Last year I reviewed some Gluhwein, which is a traditional spiced red wine drunk all over Europe and known by that name in Germany. In other countries, it is called various other names. In England, where I grew up, it’s known as mulled wine, and this Holiday season, I’m putting up a recipe for making your own delicious mulled wine (the British name for Gluhwein). This is best enjoyed warm…imagine yourself next to a log fire with snow falling outside. It’s the perfect winter drink!
Luckily, the recipe for this delicious alcoholic drink is simple to make and will spread the scent of Christmas spices throughout your home!
- 1 bottle of 750ml cheap red wine (I chose a merlot, but pretty much any cheap red will do)
- 1/4 cup of brandy (again, any cheap brandy will do)
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 tablespoon of powdered cinnamon)
- 8 whole cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon of orange peel (fresh or dried)
- 1/4 cup of honey (can be adjusted to taste – I left the honey out of the photo)
- Pour the wine into a saucepan and add the brandy, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. (If you have some cheesecloth, then you can put all the spices into the cheesecloth so that it’s easy to take it out of the wine once the flavors have been cooked in. If you don’t have cheesecloth, then don’t worry, we’ll use a sieve.)
- Heat on medium heat so that it starts simmering but not boiling (i.e., little bubbles on side of saucepan and not violent bubbles throughout).
- Simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the honey (you can add as much or as little as you want). Alternatively, you can serve the wine without honey and leave it to your guests to add it themselves.
- Using a sieve, remove all the bits of spices from your wine.
- Pour into cups and serve.
For a more authentic English Christmas feel, serve the drink with some traditional English Christmas Pudding, which is a dense fruitcake-like dessert (served with brandy on top and then lit on fire) enjoyed at Christmas dinner!