Warm mulled wine is essentially red wine that has been softly spiced, lightly sweetened, and flavored with citrus, similar to ice-cold Spanish sangria. It is typically completed with a spirit or liqueur. Cucumbers or candied cherries are not, however, components of mulled wine.
The heat employed in mulling enhances the flavors of the citrus and spices but also lowers the alcohol concentration, which is why it’s customary to add a shot of liqueur or spirit right before serving. Some fundamental proportions are shown below. Really, there’s not much that can go wrong, except that you should never use ground spices and that you should never let the wine boil; instead, it should just softly simmer.
How to Reheat Mulled Wine
You can drain and refrigerate cold mulled wine, then gently reheat it in the microwave. It is much preferable to strain it, freeze it to add to your next batch or set it into one large or several little jellies that will brighten ice cream and taste wonderful when topped with clotted cream.
Red wine is typically prepared with sugar to taste, two oranges or smaller citrus fruits in their place, one lemon, six whole cloves, and one or two cinnamon sticks. The rest is up to you. Some people stuff the oranges with more cloves than necessary, which may look attractive but doesn’t produce the best results. The citrus juice and zest should be added to the wine separately, along with the cloves, for a more robust citrus flavor. Cardamom pods, six or eight of them lightly crushed, and little cubes of preserved ginger also taste fantastic. You might experiment with that in addition to the mace, as Elizabeth David added black peppercorns to her mixture of spices.
A split, whole vanilla bean offers a velvety texture and flavor. Chili peppers should not even be considered.
Err on the side of adding less sugar than you think you need because the hot beverage will increase the sweetness. Brown sugars provide a useful additional dimension.
Keep the lid on while simmering the mixture very gently for 10 to 20 minutes, and attempt to keep the mulled wine covered in between serves. Although you can strain the wine, it’s best to pour it very slowly.
It is advised to simmer wines in a slow cooker for two hours at a low temperature, which should preserve the majority of the alcohol content.
Alternately, combine approximately 14 of the wine with the flavoring components and gently boil or zap them in the microwave for five minutes. Then, pour the warm, flavorful mixture into the remaining wine, strained or not. This can only be slightly heated after that, but it will retain at least 3/4 of its original alcohol content and have the flavor of wine that has simmered for a very long time.
There are no regulations for making up for alcohol lost to heat, so if you’re entertaining drivers, you may choose to add no alcohol at all. Traditional enhancers like cognac or brandy can be substituted with black rum, cherry brandy, apricot brandy, or any of the orange liqueurs.
What are the Top Mulled Wines to Purchase?
During the hectic holiday season, you may always buy pre-made mulled wine if you want to save money. Some of them astonished me with how tasty they were.
With the greatest wines, you could truly taste the caliber of the base wine, which was often Spanish and had rather subtle amounts of sugar and spices. Nobody will be able to tell that you didn’t prepare it yourself if you serve them in tiny glass cups with handles and some orange peel.
The Christmas Mulled Cup from Ableforth
This drink is really astute. It contains a mixture of cognac, and port, as well as different fruits and spices. Although it is pricey, the best-mulled wine you will likely ever taste simply requires 75ml to be added to each bottle of table wine along with some sugar. each and every time.
Liquor King’s Ginger
Another posh method of mulled wine fraud. With ginger and citrus fruits, this sweet liqueur is wonderful. For a deliciously warming beverage, mix some King’s Ginger with some citrus fruit, sugar, cider, or hot wine, whichever you choose.
Wine mulled in Lyme Bay
This offer is a little unique. It is prepared from a mixture of elderberry and damson wine, which is quite English in place of grapes. Although it has a robust damson flavor and a spicy aroma, its 5.5% ABV makes it a decent choice for those who prefer lower alcohol levels.
Felix Solis Drinks Wine
In Vienna, I’ve encountered some of the most disgustingly sugary and weak mulled wine I’ve ever experienced. This is much nicer; it has a good 12% ABV and is created from a respectable Spanish red wine with lots of spice without being overly sugary. An effective winter warmer.
What is the Best Advice for Preparing Mulled Wine?
You’re not required to only drink red wine. White wines, especially off-dry ones, as well as high-quality cider, can be delectable.
You won’t need as much sugar if you drink a decent fruity wine. Don’t overdo it with the spices, and avoid boiling it at all costs to prevent losing the alcohol and bringing out bitter flavors.
Remove the spices, fruit, etc. once it tastes good; otherwise, it will start to get acrid.
Finally, adding a splash of port, sloe gin, or even rum before serving can make the dish taste better whether you buy it or make it yourself. Simply inform your visitors to expect an extra drunken kick.
Reference: Antioxidant profile of mulled wine.
Which Spices Ought I to Use While Making Mulled Wine?
Depending on the beverage you’re mulling, you might also try adding allspice, cardamom, bay leaves, vanilla pods, or ginger in addition to the more common mulling spices like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and nutmeg.
All of these spices should be used carefully, especially star anise and cloves because they intensify their flavor when stewed for a long time. Citrus adds a nice citrusy accent to these toasty spices. Tangerine, clementine, and mandarin will provide an extra holiday kick, while orange and lemon won’t let you down.
Variations on the Classic Mulled Wine
Beyond the usual red wine, there are many other beverages that are suitable for mulling. Scrumpy, perry (pear cider), or dry French cider all work well, but avoid anything too sweet. To adjust your spices, add apple or pear juice, some fresh cranberries, vanilla, apple slices, or a splash of calvados to the mixture.
White wine can be mulled even though it’s often served crisp and cool. Combine it with flavorful light ingredients like vanilla, thyme, rosemary, and elderflower cordial. Don’t forget about the non-drinkers either; some mulled apple juice with citrus and mild spices should do the trick. Another festive option is our mulled rosé; just make sure to add plenty of crème de cacao.
Serving Mulled Wine
Serving in style means using unconventional glasses. Sturdy dimpled half-pint glasses look good and have a useful handle, however brittle glass is to be avoided. Sliced orange or lemon peel and entire cinnamon sticks make a tasty garnish. Another option is to include a citrus wedge that has been stuffed with cloves; it is preferable to produce a new wedge rather than removing a soggy slice from the mulling pan.
Traditionally, mulled wine is made in a large pot using spices and wine. However, it’s time-consuming to make it. A good alternative is to use your microwave to infuse the wine with the aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. You can even use a microwave to reheat it to the right temperature for serving.
Microwaving mulled wine is a great way to make it quickly and easily without having to simmer a pot of wine. It’s also a much cheaper alternative to buying bottled mulled wine. Unlike other mulled wine recipes, you don’t need to add brandy to make it boozier. You can also make the mulled wine ahead of time and reheat it as the mood strikes.