Every year when I come home for Christmas, my mom makes a big pot of mulled wine. It’s our little tradition. A bold red wine steeped with sugar, fruits and spices makes the house smell warm and welcoming. One mugful and I know I’m home for the holidays.
I asked my mom if I could share her mulled wine recipe with you, because I really think everyone should enjoy it this holiday. To make mulled wine, you’ll start with a bottle of a full-bodied red wine, like a cabernet or merlot.
Psst… Wish you were BFF with a sommelier? I’ve got a guide to red wine just for you! And I’ve also got one for white and rosé and sparkling wines — just in case. (That last one will totally come in handy for New Year’s Eve!)
If you’re making a lot, you might buy two or three bottles, depending on how many guests you will have. One 750-ml bottle of wine has about six glasses in it. Most guests will drink two glasses of wine per hour. Math is not my forté, but I suggest you do some before you make mulled wine, and perhaps double, triple or quadruple the recipe! How awful would it be to run out?!
The alcohol in this mulled wine will mostly cook out as you simmer the wine, so it won’t be as potent as a regular glass of wine. The longer you cook it, the less alcohol there will be. But regardless, it will keep its distinct wine flavor, coupled with the flavors you steep in it. In this recipe, we use brown sugar, orange juice and lemon juice, plus cloves, cinnamon sticks and orange slices. My mom always sticks cloves into the skin of a whole orange for added flavor. Plus, it’s just plain pretty.
Feast + West will be taking a few days off for the holiday. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a restful weekend full of joy, love and gratitude. // susannah
Click through for the Mulled Wine recipe!
Mulled wine makes for a warm winter welcome
- 2 medium navel oranges
- 20-30 whole cloves
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine, such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 sticks of cinnamon, plus more for garnish
- Wash and dry the oranges. Slice one of the oranges into 1/4-inch slices. Into the rind of the second orange, insert the cloves 1 inch apart. Do this until the orange is evenly covered in cloves.
- In a large pot over medium heat, stir together wine, sugar, water and juices. Add the clove-studded orange, half of the orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Do not boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- When ready to serve, warm on low heat. Serve in mugs or insulated glasses. Garnish with an orange wedge and/or a cinnamon stick. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.