Christmas has come and gone, but the season for cozying up at home has just begun.
One of my favourite things to enjoy with friends at this time of year is mulled wine. The spicy, warm beverage is infused with flavours iconic to the holidays — cloves, star anise, oranges — mixed with sweet red wine in a comforting, Christmassy blend.
The smell of mulled wine instantly transports me to my parents’ home on Christmas Eve, where I first tried the drink several years ago. We let the mixture sit on the stovetop for hours, simmering and filling the house with notes of cinnamon and fruit.
For me, a glass of wine is the perfect signal to my body that the work day is over and it’s time to unwind. So when I have the time to mull my own wine, it’s an even more powerful signal that I’m on vacation.
That said, it only takes about 30 minutes to brew a batch of mulled wine, making it a simple recipe for relaxation on a winter weekend. It’s also extremely customizable: apples, oranges, pomegranates, berries and peaches can all be substituted in, depending on which flavours or combinations you prefer.
This year, Alison, Melissa and I tried a new mulled wine recipe, inspired by this one from By Emma With Love. The addition of the cranberry juice adds a richness to the drink that cuts through the sweetness of the apple cider, bringing a beautiful balance to the bevvy.
A tall mug of rich, comforting mulled wine, perfect for an evening in with the gang!
Feel free to use the recipe below for inspiration, and let me know what delicious concoction you end up with.
Very Merry Mulled Wine
- 2 750mL bottles red wine
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 star anise
- 1 cup brandy or dark rum
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (to taste)
- Combine all ingredients except brandy in a large pot or Crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, though it can sit for longer.
- Stir in brandy and white sugar, to taste.
- Garnish with extra fruit and cinnamon sticks, and serve. Happy holidays!
Adapted from By Emma With Love