Every year millions of us enjoy the Christmas festivities, with mulled wine a common appearance at just about every party or gathering. According to the history books, it was the Romans back in First Century Rome that first had the idea of heating wine and mixing it with spices. The idea hasn’t moved on much since and there are variations of it worldwide, including ‘glogg’ across the Nordic countries and ‘kan zake’ (heated sake) in Japan.
Whether you’re organizing an event or are partial to a glass or two to snuggle up with, why not make your own rather than sticking with the shop bought stuff that everyone else has. We’ve put together a very simple recipe to get you started. Enjoy!
What you need to make mulled wine
2 bottles of red wine (nothing too fancy but it needs to be medium bodied)
150g of demerara or caster sugar
2 oranges (cut into quarters)
The zest of 1 orange
1 lemon (cut into quarters)
1 cinnamon stick
Our simple steps for making mulled wine
1) Stick the cloves into your orange quarters
2) Add your wine to a pan and heat gently before adding the sugar
3) After the sugar has dissolved completely, add all of the other ingredients
4) Leave to simmer for at least 20 minutes – this should give enough time for all the flavours to infuse the wine
5) Pour the mixture through a sieve (to remove any small bits) into a warm bowl – the simplest way to warm it is to pour boiling water into the bowl and leaving it for a minute before tipping out
6) Then add the quarters of fruit, together with the cinnamon stick to the infused mulled wine
Based on your personal taste you can add further ingredients such as ginger or star anise – be adventurous and you’ll perfect your own recipe.
It’s now ready to serve in heat-proof glasses and can re-heated in a saucepan at any point throughout the night.
Fancy a variation on the traditional mulled wine recipe?
If you want to completely step away from the norm and try something new, take some inspiration from these ideas:
Mulled white wine – use a bottle of dry white wine and change the standard spices for rosemary and thyme. You can still use the lemon and sugar but get rid of the oranges and you’ll be left with a lighter tipple that won’t send you to sleep.
Winter berries mulled wine – instead of using lemons and oranges, opt for winter berries like blackberries, raspberries and red currants. Make sure you really sieve the mixture well before serving to avoid any seeds. It’s a great variation if you want to make a sweeter mulled wine that’s just about as fruity as you can get.
Non-alcoholic mulled wine – exactly the same recipe as for making standard mulled wine can be used to make a variation for any drivers at the party. Use a proper bottle of zero alcohol wine (often referred to as ‘de-alcoholised wine’) rather than something like Shloer. If you want to get the kids involved, use Cranberry juice instead and double the sugar you add to the recipe to take away the sharpness, or opt for red berry fruit juice for the base.