It’s time for a Mulled Wine recipe!
Oh, how I love this time of year! The smell of smoke from our neighbour’s fire, the early dusk that allows you wander around your streets, peeping in at everyone’s choice of fairy-lights before they’ve closed their curtains. The warm, spicy aroma steaming out of the Mulled Wine recipe. And listening to the excitement of little ones, their voices and eyes sparkling with the joy of being an angel, or Joseph or Mary, or even a cow in their school Nativity play.
And no – I’ve not forgotten the horrors that people around the world are going through. My heart goes out to them, and at times I feel so helpless. Whatever little, tiny thing I can do to help alleviate or change their situation, I try to do – joining petitions, sending money if I know it will, definitely, be put to good use. But somehow we have to enjoy our sense of peace, make the most of it, and reach out whenever we can to those less fortunate (not a good expression knowing the horrors that some encounter) – but we have to generate love around us, whenever we can, and hope it spreads widely to dampen then wipe out the hatred felt elsewhere.
Well, that’s how I feel anyway, excuse the rant, but now on with a recipe – the Mulled Wine Recipe.
Appleberry Mulled Wine Recipe
- 2 x 75cl bottles red wine (such as Merlot; better quality wine makes all the difference)
- 1 litre good-quality apple juice
- 115g caster sugar
- 1 long cinnamon stick, snapped in half
- 2 star anise
- 3 tbsp orange Curacao or Cointreau
- A handful or so (about 100g / 4oz) frozen mulled fruits or fruits of the forest or Black Forest fruits
- 3 small red-skinned apples, slices thinly into rings.
- Pour the wine and apple juice into a large saucepan (preferably stainless steel to stop it staining), and add the sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise.
- Heat gently, stirring once or twice, until the sugar has dissolved, then continue heating gently for another 15 minutes. Turn the pan off and just let all the flavours infuse. When ready to serve, turn pan on and let it gently simmer - whatever you do, don't let it boil as it will spoil the flavour.
- Just before serving, swirl in the Curacao or Cointreau, throw in the frozen fruits and add the apple slices.
- Be careful you don't add the cinnamon or star anise to a glass when serving.
So this Appleberry recipe is just one of many Mulled Wine recipes. Good Food has given us some top tips for enhancing the basic mix, so here are a few.
- There are many spices you can use in a Mulled Wine recipe, including cinnamon, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamon, bay leaves, vanilla pods and ginger. Use these sparingly, and work out the mix of spices you, yourself like. Beware because some spices become very strong in flavour when ‘left to stew at length’. Good Food recommends adding some citrus, such as orange, lemon or tangerine or clementine to give it a Christmassy ‘kick’.
- Another good idea from Good Food is to buy some cheesecloth (or even ‘J’ clothes) to make little bags for your spices, so that they don’t end up in glasses (a mouthful of star anise is a bit difficult to gracefully remove from your teeth). Or, follow the Elizabethan fashion and stud your oranges or lemons with cloves, pushed well into the fruit so that they don’t, too, end up in a glass.
- Your choice of alcoholic liqueur can vary – Port, Grand Marnier, Sloe Gin or Spiced Rum can be a welcome addition (not all at once!) depending on what flavour you’re looking for – but they don’t advise using Sambuca – it’s just wrong for the mix.
- Good Food suggest that other types of alcohol can be used to make a Mulled festive drink. Cider is good, not the sweet fizzy one but the flatter farmhouse scrumpy or pear cider, or even French dry cider. They suggest you mix it with apple or pear juice, and add apple slices, or cranberries, with Vanilla to spice it up.
- If you want to see the page of Good Foods tips for Mulled Wine, click here.
Jamie Oliver’s Mulled Wine Recipe is more like the traditional recipe that I have always made, and just reading the list of ingredients, as I am sitting here at 5.55 am in my dressing gown on a warm but very dark Hornsea morning, makes me want a sip of this Mulled Wine. I swear the aroma of the cloves and spices is floating around my very untidy office – as soon as I read the word ‘cloves’, ‘cinnamon’ or ‘star anise’, my sense of smell takes over and I’m in Christmas spice heaven. Click Here for Jamie’s Mulled Wine Recipe.
Searching for other Mulled Wine recipes, I have just come across a site called Mulled Wine Recipe.com which has loads of recipes on it, and one from the 17th century, so it is worth having a look at. Click here to go straight through to it.
Well, I hope that this post on Mulled Wine recipes has given you something to ‘whet your whistle’, as they say. There are so many variations, and often it comes down to personal taste. Some people can’t abide the smell of cloves, for instance, whereas I would splash myself silly in a perfume containing the aroma! So the best thing to do, if you are new to Mulled Wine, is to have a little play, mix your own personal brand of Mulled Wine, and just enjoy a glass. Or two. Or even maybe three!! No, just kidding. Don’t overdo it, but just enjoy it. Cheers.