By Taylor Melton
Translated by Anna Yang
Mulled wine is a beautiful combination of red wine and spices warmed together and a wonderful, festive drink for whenever you're feeling a bit chilled. It's incredibly easy to make at home and offers a nice alternative to hot chocolate or ginger tea.
What does it mean to mull wine?
This is a common drink found throughout Europe and is especially popular in Germany as well as Sweden. Basically, it involves infusing a red wine with cinnamon, cloves and sugar. Many varieties call for the addition of orange zest or rind, orange juice, cardamom, star anise or apples.
The right wine for mulling
Mulled wine is a terrific chance to use a bottle of wine that wasn't too expensive and even perhaps disappointing in taste. Choose a medium to full bodied red wine such as Malbec, Shiraz, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon that has slight fruit and sweet flavors to it.
Making mulled wine
Each country, region and even family has its own version of this tasty drink. The recipe below is the basis of mulled wine with possible variations also noted. All products can be purchased in Taichung with some ingredients found at baking supply stores such as Sheng-Hui Grocery.
- 2 bottles red wine (l.5L)
- 2 cinnamon sticks (7cm each)
- 12 whole cloves
- 1 large orange, thinly sliced
- 1 cup orange juice (235ml)
- 1.5 cup sugar (340g)
Place all ingredients in a large pot and warm at low heat. Let the wine heat slowly and stop heating before it begins to boil (if it boils, the alcohol will cook out of it). Let the wine and ingredients sit in the pot for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to further infuse the wine. Strain the mixture, reheat if necessary, and serve in mugs with orange rind or cinnamon sticks as a garnish.
-Aged rum (30ml) complements the flavors nicely and gives the wine a nice smooth finish. Brandy or cognac are also good.
-Cut up some apple wedges and add to the pot, or add some apple cider according to taste.
-Additional spices that be included are star anise (3 stars), cardamom (5 cracked pods), a bay leaf, or peppercorn