Mulled drinks

The first thing that might come to mind when thinking of mulled wine, is a vat of spiced wine on someone’s stove top, where everyone part of the dinner party brings the cheapest red and dumps it into the pot for everyone to have near infinite merriment.

Being the person who usually brings the best eggnog you’ve ever had, I decided to try my hand at mulled wine. Something different for a change.

In my internet sleuthing, I came across this article by the BBC, which gave me heaps of inspiration to try out some new drinks! Not just red wine, but mulled white wine, and mulled cider (alcoholic or non, your choice).

I will give the recipes and save most of the pictures for below the text. My partner and I taste tested each of them. Keep in mind that these recipes can be double/tripled/etc. I made small batches to test out the flavours and ratios. All recipes were heated on low for 15 minutes, and I put all the spices in a muslin bag. The BBC website said to let it all sit for 30 minutes after heating – I did do that but I found that letting it sit overnight gave the best results.

Mulled White Wine

  • 1 bwhitewineottle (750 mL) of white wine (I used the cheapest Viognier I could find!)
  • 1 baby lemon (or half a regular sized lemon)
  • half a bartlett pear
  • half a regular orange
  • 1 small sprig of rosemary (pictures below)
  • 3 tiny sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp bitter orange peel
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup elderflower cordial

Mulled Cider

  • 2 cans of Magnmagnerscidersers Cider (500 mL each can; 1 apple cider and 1 pear cider)
  • 1 pear
  • 1 Pink Lady apple
  • 12 cranberries
  • 2 baby lemons
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole nutmeg seeds
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 12 whole allspice seeds
  • 1 tsp bitter orange peel
  • 8 dried juniper berries
  • small pieces of ginger root
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup honey

 

redwineMulled Red Wine

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) of red wine (I used the cheapest Merlot I could find!)
  • 1/2 red delicious apple
  • 1/2 orange
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole nutmeg seeds
  • 12 whole allspice seeds
  • 1/2 tsp bitter orange peel
  • 12 dried juniper berries
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise seed
  • 12 cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup honey

After all was said and done, we liked the mulled cider the best and will be making that for Christmas dinner! We also quite liked the mulled white, and found the mulled red to taste a bit like a winter sangria. Which was not bad, but it wasn’t as good as the other two. We also felt the cider would match more of the dishes we were serving with dinner (beer slow cooked ham, tourtiere, ginger roasted carrots, and gingerbread cookies).

Also, since this cider was 5% and most wines are 14%, this won’t get you nearly as smashed, even with the added brandy. Unless of course, you double the brandy concentration. ;) The cider overall tasted fresher. You could use any cider you want, but I recommend using a drier cider, since you are adding sugar to it.

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