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The Perfect Mulled Wine

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1 bottle Red Wine
3 Oranges 1 sliced to garnish each cup
1 glass Port
16 Cloves
2 Sticks Cinnamon Plus extra for serving
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
2 Bay Leaves

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The Perfect Mulled Wine

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    Cuisine:
      • 35
      • Serves 4
      • Easy

      Ingredients

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      Nothing says Christmas more than a hot glass (tin cup?) of mulled wine. Even the smell alone might be enough to have frosty-fingered adults gather around your cooking fire.

      NOTE – Under 18s – This mulled wine recipe is strictly for adults but don’t worry if you’re under 18, there are countless recipes on the Internet for alcohol-free hot mulled drinks. Why not try my Festive Peppermint Hot Chocolate?

      Christmas Hygge

      You may have heard about the Danish concept of ‘Hygge’, pronounced ‘hooga’? Mulled wine, the Danes would call it ‘gløgg’, is the perfect start to creating hygge around your campfire this Christmas. Hygge was very trendy this year, it’s essentially creating a sense of warmth and cosiness. A campfire, blanket and glass of mulled wine and you’re half way to hygge already! The Danes are consistently voted one of the happiest people in the world, I’d listen to them when it comes to things like this.

      Get through cold winters by embracing the Danish idea of Hygge

      Mulled Wine

      There is no strict recipe for mulled wine. Change the recipe to suit your tastes. Choose your favourite fruit; oranges and lemons feature commonly. Then pick the spices, people go with traditional festive flavours such as cinnamon, ginger, clove, star anise, cardamom, fennel and nutmeg. Make it your own, for example, I’m not a massive fan of star anise so I don’t put it in, but other people will include it in their pots. You can also go completely off the wall to pick your secret ingredient; anything from grapefruit to raisins. I’m pretty sure I once saw someone include sausage in their pot once on TV. Don’t worry, this Christmas my mulled wine is strictly vegetarian!

      This Christmas recipe is for red wine but you will see recipes for white wine and even cider. If you can drink it, you can mull it. I generally choose quite a cheap bottle but others will say you should buy the best you can afford. As a rule, pick something you’d happily drink cold. Choose a bottle that is supposed to be fruity and spicy.

      The spice combinations are up to you but I think cinnamon is pretty essential (Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash)

      Next, you might want to ‘fortify’ your mulled wine. That basically means adding something a little more alcoholic for making it extra cosy and soporific. In the past I’ve used anything from brandy to buckfast (don’t judge) but today I’m using port. You can leave this step out if you want but it adds an extra depth of flavour you’ll otherwise be missing out on.

      The reason I only start with a wee bit of wine is because you can let this bit boil to encourage all of those Christmas flavours to infuse. You’re very likely to be doing this on a hot campfire and so it will reach boiling temperature very quickly.  If you were to let the whole bottle boil, you would lose all the alcohol. Only adding a half a glass at the start creates an intense Christmas-spiced syrup which you can dilute with the rest of the wine.

      The campfire can be a bit hot for mulling wine so be careful not to let it boil

      I hope you enjoy the recipe but please don’t stick rigidly to it. Pick your own flavours and make it your own this Christmas.



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      Steps

      1
      Done

      First prepare your oranges. Score the skin of two of the oranges and stick the cloves into the peel. This does two things, allows the juice of the oranges to escape and mingle with the wine and it also keeps the cloves from being poured into your cup. Put 8 cloves into each orange. If you want you can make a pretty design.

      2
      Done

      Add half a glass of the wine along with the sugar, spices and oranges to the pot and bring to the boil. Stir often and allow to boil for around 4 to 5 minutes. It should smell of Chriistmas!

      3
      Done

      Reduce the heat (move away from fire) and add the rest of the wine and a glass of port. Let this heat up but not boil. Squeeze the juice out of the oranges with a wooden spoon. The mulled wine is ready as soon as it's hot but you can leave it up to half an hour to let the flavours really blend.

      4
      Done

      Ladle into heatproof cups, a kuksa would be perfect, and add whatever garnishes you're using, maybe another cinnamon stick and slice of orange.

      Mark T

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