Is it Mulled Wine o’clock yet?


The nights are drawing in with warm cosy fires or in my case cranking up the central heating. Christmas in a glass for me has to be mulled wine.  Charles Dickens mentions mulled wine in his story The Christmas Carol as a holiday drink and like Mr Dickens I think of it as a sort of winter sangria with classic festive flavours in abundance.

Last year I sipped on the non alcoholic variety as I was with child but I did enjoy mulled apple juice as a non alcoholic alternative which children can enjoy too.



Mulled Apple Juice


1 Litre of pressed Apple Juice

1 whole Orange, cut in quarters

1 (2″)cinnamon stick, plus extra  sticks to garnish

4 whole cloves

1 ” piece of fresh ginger

sugar or honey or xylitol, to taste

Pinch of Allspice (optional)


Combine ingredients in a saucepan.

Heat gently and simmer without boiling for 10 minutes

Strain mixture and serve in mugs.

Make sure you let it cool a little  especially if you’re giving to children.


I’ve yet to try the norwegian version Gløgg (pronounced ‘glurgg’) a hot, spiced sweetened wine punch with raisins and nuts.  A few years ago I tried Mulled wine fruits as a dessert with ice cream which was interesting but I much prefer it as a beverage.



Mulled Wine

1 good bottle of red wine a Chianti, Zinfandel, or Merlot
1 glass of either brandy or port
5 whole cloves
1 orange, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch Allspice
vanilla pod halved
1 whole nutmeg
1 star anise
Sugar, honey or xylitol to taste

In a saucepan, gently heat the wine and choice of spirit. Stick the cloves into the orange slices. Add the cinnamon, clove-spiked oranges slices, mixed spices and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes and whilst it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.


Mulled Wine Cocktails

This recipe comes from the BBC Good Food website which is a brilliant source (I nearly wrote Sauce) for all things culinary!


  • 100g/4oz light muscovado sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 150ml water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 clementines
  • 150ml Cointreau
  • 750ml/ 1¼pint bottle light red wine, such as Beaujolais
  • Twist of orange zest and a star anise, to serve


  1. Put 100g light muscovado sugar in a pan with 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 cloves and 150ml water. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Simmer for 2 mins, then pour into a large jug and leave to cool. Add 1 lemon and 2 clementines, both thinly sliced, to the jug along with 150ml Cointreau and a 750ml bottle light red wine, such as a Beaujolais. Stir well, then cover and chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight if you can.
  3. Serve chilled or over ice, with a twist of orange zest and a star anise. If you’d like to serve a traditional warm mulled wine, there’s no need to chill – simply warm through without boiling and serve in heatproof glasses.



Mulled White Wine

The less conventional and gentle winter warmer


A good bottle of white wine like Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Chadonnnay
1 orange studded with 4 cloves
2 tbsp honey, or light brown muscavado sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1cm thick slice fresh ginger
75ml apple brandy


Pour the wine into a saucepan with the cinnamon and cloves and orange and lemon zest.

Heat gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, but don’t allow the wine to boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 30 minutes, then add the sugar to taste. Gently reheat, strain and serve warm.

Is Mulled Wine your favourite festive drink?

Thanks for reading!