Are you a lover of this classic Christmas tipple? Here are our favourite recipes to make at home.
Much to our delight, mulled wine tends to make an appearance at every holiday party, work event and carol-singing session over the Christmas period. Though reaching for a bottle of M&S’s ready-made offering is tempting (we’ve been guilty of this ourselves one too many times), making your own version of this festive staple is super easy and a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. These recipes will see you through the holidays and fill your apartment with some heavenly scents…‘tis the season, after all!
A Traditional Take
If you’re a traditionalist at heart then this is the recipe for you. Using classic spices and fragrant fruits, the result will warm any Scrooge’s heart.
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver
Ingredients (Serves 4)
• 2 bottles Italian red wine
• 2 clementines
• 1 lemon
• 1 lime
• 200g caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
• 1 vanilla pod
• 2 whole star anise
Sassy Tip: There’s no need to opt for an expensive red wine here, as the focus of the flavour will be the spices.
1. Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime.
2. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
3. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick, along with about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod lengthways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
4. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a thick syrup. This creates a good flavour base and really lets the sugar and spices infuse the wine. You need to make the syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you use both bottles of wine too early, it will burn off the alcohol.
5. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add the star anise, along with the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine for around 5 minutes, and then ladle into heatproof glasses to serve.
Read more: Your Ultimate Christmas Dining In Guide 2019
The Non-Alcoholic Option
Determined to make it through the festive season tee-total? That’s no reason to miss out on mulled wine! This recipe calls for grape juice in lieu of wine, so you can have as many glasses as you want without a horrific hangover the next day.
Recipe adapted from Little Sugar Snaps
Ingredients (Serves 6)
• 1 litre grape juice
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 whole star anise
• 6 whole cloves
• 15g fresh ginger (1cm thick slices)
• 1 orange (sliced into rounds)
• 2 slices of lemon
• 1 handful of fresh cranberries
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan and heat until boiling.
2. Turn off the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.
3. Strain to remove the fruits and spices.
4. Gently reheat to serve, adding more fresh orange and cranberries if desired.
Sassy Tip: For a deeper flavour, try swapping out the grape juice for a full bottle of non-alcoholic red wine. Check out The Bottle Shop for some options.
Traditionalists look away now. Not only does this recipe call for white wine instead of the usual red, but it also incorporates a light cider into the mix. A light and fresh take on the seasonal classic, we love the addition of elderflower here.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Ingredients (makes about 10 glasses)
• 2 bottles white wine (medium-dry is good)
• 500ml bottle light cider
• 150ml elderflower cordial
• Zest of 2 lemons (pared into strips using a vegetable peeler)
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• 4 to 5 tablespoons caster sugar
1. Put all the ingredients into a pan and heat until steaming, but not boiling.
2. Ladle into mugs or glasses to serve, keeping the rest warm on a low heat.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally written in November 2017 by Annie Simpson and was updated on Monday, 9 December 2019.