The holiday season is here which means holiday cocktails! One of my favorite cocktails to make during the holiday season is mulled wine. Mulled wine is a traditional holiday drink usually consumed hot or warm during the holiday season. There are many varieties of mulled wine depending on who is making it, their personal preferences, and personal recipes that would include a number of various ingredients.
The taste in mulled wine can vary depending on the creator’s personal preference in addition to the wine and spices used. Mulled wine can taste anywhere from ultra sweet to bitter depending on one’s personal preference. Personally, I prefer somewhere a taste somewhere in between. Depending on the spices and ingredients used, the flavor can be heavily altered. Mulled wine is widely popular in European countries most notably England, France, and Germany. The mulled wine differs in each country with each country creating it to fit their personal cultures. For each country the ingredients as well as the spices differ. In the United Kingdom for example, mulled wine tends to be a bit sweeter with sugar being the main component in addition to the normal ingredients like cloves and nutmeg. Additionally, mulled cider or ale tend to be a favorite as well. In Germany, a different spin is taken sometimes adding vanilla pods. Additionally, mulled wine is also not made with the traditional red wine as in the majority of the recipes. Some german recipes call for fruit wine such as blueberry or cherry wine, with some recipes even calling for white wine. The Germans also tend to take their mulled wine with a shot which usually means that rum or some other hard liquor has been added. In true Dutch fashion, recipes in the Netherlands call mainly for oranges instead of lemons. And the French have somehow created the budget friendly version using cheap wine with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon. But watch out, the French won’t drink it if it’s too sweet!
Because we’re in the holiday spirit, I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes with you. Check it out below and let me know what you think!
1 full bottle of red wine (I like to use Merlot since it’s a bit smoother and sweeter)
1 cup of Apple juice (I use this instead of sugar)
2 whole oranges – juiced and zested
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
8 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Orange peel and zest
whole cinnamon sticks
whole star anise
- Pour entire bottle of wine into soup pot
- Add all remaining ingredients to wine
- Stir all ingredients on high for about 2 minutes
- Bring down the heat to medium low and let wine simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until the flavor of the ingredients are perfectly merged
- Strain wine into glasses and the rest into a bottle for later use
- Garnish each glass with orange peel, zest, whole cinnamon stick, and one whole star anise
Sit back, sip slowly, and ENJOY!!