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How to Make the Best Mulled Wine

‘Tis the season for mulled wine!

With Christmas around the corner and the cold winter nights getting chillier, mulled wine is the best drink to keep you warm and feeling festive. It’s super easy to make, and also an amazing drink to enjoy as you unwind from your day. Not to mention, mulled wine will have you feeling excited about the holidays, and is also a great drink to bring to holiday parties.

Image by Jaime Oliver

What is mulled wine, you ask? Mulled wine is basically a spiced, usually alcoholic blend that will make you want to cozy up by the fire. Most are made with red wine, fruit, and spices. However, there are all kinds of varieties, including a white wine version, a mulled wine tea, and a mulled wine jelly.

Image by: Jennifer Pallian

Today I am going to share with you a traditional recipe for mulled wine that you can make at home!

The conventional recipe calls for a celebration of traditional festive spices such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. However, feel free to add any other spices you like such as star anise, cardamom, ginger and bay leaves.

The key to a perfect mulled wine is patience – let everything steep away and warm up gently so the flavors have time to meld with the wine. Then simply furnish it into one or a few glasses.

Image By Joe Lingeman

Below are the items you will need to prepare:

Wine: Red or white, you pick. My recommendations Chianti or another Italian wine

Citrus: clementines are classic here, but feel free to add lemons and limes for color.

Cinnamon: I love the look of sticks, but you could whisk in some ground cinnamon if that’s what you have on hand.

Other spices:  3-6 Cloves, 1-2 star anise, 1-3 fresh bay leaves, 1 whole nutmeg, 1 vanilla pod.

Sweetener: Feel free to add your favorite sweetener to taste. Caster Sugar is classic, but I prefer a few tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.

Extra liqueur: Similar to sangria, it’s also traditional to spike your mulled wine with an extra bit of liqueur, if you’d like. I like a bit of brandy, but any favorite liqueur will do here.

Image by Kathleen Donovan

  1. Use a peeler to shave large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime.

Image By Jaime Oliver

2.  Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. (You can use a slow cooker or even Instant Pot, if you prefer.)

Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough wine to cover the sugar.

Image by Jaime Oliver

3. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the wine, then bring to the boil.

Image by Jaime Oliver

4. Keep the mix on boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup.

It’s important to make a syrup base first because the sugar and spices need to get quite hot, but if you heat them this high once you’ve added the wine, you’ll burn off the alcohol.

Image by Ali

5. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine, and after 5 minutes (when it’s warm and delicious) serve it in heatproof glasses.

If you find yourself with a few glasses of leftover, don’t  throw it away! You can freeze the mix and make adult popsicles or granita. A perfect dessert for the holidays!

What’s your favorite holiday drink? Let us know!

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