Mulled wine is unique to Christmas. It’s a uniquely festive drink and for many people Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it! And there’s a very good reason for this: the herbs and spices that lift the flavours to a whole new level.
Top tips for perfect mulled wine every time
Making good mulled wine is remarkably simple: all it takes is combining the right mix of herbs, spices and fruits, then allowing the flavours to blend on a low heat.
While heat is essential for ensuring the flavours meld, avoid boiling the liquid or cooking the wine for longer than 25 minutes. A higher heat and longer cooking time will take out more of the alcohol and remove much of the flavour, so keep the mixture at simmering point. If you’re using two bottles, use one of the wines to cook the ingredients, then add the other bottle while they’re still simmering, ensuring the liquid is hot. This way, the wine will retain more of its alcohol and flavour.
Strain the spices and fruit, then pour the wine into mugs or special mulled wine glasses. Alternatively, wait for the wine to cool a little, then pour it into a sturdy wine glass or an ordinary glass or cup, whichever you prefer!
Popular mulled wine recipes
Jamie Oliver, in this recipe from his book ‘Jamie Cooks Christmas’, calls for an Italian red wine such as Chianti, and adds 100 grams of caster sugar per bottle. He concentrates the flavour with clementines, lemon and lime, then adds a unique blend of nutmeg, vanilla pod, star anise, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and bay leaves for a rich, spicy mulled wine that will work perfectly with your Christmas meal.
Another equally delicious mulled wine recipe, from Delia Smith, calls for full-bodied red wine such as Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as fresh root ginger and fruit liqueur for extra zing. If you run out of wine, she recommends simply adding more water and fruit to your recipe, which you can keep in the pan and reheat when necessary.
Do you have any other tips for making the perfect mulled wine? Share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’d love to see your festive creations!