A few years ago, I was in England a couple of days before Christmas. It was the dead of winter and temperatures had dipped to 3 C. It was so cold, my entire body felt like a glacier and even through thick gloves, my hands were like icicles.
So my husband and I stopped at a bar and that is when I had my first glass of mulled wine. It smelt of spices, festivities and Christmas miracles and was hot and sating with delicious spice-enhanced undercurrents. It also had the immediate effect of warming me to the core and cheering me up in one fell swoop.