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How to Make Mulled Wine

How to Make Mulled Wine


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If you're feeling the holiday spirit or just deep into a Game of Thrones binge, you may get the hankering for a citrusy, spiced cup of warm Mulled Wine.

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Mulled Wine is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for centuries and there are many different ways to make it. Some people add brandy, some people add apple cider. Most everyone adds some sort of citrus and spices. This version is a quick and budget-friendly version—no zesting, no buying of brandy, no juicing. Just good old-fashioned spiced hot wine.

Mulled Wine Recipe

Ingredients:

-1 bottle red wine-2 oranges-1 lemon-2 cinnamon sticks (more for garnish)-3 star anise-4 cloves-pinch of nutmeg-3 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:

Slice oranges and lemons into wheels. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let all the ingredients steep for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with an orange slice and cinnamon stick. Makes 4 servings.

Look for a wine that's fruity. The beauty of mulled wine is that the spices and citrus mask any undesirable flavors. Don't waste your money on a bottle of expensive wine—the cheap stuff works just fine. I used Cabernet, but a Syrah or Merlot would also work.

You can use this recipe as a base and adapt it to your liking. Don't like the licorice flavor from star anise? No problem, leave it out or pick something else. Using honey or brown sugar instead of regular sugar will impart a caramel sweetness. The possibilities are endless.


Make Your Own Mulled Wine (or Cider)

This holiday favorite is guaranteed to get smiles out of your guests. If you’re a mulled wine virgin, no worries -- it’s super simple to whip up a delicious batch in no time.

Mulled wine can be red or white -- just pick your favorite variety -- but most are made with red wine. Once you've picked up a bottle, it's up to you to heat it and throw in some cinnamon, anise, allspice, clove or other flavorings to give it that specialness. The majority of the calories come from the wine and the cider you use as a base but with it comes wine's much-touted flavonoids. Apple cider also contains the antioxidant vitamin C and potassium, which is good for heart health.

This drink is unbelievably easy to make! Pour a bottle of red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or white wine like Pinot Grigio and apple cider in a large pot and toss in your flavorings of choice. Try cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ginger or nutmeg. A touch of lemon or orange peel or dried fruit is another simple addition. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Before serving, remove the spices by pouring mixture through a sieve. Still not sure? Watch this Ina Garten video to see how easy this really is.

You can also make mulled wine by running your mixture through a coffee percolator this way all your spices stay separated from the liquid. Another method is to use a tea ball, which works well when using whole spices. You’ll want to break up the whole spices and ground the nutmeg for the best flavor and leave the spice-filled tea ball in your mug or saucepan for at least 5 minutes. If alcohol is not an option, mulled cider (created the same way as mulled wine) is the way to go.


The mulled wine was easy to pull together, but it required about 40 minutes to make, which was longer than the other two recipes I tested.

I poured the wine and honey in a pot, then I put the loose spices in a handy bag called a "soup sock" — which is similar to cheesecloth — and tossed that into the pot as well.

Then I added the freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices along with the zests and let the entire mixture simmer for half an hour.

I added the brandy at the end of the 30 minutes, but not before reserving some of the mulled wine to test without it.

Although it took a while, the process was mostly hands-off.


Mulled Wine Recipe

  • 1 bottle full-bodied white wine or medium-bodied red wine
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy
  • ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 orange slices

Method: Heat wine and brandy in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Whisk in sweetener until incorporated. Add spices. Heat for 20 minutes. Keep warm and covered until serving.


What’s the best wine for mulled wine?

Have you ever stood in the supermarket aisle wondering which wine would be best to mull? Wine expert Raul Diaz shares his tips when it comes to choosing the perfect bottle of red wine for making mulled wine…

‘Malbec is a very popular choice for mulled wine. The wine has a soft texture with lots of black fruits and vanilla notes. It also has great acidity which will make the mulled wine easy to drink.’ says Raul Diaz, author of Wines & Recipes. He also recommends a Shiraz with its intense flavours of blackberries and black cherries, as well as being full bodied. It has spices and chocolate notes that will improve the taste of the mulled wine.

Primitivo is also a great option. One of the best grapes from the south of Italy, Primitivo has some jammy red and black fruits. It also has sweet spices and a touch of oak that go well with the mulled wine’s own spices.


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JAMIE’S MULLED WINE

2 clementines
1 lemon
1 lime
200g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 vanilla pod
2 star anise
2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine

  1. Use a speed-peeler to shave large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime.
  2. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
  3. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil.
  4. Keep the mix on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup.
  5. It’s important to make a syrup base first because the sugar and spices need to get quite hot, but if you heat them this high once you’ve added the wine, you’ll burn off the alcohol.
  6. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine, and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.

Mulled Wine

  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 orange or 2 mandarins, finely sliced
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bottles red wine, such as merlot
  • ½ cup orange liqueur (optional)

Bring all ingredients except wine and liqueur to a simmer in a large pot, stirring until sugar has dissolved (about 15 minutes). Add wine and liqueur, if using, reduce heat to low and allow to warm through without boiling (5-10 minutes). Strain off fruit, spices and bay leaves if desired, or leave them in the mix. Serve hot.

Alcohol-Free Mulled Wine

To make a delicious warming drink for children and drivers, use grape juice instead of wine and leave out the orange liqueur.


Mulled Wine: The Warm, Fall Beverage to Serve at Your Next Dinner Party

As the temperature drops, your desire to get cozy is sure to be on the rise. Though spiked hot chocolate and hot toddies are likely already in your rotation during the fall, you may have been missing out on another highly customizable warm alcoholic drink: mulled wine.

Take It From a Pro A Sonoma County Wine Expert Picks Her 10 Favorite Bottles Mulled wine is a drink made by heating wine (usually red) and infusing it with spices, sometimes via tea bags or packets made of cheesecloth. Raisins, cinnamon sticks, and fruit are also sometimes thrown into the mix for additional flavor. When searching for a mulling spice blend in store, you’ll notice that it’s a mixture of other ingredients that you recognize—nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and peppercorn are all common components.

Even though wine is a key element of most recipes, teetotalers and kids can get in on the fun, too. Because mulling simply means warming something and adding spices and sweetening to it, non-alcoholic versions of mulled wine can be made with juice instead of vino.

Although technology has led to easier ways to make the beverage (it’s a great excuse to pull your slow cooker out from the back of your cabinets!), the drink has a long, rich history. The ancient Greeks and Romans used to boil down higher quality wine and then mix it with bad wine to improve the quality of the subpar supply. Eventually, additions like honey and spices were mixed in, evolving into what we think of as mulled wine today.

Crock-Pot, $35 on Amazon

A festively colored Crock to make your holiday mulled wine.

Now, many different countries and cultures have their versions of the toasty and festive drink, from Glögg in Sweden to vin chaud in France to Caribou in Canada. With autumn in full swing, it’s the perfect time to get a mug of your own. Read ahead for some you’ll want to try.

German Mulled Wine (Glühwein)

Repurpose dry red wines you have hanging around your home into this German cold weather staple. The addition of brandy means this version packs quite a punch. Get our German Mulled Wine recipe.


How to Make Campfire Mulled Wine

The wintery version of sangria, a camping mug full of mulled red wine is all we need to keep warm.

There are few occasions that can’t be made better with a bottle of wine. But during the winter months, we find ourselves searching for something a little cozier. Enter warm mulled wine, or glühwein as it’s called in Germany. This spiced red wine cocktail is the perfect way to keep warm during this winter and smooth out any unexpected wrinkles that the holidays might throw your way.

It doesn’t take much to make: a bottle (or two) of red wine, some oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and few drizzles of maple syrup. Simmer in a big pot over low heat until all the flavors start to blend together. When it’s ready, it tastes like warm, liquid comfort in a mug.

This is the perfect cocktail to try while doing some late-season camping or at the cabin during a winter ski trip. When the weather is brisk, this drink will be your best friend.

Why Mulled Wine is the Perfect Winter Cocktail

‣ Mulled wine is perfect for large groups. Just fill up a big pot and let it simmer away. The long the ingredients have to simmer together, the most robust and complex the flavor.

‣ This cocktail can be made over any heat source. A two-burner camp stove, an open campfire, or even on top of a wood burning stove.

‣ This is a very flexible drink that allows some creative liberty. You can use any cheap red wine you can get your hands one. Add winter-themed spices plus whatever sweetener you have available, and you’re good to go.

Mastering the Technique

‣ Use the whole cloves to stud the rind of the oranges. This will keep them attached to the fruit and out of your drink when it comes time to serve.

‣ Avoid accidentally boiling the wine. You’re looking for a very low simmer just enough to keep everything warm. Once it starts to boil you’re just losing alcohol.

Mulled Wine Equipment

‣ The number one equipment mistake when making this recipe is forgetting to bring along a corkscrew! We use this 2-in-1 pocket knife/corkscrew from Opinel, which is on our person most of the time we go camping. #priorities

‣ Use a pot that can hold at least 40 fl oz (5 cups). A 750ml bottle of red wine comes out to be a little over 25 fl oz. Once you add the fruit slices it will fill the bottom up to about 32 fl oz. Go with the big pot, so you can come back for seconds!



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