Quite possibly, my favourite drink during autumn and winter, has to be mulled wine. There’s something incredibly nostalgic about a cup of deliciously warm, delicately spiced and citrus-imbued, mulled wine. And sitting around an open fire, toasting marshmallows, gathering with friends and family, with a glass of mulled wine in hand; that’s autumn/winter for me.
Of course autumn/winter is synonymous with fresh citrus, and lately I’ve been craving everything orange flavoured. Like my favourite cocktail, Campari & Orange, that I posted about recently. Hence why I’ve kept this mulled wine simple using just oranges.
What makes this recipe so easy and delicious is you only need a handful of ingredients, and they are all fresh. I find this makes all the difference. You could of course used ground spices, but I don’t think it’s quite as good. So opt for fresh, if you can.
MULLED WINE RECIPE
- 1 bottle of red wine (I use a favourite & inexpensive clean skin Shiraz)
- 2 oranges (like Valencia, Navel or Blood Orange)
- 100g caster sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 star anise
- Peel large sections of rind from 1 orange.
- Thickly slice up the second orange, then halve or quarter the slices.
- Place the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and juice of the orange you took the rind from.
- Now add just enough red wine to cover the sugar, along with the cinnamon sticks and star anise, to the saucepan.
- Let this mixture simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a steady boil for a few minutes – until you’ve got a lovely thick syrup. By creating a hot syrup base first, you won’t burn off the alcohol in the red wine. A great tip I learned from Jamie Oliver!
- After a few minutes, add in the fresh orange slices, then turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the red wine. Gently heat the wine for about 4-5 minutes then ladle into heat proof glasses with a slice of orange or rind in each. Enjoy!
Two other mulled wine recipes I’m going to try are Jamie Oliver and Ina Garten – both these are very different and require a few more ingredients, and I’m keen to see how those taste in comparison.
So, are you a fan of mulled wine in winter, or is it not really your thing? If not, I’d love to know what your preferred drink is during the cooler months.