Make Your Own Mulled Wine for the Holidays!
Mmmmmmm, mulled wine. A Christmas tradition all over the world, and for good reason…
It’s delicious and delightfully warm in the belly on a frosty winter day!
The first recorded stories of heating spiced wine come from second century Rome. The Roman legions traveled (and conquered) all over Europe, and brought the recipe with them. From there it moved across dozens of countries, changing traditional holiday beverages forever! (Thanks to wikipedia for the mulled wine trivia.)
In contemporary British culture, there is no specific recipe for mulled wine and the spices involved in its recipe. It is commonly a combination of orange, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seed (or star anise), cloves, cardamom, and ginger. The spices may be combined and boiled in a sugar syrup before red wine is added, heated, and served… A tea bag of spices can be added to the wine, which is heated along with slices of orange as a convenient alternative to a full recipe.
We repeat… mmmmmmmm!
Doesn’t that sound like the perfect addition to your holiday get-together? Heck, it sounds like it would hit the spot after an afternoon of shoveling the white stuff, too! Thankfully, Charlotte Five interviewed Chris Woodrow (owner of Vin Master) and put together a DIY!!
“For reds, I go with something really fruity but not too heavy. Good options are Garnacha or Zinfandel. They both bring a little spice of their own to the mix.”
What About Spices?
This is entirely a case of personal preference. If you’re feeling intimidated (or lazy), opt for a pre-mixed spice pack.
If you’re more familiar and comfortable with spices (or if, like us, you’re picky and know which spices you don’t like), hit your spice rack! Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, anise, allspice, nutmeg… all the traditional flavors of the season are mix-and-matchable to create your own flavor profile!
Sweets for the Sweet?
Whether to add sugar is another personal preference. The original recipes call for it, but you can use a sweeter wine from the start and eliminate added sugar.
Pick Your Pair!
“Unlike fashion, when I pair food and wine, matchy matchy is the way to go,” Woodrow said. “Spicy wine calls for spicy food. Ginger snap cookies or spice cake go great. This is also another time to get that pumpkin pie fix.”
Now… Make the Magic Happen!
Ingredients– 1 packet of mulling spices– 1 bottle of fruity red wine (Zinfandel or the like)– Cinnamon sticks or orange slicesInstructions– Combine wine and spices in a sauce pot– Warm on stove until just slightly steaming– Ladel into glasses (Editor’s note: Or your favorite holiday mug!)– Garnish with cinnamon or orange slice– Enjoy the warmth
So now you’re ready to make your own DIY mulled wine for this year’s holiday parties.
You could show your appreciation by… you know… inviting us!!