It’s winter here in Australia, which means it’s time for warm and cosy winter drinks. So, whether you celebrate Christmas in July or not, why not enjoy some delicious and mulled wine this winter season?
First things first, get yourself some wine. You won’t want any fancy wine since the herbs and spices you’ll add during the mulling process will definitely be the dominant flavours; the intricacies of a finer wine will be lost. Even a bargain bin wine will do the trick.
The herbs you use can vary a lot, depending on your taste preferences. (For example, I’m not the biggest fan of cloves, so I’ll use slightly fewer of those in my mulled wines.) There are some classics that, by and large, are must-haves. Below is an outline that you can adjust and play with until you find your perfect mulled wine recipe.
- 6 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 200g castor sugar
- 1 orange
- 2 star anise
- 750ml (one standard bottle) fruity wine (merlot is good)
For a more organic flavour, you can substitute in some honey for the castor sugar. However, this recipe is so flexible you can sub in whatever sweetener you like. Maybe treacle or even maple syrup if you’re a little experimental like that. (Or no sweetener at all if you don’t have a sweet tooth!)
- Slice up your orange
- Pop all your ingredients into a large pot over a medium heat. Let the wine combination just barely simmer for a few minutes. You don’t want to get it too hot or you can boil off some of the alcohol content.
- Turn the heat down to a low or medium-low. Cover the wine with the lid of the pot and leave it to simmer/marinate for at least 15 minutes and for up to three hours.
- Strain the mulled wine and serve it.
- Garnish the glasses with extra citrus slices (or rind) if you like. You could also use some of the herbs as garnishes, just be sure you don’t accidentally catch a star anise in your mouth.
The method is a standard one that can adapt to any recipe you use. The crux of it all is heat up the wine in whatever herbs and fruits you like to draw out the flavours. Once you have that down, you’re a pro!
If you have any beloved mulled wine recipes, let us know!
Recipe is original content from the author, Paige Riddiford.