, but adds a pleasant kick)

Cook's notes: Don't be afraid to meddle with the proportions to suit your taste, adjusting the amounts of honey, ginger, and fruit juice as desired. The best method for adding fresh ginger is to use a zester. Additional sugar or honey can also be added, to make the wine more drinkable for those who are not enduring freezing temperatures. The clementines make delicious boozy treats for the lucky guests still around when the wine runs out.

Stud the clementine halves with the whole cloves, inserting the stem of the clove into the rind of the oranges, leaving the buds protruding. You may need to pierce to flesh of the clementines with a small knife in order to insert the cloves. Float the clementines in the wine, rind down, so that the cloves are suspended in the wine.

Add all of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer, but DO NOT BOIL. Stir often with a whisk. Simmer 5 minutes, reduce the heat such that the wine is kept just below a simmer. Heat for 45 minutes and serve with a ladle.


latest awards

SA Gold Award

Hot Dog and Beef Sirloin Winners

Following two years of being ‘highly commended’, our Helen Browning brand organic hot dogs, have now won ‘Gold’ in the Organic Food Awards. They are amazing, we think – what hot dogs used to be like, before they were made of pig skin and old washing up lines all pulped up together! And Helen’s Beef Sirloin, also usually on the menu here, also won ‘Gold’.


Sustainable Restaurants award

Sustainable Restaurant Association gives 
Helen Browning at The Royal Oak top score for good practice!

Out of about 450 restaurants, hotels and pubs, the SRA has awarded The Royal Oak Three Gold Stars for its sustainable practices. Our pub joins only three other establishments in the country in the top bracket of the SRA’s league table. They have commended our food sourcing, our healthy food on the plate, the way we treat food suppliers, our recycling and, last but not least, the care with which we try to look after customers and staff. You can read more here.


Food For Life logo 

Proud to be a member of the Soil Association’s catering mark supplier scheme that provides assurance to caterers on food and drink issues such as health, animal welfare and the environment.

See the Soil Association’s website for more information.