This easy sugar free mulled wine is the perfect drink to warm you this winter. A lovely celebration of traditional spices like star anise, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a touch of citrus and you’ve got winter in a glass!
Mulled wine is one of those things that make me think of Christmas. It’s funny because Australia is stonkingly hot in December, and mulled wine is about the last thing I feel like drinking, unless of course it’s served chilled with lots of ice. That sounds pretty good indeed!
This recipe is for a traditional mulled wine to be served hot, perfect for this chilly weather. The more popular mulling spices are star anise, cloves, cinnamon and/or nutmeg but I also like the addition of cardamom, vanilla bean and bay leaves. Remember though, star anise and cloves have a very strong flavour the longer they are infused, so use sparingly. The wintery spices always marry perfectly with a touch of citrus. Orange and lemon are my go to, but tangerine, clementine and mandarin would also work very well. You can mix and match spices to suit your taste and the same goes for the citrus fruits.
You will love recipe because it uses honey in place of sugar, making it a much healthier alternative to traditional mulled wines (often made with loads refined sugar). You could substitute honey for maple or rice malt syrup if you wish.
To make the wine is really simple. Start by making a mulled wine syrup by cooking the orange juice, honey, spices, fruits and a splash of red wine and let this simmer until the honey has completely melted into the wine. Bring it to the boil and then let it boil for a few minutes until you have a beautiful syrup. This helps create a wonderful flavour base by getting the honey and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise, vanilla scrapings and husk and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine for around 10 minutes then serve immediately. You can either strain the wine or serve with peels and fruit for garnish – i like to leave the fruits in there as it looks quite rustic, however not all that practical to drink. lol.
Now get yourself a warm knit, a cosy blanket, a good book (try this one) and enjoy warming up with a generous mug of this delicious mulled wine.
Don’t forget to hashtag #cookwiththemacadames when making my recipes. I love to see how you went and get a peek at your kitchen table.
Recipe adapted from here.
What you need:
- Large saucepan
Ingredients (makes approx 1.5L):
- 2/3 – 1 cup honey or maple syrup (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 5 cardamom pods (bruised)
- Freshly grated nutmeg, approx 10-12 gratings
- Peel of one orange
- Peel of one lemon
- Pear, cut into eighths
- 2 750ml bottles good-quality fruity red wine
- 1 vanilla bean (halved lengthways)
- 2 star anise
1. Place the honey, orange juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves, cardamom pods, freshly grated nutmeg, orange and lemon peels and pears and pour enough red wine to cover the honey. Bring the liquid to a simmer and let this simmer until the honey has completely melted into the wine. Bring it to the boil and then let it boil for a few minutes until you have a beautiful syrup.
2. When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise, vanilla scrapings and husk and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine for around 10 minutes.
3. To serve: Immediately. You can either strain the wine or serve with peels and fruit for garnish.
Storage: Wine should be drunk within 2 days.
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For another winter beverage, try my coconut milk rosemary hot chocolate.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx