while mulled wine may evoke thoughts of winter chill, here in Australia, we've turned this winter favourite into a year-round indulgence – one that doesn’t need an occasion to be enjoyed. Whether you’re hosting friends or enjoying some me-time at home, there’s always a reason to relish a glass. Its rich flavours, combining red wine and fragrant spices, have the power to elevate our spirits on demand. The best part about this liquid sunshine is the flexibility in making it, there are no rigid rules or strict limitations when it comes to a mulled wine recipe. You’ll learn more about this as you go further with our beginner’s recipe for mulled wine.
what is mulled wine?
The name says it all…mulled wine is red wine simmered or “mulled” with a mix of spices and usually sweetened with honey or sugar. When it comes to crafting a traditional mulled wine recipe, you start with a red wine and gently warm it with several whole spices, like star anise, cinnamon and cloves – they infuse their warmth into the wine. But it doesn't stop there, this aromatic cocktail can be easily adapted into countless variations. You'll find local twists within cities and towns offering numerous creative variations of the classic. But before we get to the variations, let’s explore our classic mulled wine recipe.
how to make mulled wine?
It’s time to go through our recipe for mulled wine and understand how to make mulled wine at home.
310 calories, 0g fat, 44g carbs, 1g protein
- saucepan or slow cooker,
- heat-proof glasses or mugs
Given below is a list of all the ingredients used in our version of the best mulled wine recipe.
- 750ml (1 bottle) of red wine
- 125ml brandy – adds a delightful kick
- 250ml cup of orange juice
- 200g sugar – adjust to taste
- 2 star anise pods
- ½ cinnamon stick – for that warm, spicy aroma
- 5 whole cloves – add a hint of earthy spice
- ½ orange, thinly sliced – adds a citrusy zing
- ½ lemon, thinly sliced – another layer of citrus
- 4 teapigs spiced winter teabags – for spices and rooibos tea
- Optional garnishes: orange or lemon zest, cinnamon sticks or fresh orange slices
Let’s explore all the steps of our recipe for mulled wine.
- Prep your ingredients: Gather all your ingredients for the mulled wine recipe and have them ready.
- Syrup of sweetener and orange juice: Pour the cup of orange juice and sugar into a large saucepan or a slow cooker over medium heat. Adjust the quantity of sugar to your preferred level of sweetness. Keep in mind that you can always add more later if needed. Let the sugar dissolve completely.
- Spice it up: Drop in the star anise pods, cinnamon sticks and cloves. These spices will infuse the syrup with their delightful flavours as it simmers.
- Add citrus slices: Place the thinly sliced lemon and orange into the spices. These slices will provide a refreshing citrusy note.
- Infuse the wine: Add the wine and teabags, letting them simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This gives time for the rooibos tea, spices, citrus and other ingredients to infuse their flavours into the wine. Remember not to boil.
- Stir occasionally: Give the mixture an occasional stir to ensure that the flavours meld evenly. Then take it off heat, remove the tea bags and strain the mulled wine.
- Add the brandy: Mix in the brandy about 10-15 minutes before serving. This adds a delightful kick to the mulled wine.
- Taste and adjust: At this point, taste the mulled wine and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Just add more honey to make it sweeter.
- Serve and garnish: Once everything is to your taste, pour the mulled wine into glasses. Garnish and serve.
tips to craft the best mulled wine recipe:
- Experiment with Spices: Feel free to experiment with other spices like ginger, cardamom or nutmeg to customise your recipe for mulled wine.
- Adjust Sweetness: The sweetness level is subjective. Start with a modest amount of honey and adjust to your taste.
- Choose the right wine: The foundation of your mulled wine recipe should be a good-quality red wine that you find enjoyable to drink on its own. However, you don’t need to spend money on an overly expensive full-bodied wine.
- Fresh Citrus: Use freshly squeezed orange juice and thinly sliced oranges and lemons for the best citrusy notes.
- Serve Hot: Mulled wine should be served warm but not too hot.
customizations that could be done with mulled wine
A mulled wine recipe is versatile and lets you show your creativity in combining ingredients. While it’s made with a traditional base of red wine simmered with spices, sugar and citrus, there are numerous ways to put your unique twist:
White wine or Rose wine: You can switch out red wine for white wine or rose wine in your mulled wine recipe. These offer a lighter and fruitier profile, making it a refreshing alternative to the red one.
Chilled mulled wine: Experience a refreshing twist with a chilled drink. By cooling down your mulled wine and serving it over ice, you create the perfect option for warm weather like we have here in Australia.
Swedish variant: Explore the Swedish version of a mulled wine recipe, that you can craft in the same way as the traditional version. Just add flaked almonds and plump raisins. You can make it even more Scandinavian by infusing it with an extra pour of Aquavit (a caraway-flavoured liquor) into your glögg.
Non-alcoholic variant: For a non-alcoholic take on mulled wine, simply swap out the wine for apple or cranberry juice, keeping the same aromatic spices and fruit in the mix.
ways to store your mulled wine
Storing the cocktail properly ensures that you can enjoy the success of your mulled wine recipe for days to come. So, let’s explore how to make mulled wine last longer through some effective ways:
- Refrigeration: If you have leftover mulled wine, allow it to cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight glass container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. When you’re ready to enjoy, just reheat and enjoy. But avoid boiling it.
- Freezing: To extend the shelf life, you must consider freezing your mulled wine. Pour the cooled cocktail into an airtight glass container, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Seal tightly and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
- Wine preservers: Invest in a wine preservation system that gets rid of the air from the bottle and prevents oxidation. This is very useful if you want to store opened bottles of the drink for a longer duration.
- Smaller portions: If you find yourself with leftovers very often, you can consider downsizing your mulled wine recipe to make smaller batches. The smaller portions would be easier to consume within a day or two.
Mulled wine is somewhat like a symbol of warmth, comfort and celebration around the globe. All around the world. And every corner of the world has a unique name and spin on this classic cocktail. From white wine to non-alcoholic alternatives, there are plenty of variations. There’s even a chilled variant of the mulled wine recipe for Aussie summers. In fact, this cocktail is open to creativity, inviting your creative twist on the classic drink. So, gather the ingredients that you wish to experiment with and use our recipe for mulled wine as a guide to create your own variations.
faqs on mulled wine recipe
Q. what kind of wine is used for mulled wine?
A. For mulled wine, it's best to select a red wine with robust flavours. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir or Dolce Rosso are excellent choices. These varieties offer depth and richness, enhancing the overall taste of the mulled wine with their unique characteristics.
Q. what's the difference between mulled wine and normal wine?
A. The key difference between mulled wine and normal wine lies in preparation. Mulled wine is heated and infused with spices, citrus and sweeteners, giving it a warm and aromatic quality with varied flavour profiles. Normal wine is typically served at room temperature without these added ingredients, offering a classic taste of the wine.
Q. how long to heat mulled wine to remove alcohol?
A. To remove alcohol from mulled wine, it needs to be heated for an extended period. Alcohol starts evaporating at 78°C, so maintaining a temperature above this for around 2 to 2.5 hours can significantly reduce its alcohol content. However, complete removal is challenging. So, if you prefer a non-alcoholic version, swap wine with other options.
Q. is it ok to microwave mulled wine?
A. Yes, reheating mulled wine in the microwave is possible with short bursts of about seven to eight seconds, ensuring it doesn't overheat. If you’re reheating for yourself, just sip and check if it’s warm enough. However, when it’s for others also – use a kitchen thermometer to check if it’s warm enough.
Q. is mulled wine sweet or dry?
A. Mulled wine can vary in sweetness depending on the recipe. Traditional mulled wine recipes include sweeteners like sugar or honey, giving it a moderately sweet profile. However, it can be adjusted to match personal tastes, ranging from sweet to dry, with the choice of wine and the amount of sweetener added.