The holidays are upon us and I thought it would be nice to put a recipe out there for a festive drink that’s easy to make but will keep you warm too. Cue the mulled Wine! Mulled wine is a drink with its origins in Europe and often associated with the Christmas holidays. It’s as linked to winter as hot chocolate and is the perfect beverage to ward off the winter chills and put you in the holiday spirit.
Mulled wine goes by many names around the world including German Glühwein, Nordic Glögg, Swedish Snaps, Balkan Kuhano Vino, Bulgarian Greyano, Chilean Candola, Polish Grzane, or French Vin Chaud, to name a few. The flavor can vary depending on the region where you drink it as each area has its own recipe. No matter what it is called, mulled wine always includes a few general ingredients. These include:
Red Wine: It wouldn’t be mulled wine without wine, of course. So you’ll want to choose your favorite wine to use for your own recipe at home. I prefer a fruitier, more full-bodied wine for my mulled wine recipe. It makes it much more quaffable. As a result, I usually use a Shiraz or Beaujolais. Even a Merlot or Pinot Noir will do in a pinch. Some recipes call for white wine but I, however, am a purist when it comes to my hot wine and definitely recommend you use only red. You could even try going Portuguese style and make your mulled wine using Port and sweet Madeira.
Fruit: Typically mulled wine includes orange and orange peel. However, some recipes call for apples, lemon, limes, clementines, plums, and even raisins. Additionally, you may add sliced almonds to your mix during boiling and simmering. Just choose your favorite fruit and roll with it. Be sure to include citrus of some sort.
Herbs and Spices: Mulled wine needs herbs and spices to take it from just heated wine to the delicious holiday concoction that it is. Spices used in mulled wine can include orange peel, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppercorns, vanilla pods, lime peel, bay leaves, and cardamom. You won’t want to use all of these at the same time in your recipe but you can use a combination of some of them.
Sweetener: Typically a bit of sweetener is added to mulled wine whether it is sugar, caster sugar, or honey. If you’re using a fortified wine such as port for your mulled wine then I would not add additional sugar.
Hard Spirits: Many mulled wine recipes call for a little something extra and that is usually a hard spirit of some sort. Liquors used in mulled wine can include brandy, rum, bourbon, and Cognac. You don’t have to include any of these in your recipe but they will definitely add a kick.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of mulled wine ingredients, let’s get to the best part…my recipe! My mulled wine is fairly simple and basic. I don’t see any reason to complicate things. This recipe is super easy to make at home and is perfect to sip on in front of a nice warm fire.
Click here for a number of international mulled wine recipes!
Ingredients for Mulled Wine
- 1 liter of red wine of your choice
- 1/4 cup of brandy or other hard spirit of your choice (see list above)
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 8-10 cloves
- 8-10 peppercorns
- 1 tsp of fresh ginger (2 tsp of ground ginger)
- 2 star anise
- 1 orange sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
Preparing Mulled Wine
- Pour the wine and brandy into a stock pot. Heat for about 6-7 minutes.
- Add the honey to the stock pot. Stir until it dissolves. Heat for about 2-3 minutes.
- Combine cloves, peppercorns, ginger, and star anise in a cheese cloth or tea ball. Add to the stock pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat. Add in the orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
- Serve in small coffee or tea mugs.
Want to see how it’s done? Check out the video here!
Looking for more international recipes? I’ve got ya covered. Check them out here!
Do you love mulled wine?
Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.
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