The Christmas season is an abundant feast for all the senses. From the streets filled with twinkly lights and Christmas trees, the sound of Christmas tunes and church bells through to the taste of the turkey and mince pies. The aroma of Christmas is also quite distinctive – the sweet smell of cinnamon and delicious warmed mulled wine. The taste of winter! We are now serving mulled wine in all our bars.
When making mulled wine, selecting a good wine certainly helps but having the most expensive bottle of red you can find on the supermarket isn’t necessarily going to make it better than others, the balance between spices, sugar and water is key.
We chose a full bodied Shiraz from Australia to make ours as full bodied red wines have a rich and well-rounded flavor that lingers in the mouth. Light and Medium-bodied wines are not recommended, as they tend to be more watery which is not ideal for mulling. We are also only using three spices, as we don’t want the spices to overpower the complex flavor of the Shiraz.
Here’s what you’ll need to make our Easy Mulled Wine Recipe:
- 2250 ml of a Full Bodied Red Wine (Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec will do the trick)
- 2000 ml of apple juice (not from concentrate)
- 2000 ml of water
- 3 whole oranges
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon of whole cloves
- 4 star anise pieces
- 250 g caster sugar
- Start by studding a whole orange with the cloves and slice the other 2. The orange slices will be used for the recipe and also serve as the garnish when serving.
- In a pan, add the water, apple juice, cinnamon stick, star anise, sugar and orange studded with cloves.
- Bring it to boil and then reduce the heat, letting it simmer for 10 minutes. This is what we call the infusion stage. We are infusing the water and juice with the rich flavours from the fruit and spices and the sweetness from the sugar. If we were to add the wine from an early stage we would lose some of its alcohol and complex falvour when boiling it.
- The more you let it simmer the better infusion you'll get. After 10 minutes or more, if you have the time, add the wine and orange slices and gradually turn the heat up until it starts to steam.
- When it starts to steam and your kitchen is suddenly filled with this iconic aroma, your mulled wine will be ready to serve and you can turn the heat down.
We hope you enjoyed our recipe. There are plenty of them to choose from and while they might look simple the secret is all in the preparation, choosing your wine and balancing your flavours. If you have some Port at home you can also add it for a stronger taste. If you don’t have the time to make it at home you can also enjoy this recipe in any of our six bars. Who knows, you might be coming in for our Happy Hour of 2-4-1 Cocktails and suddenly change your mind and have a mulled wine, we’ve all done it before. There’s no better drink to brighten up a cold and dark winter night!