Mulled wine for many people is a drink inextricably linked with the Christmas season. It comprises a number of flavorsome and scented spices, particularly cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a popular drink at German Christmas markets but is very quick and easy to make at home. This article features three recipes for making homemade mulled wine, all in quantities designed to serve four people. It is best to use a fairly medium bodied red when making mulled wine. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are both excellent choices. Why not try serving it to your Christmas guests as they arrive, both to help ward off the Winter chill and provide a delicious taste of the season?

Golden Rum Mulled Wine Recipe

Ingredients

1 bottle of red wine 
½ cup brown sugar 
1 whole orange 
10 cloves 
2 cinnamon sticks 
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 teaspoon grated ginger root 
½ cup golden rum

Method

Wash the orange but do not peel it. Stick the cloves in to the orange at regular intervals, as you would pins in a pincushion. Add all the ingredients except the rum to a large saucepan and put on a medium heat until the liquid only just begins to simmer. It is imperative not to let it boil. Reduce the heat to maintain the gentlest of simmers for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the orange and cinnamon sticks. Add the rum and stir. Transfer to glasses or mugs and serve immediately.

Brandy Mulled Wine Recipe

Ingredients

1 bottle of red wine 
½ cup orange blossom honey 
Peel and juice of one fresh lemon 
2 star anise 
2 cinnamon sticks 
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
½ cup brandy

Method

Carefully grate the peel from the lemon, ensuring not to incorporate any of the bitter white pith. Halve the peeled lemon and squeeze out the juice in to your saucepan. Add the remainder of the ingredients bar the brandy and heat as before, remembering to achieve only a gentle simmer for the quarter hour and not a boil.

Strain the mulled wine in this instance in to a clean bowl before adding the brandy and stir prior to service.

Schnapps Mulled Wine Recipe

Ingredients

1 bottle of red wine 
1 orange 
½ cup superfine sugar 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
¼ teaspoon ground cloves 
½ cup authentic German schnapps

Method

Wash the orange and slice a quarter inch off the top and bottom, discarding what will be pieces comprised largely of pith. Slice the remaining orange to a quarter inch thickness and add to a saucepan with all other ingredients except the schnapps. Bring to the gentlest of simmers for fifteen minutes before removing from the heat and stirring in the schnapps. Serve with a slice or two of orange in each mug or glass.

Whatever recipe you choose and use for preparing mulled wine, it is important to taste it prior to service, as you would with any food dish. This allows you to amend the seasoning as required. You may wish to add more spice, or achieve less spiciness by adding more wine, or to simply get a slightly greater kick with the careful addition of a little more spirit.

Glasses of many different types, cups and even mugs are all perfect for serving mulled wine. You may, however, wish to try and pick up some Christmas designed mugs at a local store, or even online, to add that little final touch of authenticity to your creation.

Spode Christmas Tree Mug and Coaster Set, Set of 2
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