Written December 12, 2012, this set of recipes for mulled wines is especially great for warming a cold winter’s day and for bringing holiday cheer. But why wait until November to enjoy a delicious cup of wine?
The holidays are here…along with the darkness of winter, biting cold winter storms, and frozen toes. It’s also a time of year when we look back on the year that was as we welcome a new year. In December, we celebrate Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, and Kwanza, typically in that order. It’s a festive time focused on spending time with family and friends; the gifts we might exchange are secondary, contrary to what a plethora of TV advertisements may tell us.For centuries, a critical part of spreading that holiday cheer has been a cup of warmed, spiced wine. Typically red, it can also be white, depending on personal preferences, and infused with any number of fragrant herbs and spices.
For me, three recipes really stand out among all the many mulled wine recipes you can find. The first recipe is medieval. It’s an example from 1660 with doubtless origins stretching back several centuries before it was written down. Unlike most recipes you’ll find on the web, this medieval recipe adds cream to the mix, something I don’t see very often, but really adds to the flavor of the wine. Second, it’s written for a large gathering — an entire GALLON of (red) wine. This makes it perfect for serving at historical re-enactments where typically at least 40 people are sitting at feast at any given time. Not hosting a yuletide event? No problem…just serve it at whatever festive gatherings you choose to host. I can tell you from experience that few things make you feel warmer or happier coming in from a brutal storm than a nice cup of hot or warm mulled wine. For parties, I suggest using a crock pot to prepare and serve the medieval recipe. Your guests will thank you for serving the wine at just the right temperature to drink right away!
The second recipe is a favorite of mine because of all the extra information I found along with it. But it’s also just a really nice, flavorful mulled wine choice. This version calls for three full liters of red wine; I usually make 1/4th of a recipe (one regular 750 ml bottle). It features cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for a very classic taste that is palatable to almost anyone who enjoys red wine. Choose your favorite budget priced vintage for this one; the cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg add so much flavor that you don’t really need anything more pricy than $18 per bottle!
The final recipe, for mulled riesling, is my all time favorite. Like many people, I prefer lighter flavors; the tannins in reds just don’t agree with me as well as the lighter blushes and white wines do. For many people, white wines are also better tolerated, especially if a person takes prescription medications on a regular basis. But more than that, I love the combination of rosemary, honey, and lemon with riesling. Riesling is a very flavorful, light wine to begin with. Those flavors really come alive when you add rosemary, honey, and lemon to them. For someone with a refined palate especially, the combination is just spectacular! I love the nuances you get with this third and final recipe.
“1 gallon wine
2oz ginger, sliced
“Take a gallon of wine, three ounces of cinamon, two ounces of slic’t ginger, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, an ounce of mace, twenty corns of pepper, an ounce of nutmegs, three pound of sugar, and two quarts of cream.”
In essence, mix all ingredients and heat slowly in a large pot. Serve warm. You can also let it ‘settle’ for a few days and serve it cool, depending on which way tastes better to you!”
Anything Wine’s Recipe:
3 Liters red wine (we use Merlot) but you can use something like a hearty burgundy also
· 8 sticks of cinnamon
· 32 cloves
· 3 cups sugar
· 1 cup lemon juice
· 1Tbs nutmeg
· 3 cups water
“Combine all of the above in a pot and bring to a low boil with the cover on. I put the nutmeg and cloves in a small bag for easy removal and strain out the cinnamon sticks with a spoon. Boil for ten minutes.”
Let stand overnight and then take out the spices. Serve warm!
Riesling Rosemary Mulled Wine1/2c water
2 Tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup honey
2 bottles riesling white wine
Simmer (but not boil) the water, sugar, rosemary, and honey for 10 minutes. Add in the wine . Peel the lemons and add in the peels. Let sit for a length of time to seep in the flavors, without boiling. Strain out the larger bits and serve warm.
No matter what your mulled wine indulgence is, these three recipes are absolutely certain to please. Whether your interest is in making a historically accurate beverage, a family favorite traditional mulled red wine, or in the delicate flavors of the mulled riesling, there is something for everyone with these mulled wine choices.As the weather grows colder yet and the snow falls once more, try a cup of warmed mulled wine at your next holiday party or celebration. Long before egg nog (an American invention), the holidays were filled with generous cups of hot/warm mulled wine. Discover the tradition and you’ll know why it’s been the beverage of holiday cheer for over one thousand years!