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.

Upcoming Holiday posts

Well well. I’m surprised I had site visitors since I haven’t written anything since August 2015, but I guess the thirst for alcohol knowledge exists whether I am up-to-date or not. Cheers!

A couple of upcoming holiday posts which I plan to make:

top of box

1) My partner and I split the cost of the Phillips Snowcase Calendar. This is a magical advent calendar for adults. No more teeny little chocolates, you get a new beer to try every day! Not only that, but a lot of the beers in the pack were brewed for the advent calendar only.

20151128_200723To follow along with the beer advent mayhem, you can follow me on my Untappd account, where I will be giving my detailed day-by-day reviews. At the end of the 24 days, I will provide an overall review post here, linking to the Untappd posts and reflections of the experience. That way, you can follow along live, or you can get the summary and read further only to the beers you wanted to know more about.

2) Last year, I talked all about my favourite holiday egg nog recipe. This year, I will conduct some mulling experiments. Yes, mulled wine, but many types of mulled wine, cider, and even some white wine! I mulling-spiceswill use this article as my resource  and then compare my concoctions side by side.

In addition to including my personal opinion, I will host a small tasting party so that at least 4 people can weigh in on the comparison. I plan to use at least 3 different red wines, 1 white wine, and 1 to 2 ciders. Yes, cider did grow on me after all!