How To Make Homemade Mulled Wine
As the temperature drops and winter approaches, there's nothing quite like a steaming cup of mulled wine to warm you up from the inside out. This festive and flavourful drink is popular for gatherings, cosy nights by the fireplace, or simply enjoying a quiet evening at home. Making mulled wine at home is surprisingly easy and allows you to tailor the flavours to your liking.
1- bottle of red wine (750 ml)
¼- cup of honey, maple syrup or sugar
8-10- whole cloves
2- cinnamon sticks
2- star anise
(Optional garnish: orange slices, cinnamon sticks).
Step 1: Pour the wine into a saucepan.
Start by pouring the red wine into a large saucepan or pot. Choose a wine that you enjoy, such as a robust red like Cabernet Sauvignon or a fruity red like Merlot. Avoid using expensive wines, as the flavours will be altered with the addition of spices and sweeteners.
Step 2: Add sweeteners.
Add honey or sugar to the wine and stir until it's fully dissolved. The amount of sweetener you use can be adjusted to your taste preferences. If you prefer a sweeter mulled wine, you can add more honey or sugar, and if you prefer a less sweet version, you can reduce the amount or skip it altogether.
Step 3: Prepare the citrus zest.
Take the orange and lemon, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest, being careful to avoid the white pith, which can be bitter. The citrus zest adds a burst of flavour and aroma to the mulled wine.
Step 4: Add spices.
Add the citrus zest, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise to the pot with the wine. These spices are the hallmark of mulled wine and lend it a warm and aromatic flavour. The cloves add a hint of spiciness, the cinnamon sticks provide warmth and depth, and the star anise adds a touch of liquorice-like flavour.
Step 5: Simmer the mixture.
Stir everything together and let the mixture simmer gently over low heat for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the flavours to meld together and infuse into the wine, creating a rich and fragrant concoction. Be careful not to let the mixture boil, as it can cause the alcohol to evaporate, reducing the flavours.
Step 6: Strain and serve.
Once the flavours have been infused, use a ladle or a fine-mesh strainer to strain the mulled wine into heatproof glasses or mugs, discarding the spices and zest. The strained mulled wine should be smooth and aromatic, ready to be savoured.
Step 7: Garnish and enjoy.
For an optional festive touch, you can garnish the mulled wine with a slice of orange or a cinnamon stick before serving. The garnish adds a visual appeal to the drink and enhances the aroma. Serve the mulled wine hot and enjoy the comforting warmth and flavours of this delightful winter beverage.