Did you know mistletoe is a parasite plant. Mistletoe can only thrive by growing on other trees, absorbing water and food from the host plant. Sounds pretty vampirish so you’d wonder about the pretty green leaved plant with white berries, which looks so pretty hanging over a doorway at home at Christmastime. It’s romantic connotations belie the real nature of this plant! However, we wouldn’t be without a bit over the festive season. Kissing that special someone beneath the mistletoe is a tradition everyone loves. Other than the kissing, there’s a bit more folklore attached to this seasonal greenery. It’s said the mistletoe must not touch the ground between it’s cutting from the main plant and it’s removal after Christmas. Which explains why it is customarily hung from the stalks downwards. Another custom says that every time a man kisses a woman under the mistletoe – he must pluck a berry from the plant. When all the berries have gone – no more kissing! What might help the festive lip bonding is a bit of Dutch Courage in the form of mulled wine. A warming mug of this will set anyone’s heart racing! Simply stir cloves, cinnamon and sugar (to taste) into a bottle of medium bodied red wine and heat gently. A slug of your favourite short tipple won’t go amiss also. Port or brandy is perfect. Float apples and orange slices in the mulled wine and serve in heatproof glasses. A great way to welcome your guests at Christmas, enjoyed with a warm mince pie.