This is a wonderful tasting, modern citrus version of a mulled wine, perfect for Winter, (Bonfire Night, Halloween and Christmas etc); it easy to make, and it can be made ready on the day it is to be served. To get the best out of this recipe follow the directions to make the citrus spiced syrup up first, to infuse all the flavours, and then add in the red wine to mull.
This way you will get all the flavours infusing into the wine, but not lose the alcohol, as it is only being simmered on a gentle heat after the syrup is made. This is one of my favourite winter drinks and it is a real step up from the ordinary Mulled Wines made from buying a packet of ‘mulled’ spices in the supermarket most people serve at Christmas; the key note flavours of the citrus fruit and gentle winter spices are complimented by the refreshing taste from the Vanilla seeds, perfect in red wine. It is important though that you buy a vanilla pod and not use a vanilla essence or extract for this recipe.
I normally make it a day or two in advance and re-bottle it in the red wine bottles, (after sieving it) then gently reheat it before serving, however it also tastes great freshly made on the day. If making it for a party serve with thick cut wedges and thin cut slices of the citrus fruit, drop a few in the glass before adding in the mulled wine.
Citrus Mulled Wine Recipe
- 2 bottles of Red Wine (1.5 litres)
- 4 clementines (Peel & Juice)
- 1 lemon (Peel & Juice)
- 1 lime (Peel & Juice)
- 200g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg (grated)
- 1 whole vanilla pod (split)
- 2 star anise
- lemon, lime and small oranges (cut into thick wedges and thin slices)
To begin: Peel away large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime. Use a speed peeler and try to avoid cutting into the white pith beneath the skin.
In a large heavy-based saucepan heat the sugar over a medium heat, then add in the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine, lemon and lime juice (over a sieve to catch any pips). Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Stir for one minute to mix everything into the sugar syrup base.
Split a vanilla pod with a knife down its length, add it and the seeds to the saucepan and add in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the small amount of red wine, and then bring to the boil while stirring. Keep on a rolling simmer for about 4 minutes, or until a thick citrus spiced syrup is produced. Make sure the syrup does not burn, turn down the heat and stir if catching.
When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine on a low heat, stir occasionally and after around 15 minutes turn it off.
With a sharp knife prepare the fruit slices and wedges. It looks good to have a mixture of thick wedges and thin slices served in the glasses. Leave the peel on but remove any noticeable pith and pips.
After the wine has mulled through, sieve the wine (to remove all the larger bits) into a jug, punch bowl or clean saucepan to serve from and add back in the cinnamon sticks and the prepared citrus fruit wedges and slices.
When it is still warm and delicious, ladle the Citrus Mulled Wine into glasses with one or two wedges of citrus fruit and serve. Remember to use heat proof glasses to drink from.