Mulled wine is a taste sensation that’s warming, spicy and rich from the flavors of the red wines used to make this holiday drink around the world.
Here’s a traditional holiday drink; mulled wine is made by heating and mixing wines, liquors and spices into a delicious party cocktail. It’s served warm and that’s the perfect temperature for our winter weather.
Just about every country including the USA has their own version of this warming holiday drink with names from mulled wine to Gluhwein and Glogg.
Popularity of mulled wines spread in Europe during the 1890’s and quickly extended into the USA, where today this holiday drink is a custom in Orange County California. If you’re travelling, you will find this drink made from warmed red wines, heated with spices like cinnamon, cloves and flavored with cardamom, citrus and sugar.
Liquor ingredients vary from country to country; some will add cognac, sherry, whiskeys and vodkas, white wines and even bourbon, but the spices are pretty much the same. As always, I suggest that you add what you like to make this drink your own and taste test while you experiment.
For those who like alternatives when using sweeteners, instead of sugar, use honey or a heavy maple syrup. If you do use one of the alternatives, reduce your measurement and taste test your mixture to find your perfect blend.
If this is your first attempt at making mulled wine, here’s a flavorful recipe. Feel free to change its proportions and add the alternative ingredients. Start on medium low heat and simmer the red and port wines with water. Add in the cinnamon sticks, wholes cloves stuck into the orange halves and cardamom which is part of the ginger family and let this mixture warm up.
Stir in the sugar and brandy until the sugar is fully incorporated into the mulled wine mixture. An important tip when making this recipe; do not allow this mixture to boil; you want a liquid texture not a thick mixture, which boiling sugar can produce.
Just before you serve the mulled wine, pour the mulled wine mixture through a sieve to remove the cinnamon sticks, oranges and cloves sediments.
Mulled Wine Recipe
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1/2 bottle of port wine
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of brandy
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 12 whole cloves
- 2 oranges cut in half
- 3/4 cup sugar
Some garnishes to think about are raisins and almonds added into the mugs before you ladle the mulled wine. Or simply serve the mulled wine with a slice of fruit or a cinnamon stick.