As winter approaches and the colder months loom on the horizon, we can’t think of any better way to relax and unwind than to bunker down with a steamy glass of mulled wine. Picture this: It’s cold, it’s rainy and you’re nestled into the couch. You’ve got a pot of mulled wine simmering slowly on the stove – aromas of orange peel, star anise, cinnamon and cloves fill the room and infiltrate your senses.
Homemade mulled wine is truly the perfect cosy winter drink. It’s incredibly effortless to make and yields incredibly tasty results, able to be easily customised and tweaked to your liking with the addition of your favourite spices. A truly great drink to serve to guests.
Invented in the second century, mulled wine was created by the Romans who would heat wine as a way to stay warm and defend their bodies against the harsh winter climate. Before long, an affinity with mulled wine had spread throughout Europe, with its popularity continuing to grow as spices, herbs and flowers were added into the mix in order to avoid sickness and promote well-being. So, there you have it, since the middle ages mulled wine has basically been classified as a health drink, so why not reap the health benefits of this age old drink and get simmering with our recipe:
- Red wine (mulled wine doesn’t have to be made with an expensive bottle- we recommend a low to medium priced, dry red like the Nova Vita “Firebird” Sangiovese – this wine focuses on red fruit flavours and spice
- 1 orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 2-4 tablespoons of your chosen sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
- Optional addition of 1 ½ cup apple cider or ¾ cup brandy
- In a large pot, combine the ingredients together on the stove at a medium-high heat
- Let the liquid reach a gentle simmer (avoid letting it bubble as it will cook off the alcohol)
- Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours
- Use a fine mesh strainer to catch the fruit and spices and transfer the liquid into another pot
- Now you have your beautiful mulled wine concoction, pour into a heat-proof glass or mug and enjoy!
Mulled wine can be kept for around three to four days before it spoils. To store, make sure it’s cooled completely and put it into an airtight container in the fridge. When you want to drink it again, pour it into a pot and reheat on the stove on low heat.
Another good thing to note with mulled wine, is that you don’t have to use your best bottle of red for the occasion since you’re going to be adding so many different spices to the mix. A medium quality Sangiovese or Zinfandel is a great choice due to their big flavour profile and fruity nature.