Making mulled wine is an exercise in creativity and personal taste.
Although the method is the same for most recipes – add all the ingredients to a pan on a low heat and keep stirring – no two recipes are exactly the same in terms of ingredients. Here, we give you a few basic tips to get you started, as well as some ideas for stepping away from the traditional and creating the perfect drink for you and your guests.
Traditional: A bottle of dry red wine.
Alternatives: White wine can make a pleasant, lighter version of mulled wine and goes well with rosemary and sliced lemon. You can also use dry cider. For an extra kick, try adding a shot or two of sloe or damson gin, or a drop of brandy.
Top Tip: Make sure the wine doesn’t boil!
Traditional: Oranges or Clementines, sliced into chunks
Alternatives: For a more citrus-y taste, add in a lemon and lime. You can adjust the taste by using just the peels, or the peels and juice, depending on the flavours you would like to bring out. Alternatively, you could add flavour with blackberries or sloe berries.
Traditional: approximately 4 tablespoons of sugar
Alternatives: Other ingredients can also be used to sweeten the drink and counteract the heaviness of the alcohol. Options to try are honey or sweet liqueurs.
Top Tip: Stir the sugar in early and make sure it all dissolves.
Traditional: Cloves, nutmeg, star anise and cinnamon (all to taste)
Alternatives: Many recipes boast the superior tastes of ginger, vanilla pods, dried bay leaves, allspice and cardamom in their spiced wine.