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Making Truly Novel Mulled Wine

The Germans and the Swedes have certainly made their mark in the book of mulled wine recipes, with the likes of Glühwein and Gløgg. The Romans, however, were the original inventors. As they traipsed across Britannia, their legions brought the art of winemaking as far as the Scottish border.

Venturing that far north meant they probably warmed up their wine out of necessity - it was surely the only way to stop their knees from knocking together under those armored skirts. For that, we’re forever grateful - so we’ve come up with our own Novel take on a winter warming recipe.

Choose the wrong bottle and mulled wine can get too heavy for an evening tipple. An English red, believe it or not, fits the bill for a refreshing beverage, and it's unlikely to give you a bad hangover. A bottle like the Sixteen Ridges Pinot Noir is lighter-bodied due to the lack of strong tannins - and yet is still packed with herbaceous flavour and juicy red cherries.

Sixteen Ridges Pinot Noir English Red Wine

Instead of going heavy on the baking spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, we’ve added cardamom and fennel to our recipe. Such green spices perfectly complement a lighter wine.

An optional (but recommended) addition to our festive punch recipe is a few glugs of English ginger wine. Made with fermented ginger and raisins, ginger wine has been marked for its medicinal values since the 18th century when it was first distilled in the City of London.

The Recipe

This recipe will make about 12 servings.

Mulled Wine Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 2 bottles of Sixteen Ridges Pinot Noir
  • 150g plain white caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 unwaxed oranges
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 5 bruised cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 100ml English ginger wine
  • Heatproof glasses

Method for Truly Novel Mulled Wine

  1. Juice one of the oranges, and then remove the zest from the oranges and lemons. The zest should be in large pieces.
  2. Place the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the fruit peels and orange juice.
  3. Remember! Don’t forget to keep the mixture at a medium to low temperature at all times. If you let it boil over, the sugars will caramelise and your wine might burn. Simmering is key.
  4. Add the sugar, cloves, bay leaves, fennel, cardamom, and star anise.
  5. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways and add them to the mixture.
  6. Add just enough wine to cover the sugar, and heat slowly for around 6 minutes until it has dissolved. You should end up with a thick, gooey syrup.
  7. Lower the heat, and add the remaining English Pinot Noir and ginger wine. Heat the mixture slowly without letting it boil.
  8. Cover and leave for 30 minutes before serving. You can reheat it to serve if it’s cooled down - but mulled wine should never be served scalding.
  9. Use the other orange to garnish the heatproof glasses.

Do as the Romans do and bring back the art form of brewing mulled wine - with a light and refreshing recipe unlike any you’ve tried before. Cheers!

Next article Your Essential Guide to Drinking Over Christmas

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