The perfect mulled wine takes very little effort, but the addition of the ginger wine (not ginger beer or ginger ale) really adds a little winter warmth which is pleasing in the mouth. If you don’t have ginger wine to hand you can always add in a little ground ginger, but tracking down a bottle of ginger wine is worth it. The cardamom adds a little musk to balance the sugar. Also making a spiced sugar syrup first, before adding in the wine, helps all the flavours mingle and mature a lot faster.
The Perfect Mulled Wine Recipe
Makes about 10 servings
- 2 bottles red wine (1.5 Litres)
- 200ml ginger wine (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 2 oranges (unwaxed) peel / zest and juice
- 1 lemon (unwaxed) peel /zest only
- 150g caster (fine) sugar
- 4 cloves – plus extra for garnish
- 4 cardamom pods – bruised / crushed lightly
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
To a large saucepan add the peel (zest) of the oranges, and the orange juice, then add the lemon peel, sugar and spices. Add just enough red wine to just cover the ingredients in the saucepan, and then heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
Bring this up to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until you have a thick syrup created. Turn the heat down, and pour the rest of the wine into the saucepan, stir, then add the ginger wine. Gently heat this through, sieve out the spices, and serve in heat-proof glasses.