1001 Kitchen Tips #67 - Mulled wine tips

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Hey look at the time - it's mulled wine o'clock!
Mulled wine - is there anything better to warm you up on a winter's day. Well ok maybe hot chocolate with brandy - but that's another story.

Here's some mulled wine tips I've learned from the expert:

  • Numero uno - don't buy those mulled wine spice packs - waste of money. A small amount of spices which you've most likey already got in your store cupboard and an extportionate price because they're brought for presents. Also the spices in the 'mulled spice packs' are normally quite dull in flavour - just use the whole spices in your cupboard.
  • Sugar - Mulled wine must contain sugar for complete cold weather salvation. I've often tasted some that other people have made - too sour. It should be warming - like sweet tea. Demerara sugar is best  - bit more flavour than white sugar. Alternatively add honey.
  • Secret ingredients? Add a few glasses (or more) of port to your mulled wine. Not only deepens the colour, but also the richness. Gives your mulled wine much more life. 
  • Additions - it's all about the additions! We're talking additions of the spirit variety here. Brandy is a starting point - adds a kick. Or calvados adds a similar kick but appley flavour. Also sloe gin gives it another great dynamic. The one I made above contained Cointreau and Creme de cassis. I tried another version with ginger wine last year - very good. 
  • Never boil mulled wine - apart from boiling of the alcohol you also dull the flavours - and that's what it should be about
  • Tastes even better the day after! If you can manage to leave it alone overnight, cover with cling film and let it infuse. Warm up the next day and it has even more flavour.
  • Don't through the fruit away! If you've simmered apples & oranges in the mulled wine to give it flavour let them infuse in it overnight. The next day they make a great dessert with greek yogurt.

Mulled wine recipe - well this is the one I made yesterday at least. Next time probably different.

Red wine - I used 1 1/2 bottles
Port - I used about 1/4 bottle?
Cointreau - few generous glugs
Creme de cassis - few generous glugs
3 Satsumas chopped - didn't have oranges
1 Lemon chopped
Whole cloves - about 6
Whole cinnamon sticks broken up a bit - 2
Generous grating of nutmeg
4 Whole allspice crushed
4 Peppercorns (go easy!)
4 Bay leaves (preferably fresh)
Demerara sugar - to taste. 

Mulled wine jelly - Add 1 sachet of gelatine (or 6 leaves) per pint.


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