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Christmas Mulled Red Wine

Mulled Red Wine by SeasonWithSpice.com

“…it is very difficult to give the exact proportions of ingredients like sugar and spice, as what quantity might suit one person would be to another quite distasteful.”

That was Isabella Beeton, author of the iconic Victorian era cookbook, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, providing her matter-of-fact advice when making mulled wine.  A timeless comment that could apply to any food or drink, summarizing how difficult it is - if not impossible - to create a recipe that pleases everyone.

I was reminded of that when I gagged from the sweetness and over flavoring of a glass of mulled wine made from a Jamie Oliver recipe.  Orange juice; orange, lemon, and lime peel; a heavy-handed use of spices; and 125g of white sugar.  That’s 30 teaspoons of sugar for one bottle of wine!

ceylon cinnamon and bay leaf spices for christmas mulled red wine

This is Christmas, but let’s not over do it. A good mulled wine should still be wine – the spices and sugar complimenting the festive drink, not overpowering it.

Best red wine to use for mulled wine

The cheapest bottle of red wine from the liquor store is the perfect excuse to make a mulled wine.  The addition of a few spices and a spoon of sugar can create a warm, rich, bold aroma and flavor that will welcome in any shivering holiday guest on a wintery night.

Mulled Red Wine by SeasonWithSpice.com

Christmas Mulled Red Wine recipe by Season with Spice

Ingredients:
1 bottle of cheap red wine
5 whole black peppercorns – grind into powder
2 whole cloves – crush bud part into powder
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice's Indonesian nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1/2 orange peel – sliced into smaller pieces
1 tbsp raw or white sugar (or no sugar works too)
1/2 vanilla bean (optional)

Process:
1. In a small pot, add ground black pepper, crushed clove buds (and whole stems), Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, whole bay leaf, orange peel, vanilla bean, sugar, and 1/4 cup of red wine. Turn heat on low, and cook until mixture forms into a syrup.*
2. Add the remaining red wine into pot and continue heating until it warms to your preferred temperature.
3. If you don’t mind a bit of ground spice on the bottom of the wine glass, ladle the mulled wine directly into a glass. If you want a cleaner look, run the mulled wine through a fine strainer before serving.

Notes:
* Step from Jamie Oliver’s recipe
- Try your own spice blend to find the flavor that works best for you. You’ll have a new appreciation for cheap red wine!