Homemade Festive Spiced Wine
British mulled wine and German Gluhwein are the best ways to keep warm over the festive period, and they are quick and simple to make. Mulled wine has been enjoyed since the Roman era and it is believed that the original intention of adding spices to wine was to disguise poor quality wine or save that which was about to spoil.
It wasn’t until Charles Dickens featured the drink in his novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ that it became synonymous with the festive period, leading most people to associate such exotic spices as cinnamon and nutmeg with Christmas.
Traditional English mulled wine uses a fortified wine, while Gluhwein is made with ordinary red wine - other than these differences the ingredients and process are the same. There are no hard and fast rules for what spices to use and how much to add (although we usually go for the shot of gin option), it really is down to personal taste – but here’s a cracking recipe as a guide:
- 1 bottle of wine (fortified of unfortified)
- demerara sugar to taste
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- Orange zest
- 1 sliced lemon
- 2 star anise
- 2 chunks of very dark chocolate (optional)
- Sliced root ginger (optional)
- 1 shot per glass of a spirit (brandy, vodka – gin is our favourite)
- Pop all the ingredients in a pan.
- Heat slowly until the wine is infused with the taste of the ingredients. Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil as this will cook off the alcohol.
- Pour into a heatproof glass and enjoy!
To make mulled white wine use the same process as above with the following ingredients (Merrilees Parker – Housecall)
- 2 bottles of dry white wine
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4tbsp clear honey
- 5 slices of lemon
Now for the best part – the drinking!
Our Gardening Angels are connoisseurs when it comes to mulled wine, and they’re not too bad when it comes growing fruit and veg – so if you have any questions give them a call on 0845 602 3774 or drop them an email email@example.com.