It’s that time of year again and hasn’t it come around quick! Congratulations to those whose Christmas presents are all wrapped up, you deserve to put your feet up in front of a toasty log fire and sit back with a glass of mulled wine.
If you’ve never made mulled wine before you’re in for a treat. Not only is it tastier than the cheap bottled stuff it’s very easy to make from ingredients you’ll probably have in your spice collection.
To heat it up - Pick your pan
Depending on the size of your batch, how many guests you’re catering for, and how squiffy you feel like getting we suggest you save energy and adjust your vessel accordingly.
For 1 bottle - A chef’s pan or saucepan works nicely.We love how fast and evenly tri-ply cookware heats up.
For 2-3 bottles - A 4L casserole pot is perfect.
Under the unique double-walled lid of this pan, your wine will heat up quickly and efficiently.
For 4 bottles of wine - An enamelled cast iron dutch oven
The best at retaining heat when the hob is turned off Thus keeping your wine servable for second and third helpings.
For up to 7 bottles - Get the stock pot out!
Well done that’s quite the crowd. This will do the trick (see below).
This ensemble of ingredients has been tried, tested, and makes a deliciously complex treat to welcome guests into your home or to unwrap presents with.
Unlike most recipes, our twist here is to make up a batch of syrup while simmering to add before serving. This way you can tailor the drink to individual sweetness preferences which can range from “I’m sweet enough already thanks,” to “a few spoons full of sugar help the alcohol go down”.
If you do wish to add syrup to the main batch you can easily, splosh, stir, taste, repeat until your taste buds are satisfied. Start with 50ml of our syrup recipe below and increase to the desired amount stirring through.
Any nice dry red will do the trick. Malbecs, merlots, and cab savs are all great. There’s no need to look too high up the shelf when choosing a wine, something around the £5 mark works wonderfully. A simple rule for some guidance: If you wouldn’t cook with it then don’t mull with it.
Spices & flavourings…
Per bottle of wine:
- 2 Small Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Star anise
- 4 Cloves
- 4 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Pound sized coins of fresh ginger
- 1 Lemon peel
- 1 Orange peel
- Half an orange juice
For the Sugar syrup
- (3 parts white granulated : 1 part demerara : 2 parts water)
- Blend together in a food processor until all the granules have dissolved
- Alternatively, simmer and stir in a saucepan until all the granules have dissolved.
Serve it up
Mulled wine is of course, a hot and warming beverage. Serving in a wine glass could be a big mistake. Make sure your vessel of choice is heatproof. A cute teacup and saucer is one way to add some wow. Dad’s favourite coffee mug or if you have the thick glassware used to serve Irish coffee or baileys hot chocolate in, great! Allow your drink to cool down from boiling point before ladling up.
Why not fill up a reusable coffee mug before jauntily heading off on a walk or to a Christmas market?
Mulled wine will continue infusing as long as the spices are still mixed in. To avoid bitter flavours from taking over, strain or fish them out with a sieve from your mulled wine after 30-40 minutes. You can save the wine for later by pouring it into the bottle it came from.
Not at all necessary but a lovely touch to the masterpiece. Try any of the below
- Orange Wheel / slice
- Cinnamon Stick
- Orange or lemon peel twist.
- Sprig of rosemary
- Star anise.
Peel your citrus fruits with a vegetable peeler leaving as little of the white pith on the peel as possible (this adds a nasty bitterness). Slice your ginger into three pound-coin-sized pieces skin on skin off, it’s up to you.
Pour your wine into your chosen pan and add in the rest of the ingredients (except the orange juice) and stir.
Bring the mixture to a simmer being careful not to boil, then keep on a low simmering heat for 20-30minutes, add the fresh orange juice in the last 5 minutes.
With this fantastic mulled wine as a base, you can delve deeper into mulled wine flavour exploration.
For added punch and a truly artisanal mulled wine experience, try adding a splash of any of the following.
- Cognac or brandy - ( to make up for the evaporated alcohol)
- Cherry Brandy - (for a black forest gateau)
- Amaretto or Apricot brandy - (for a marzipan finish)
- Fig liqueur - (cause we all want some figgy pudding)
- Chocolate liqueur / Creme de cacao - (Mmm chocolate and wine)
- Creme de cassis / Creme de Mure - (Ribena lovers this is for you!)
- Cointreau / Orange curacao - (to spruce up that orange essence)
- Ginger liqueur - (for extra spice)
- Liquorice Liqueur - (an acquired but nostalgic taste)
Remember, always drink responsibly!
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Thanks for reading this article.