Mulled wine is a winter drink traditionally associated with Christmas in Britain and Europe. Its origins can be traced back to Roman times when people would heat wine to defend their bodies against the cold. We know it as a classic combination of wine, fruit, and spices. The key to making your own mulled wine is patience and giving the flavours enough time to mingle and develop. We show you how.
Mulled Wine Recipe (Makes 5 cups)
- 2 oranges
- 20 – 24 whole cloves (whole cloves and cinnamon sticks are the best choices – you want the flavour and aroma, not the grit from ground spices)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar or ½ cup maple syrup (maple syrup adds a robust, earthy sweetness and dissolves more easily than granular sugars)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bottles red wine (a general rule is that if you wouldn’t serve it to your guests on its own, don’t use it in this recipe)
- brandy, to taste (optional)
Halve the oranges, and then stud each half with about 5 to 6 cloves. Place into a large, heavy-bottomed pot along with the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks on a high-heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until it has reduced to light syrup. If you’re worried that it might burn, reduce the heat.
Lower the heat and allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes, and then add your wine. Don’t add the wine too quickly as it may boil, giving you a bitter taste and burning off the alcohol.
Allow the wine to heat slowly and thoroughly, being careful not to boil. Add a tablespoon of brandy at a time until you reach your desired flavour.
Ladle the liquid into thick, warmed glasses through a sieve. Add a thin slice of orange rind and a cinnamon stick to each glass, and enjoy!
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst