Warm days are over, Christmas is approaching, it is time to stock up on inexpensive red wine and spices to make that nice steaming hot cup of mulled wine. I mean who doesn't love mulled wine? If that is you, maybe it's because you never has good mulled wine. Or else, the BEST mulled wine. Classic mulled wine recipe is not exactly rocket science. However, what makes the best mulled wine is the liqueur you add to your red wine. And maybe some sweetener. And a few tips and tricks.
750 ml red wine
100 ml Vino Chinato
1 tbsp sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Just to be clear, if you are lacking some particular ingredients or have just one star anise, that it totally fine. I do advice to not skip on your liqueur, which in reality may be anything you really love: brandy, orange liqueur like Cointreau, vermouth, even gin, or in my case Vino Chinato from Bordiga 1888. This is an exceptional Nebbiolo wine aromatised with quinine that adds depths and sweetness to your drink. That means if you are more of a sweet tooth, use some sweet liqueur when cooking mulled wine. If you prefer dry flavour, stick to brandy or Cointreau.
Start by picking red wine. Rule of thumb: don't overpay. Almost any not expensive dry red wine that you like will do just fine.
Here I picked Santa Conchita Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, which is perfect. It is not super tannic, it has a bit of juiciness and dryness that we need. Such wines are great to be enjoyed right now. So why don't we use it as a base for our classic winter drink?
Put the contents of the bottle in a large pot on a low to medium heat. Do not boil the wine, we don't want the alcohol to evaporate.
Add sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves to your wine. Put more sugar if you wish, but, if using Vino Chinato, that is unnecessary.
Chop the fruits to your liking and put it in the pot - this is our garnish. Orange will add fresh juiciness. Skip this step if you like robust flavours or no garnish is needed.
Add your liqueur, in my case Bordiga Vino Chinato.
Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat.
Remove from the heat, cool the mulled wine and let the spices infuse the wine.
When ready to serve, lightly heat the mulled wine and pour into heatproof glassware.
Your mulled wine is ready! It can be stored in your fridge for up to 24 hours, mind that time if you used fresh fruits. Reheat as necessary. Enjoy!