By Boutique Handbook Writers
It’s a Christmas tipple we enjoy every year, but have you been making mulled wine wrong this whole time?
Luke Sehmer, founder of wine gift list service The Hollington Wine Company, has shared his perfect mulled wine recipe with us – and there is one ingredient he doesn’t include.
A common mistake is adding sugar, he reveals. ‘Try using orange juice to sweeten the taste instead.’
Another thing The Boutique Handbook team have been guilty of in the past is not drinking mulled wine fast enough, so it goes cold.
‘The right way to drink is when the temperature starts to drop,’ Luke says, ‘But don’t let it lose too much warmth before supping away.’
Why do we drink mulled wine?
The origins of mulled wine are considered to date back to Roman times, but it was the Victorians who really made Christmas what it is today.
Luke explains: ‘Dickens himself refers to a mulled wine called ‘Smoking Bishop’ in his 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol – and by 1890, every wine merchant had their own recipe.
‘In the following years, countries all over the world created their own blend. Now as the British have Mulled Wine, the Germans and Austrians have Glühwein, the French have Vin Chaud, and the Italians have Vin Brulé.’
What must go in mulled wine?
There is a myth that mulled wine, perhaps due to its colour, must include red wine.
But Luke dispels this saying: ‘You can make it with red or white wine. There are also some variations that include port or brandy to give it that extra kick.’
Another common belief when it comes to making mulled wine is that you should pick a bottle that is cheap.
Luke tells us: ‘While there is some merit in that, our view is it should be a fruity, full-bodied wine that doesn’t break the bank.’
The perfect mulled wine recipe
Makes around 6 servings
1 bottle of wine of your choice (Luke recommends an Italian Primitivo)
Orange slices (usually one orange is enough if using one bottle of wine)
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Handful of black peppercorns
Handful of allspice berries
Fresh orange juice for sweetening
1. Add the wine to a pan and put on a low heat.
2. Add the orange slices, spices, berries and peppercorns. Once everything is in, bring to a simmer.
3. Once it is warmed through, give it a taste. It should smell great at this point, but if it needs sweetening add a splash of fresh orange juice.
4. Serve and make sure to drink as soon as it starts to cool. It’s also great to warm up again later if you are making a big batch.
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