If there is one drink that truly sings out that Christmas has arrived in mulled wine. There’s nothing quite like the warm spices to tickle your nose and fill your heart with festive memories.
There are PLENTY of variations on how to make mulled wine, and the fact we all have our different recipes passed down via generations and across nationalities is one of the wonderful things we LOVE about the world of beverages – we all have our own personal taste preferences and there’s no one right recipe.
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Tools you will need for making Mulled Wine
- Medium Saucepan
- Chopping knife
- Serving glasses or mugs
- Serving ladel
- 750ml Red Wine
- 1 orange sliced (plus extra to garnish)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks (plus extra to garnish)
- 3 star anise
- 1 grated nutmeg
- 60ml brandy (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan together on a medium heat
- Stir gently and bring to a simmer, but not a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer gently for a further 10-15 minutes
- You may choose to sieve out the larger spices and slices or it's perfectly acceptable to serve them up as a garnish
- Ladel into elegant heat-proof glassware with handles, or your favourite mug
Typical mulled wine spices
Play around a bit with your favourite flavors, but we suggest you include a selection from:
- Star Anise
- Juniper Berry
- Orange zest
Other sweetening methods for mulled wine
We prefer to use honey for that little extra sweetness but many recipes will call for demerara sugar instead. Make sure it is well dissolved in your wine first. Another option is maple syrup (looking at you my Canadian friends!) You can always add a little more than a recipe suggests if you really prefer your wine sweet.
More variations to mulled wine
There are so many variations on mulled wine that have been passed through the generations and from family to family, so really feel free to make it your own.
One of the most popular, which is quite similar in many respects to our traditional mulled wine recipe is glögg which originated from Scandinavia. It’s a slightly more complex and potent brew incorporating port or brandy (or both!) as well as wine, along with a wonderful raisin and subtle almond finish.
We also love a mulled cider too – pop on over hear for our favourite mulled cider recipe.
And for those with a Thermomix, this is super quick and easy to whip up a batch in your Thermie, check out our Thermomix Mulled Wine recipe here.
What sort of red wine do I need for mulled wine?
The key to a good red for mulled wine is to look for a more full-bodied and fruit-forward red wine, relatively high in tannins. Something like a Californian Zinfandel will do the job, or a Grenache or a Malbec. Don’t go raiding your cellar, we would suggest going for something fairly inexpensive from your local bottle shop or supermarket.
White mulled wine?
Why not? Traditionally made with a red or red blend, but you can have a go at white’s too, particularly if you react to reds you could experiment with an aromatic white such as a Muscato, Riesling or Chenin Blanc.
Pre-packaged mulled wine spices
Pre-packaged mulled wine spice kits will make our “easy” mulled wine recipe even easier! Trust me, I used these kits for years until I was brave enough to make the real thing. Simply add your red wine to the pot and let the added spice kit do all the work for you without needing to run around looking for all the ingredients.
Here are some beautifully pre-packaged suggestions you can get on Etsy:
Non alcoholic mulled wine
If you’d prefer a non-alcoholic mulled wine punch, you can still substitute the red wine with a fruit juice, such as red or purple grape juice. Some suggest cranberry juice but we find this a little tart on its own, you might want to balance it with a little apple juice, or pomegranate juice is another good mulled wine mocktail option.
We make it in just the same way, simply omit the red wine and brandy. You can add some cranberries to serve.
Looking for some Christmas gift suggestions?
If you know a mama who loves drinks as much as we do, pop on over here and see our complete collection of Christmas gift ideas. From the perfect glassware to what to buy a wine-lover we’ll help you fill their stockings with some Christmas cheer they’ll remember!
Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!