When it starts to get cold and nights get longer Europeans’ love to warm up with mulled wine – also known as: vin chaud, Glühwein, or Glögg. No matter what you call it, the recipe is based on warm, sweetened and spiced red wine and is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.
Although I had to watch most of Jamie Oliver’s adventures in America with my eyes closed and ears covered, I caught a Christmas edition of another shows last night. I saw what looks like a great recipe for mulled wine – I was particularly interested when Jamie pointed out that making a syrup first helps to prevent burning off any more alcohol than necessary… maybe I could learn to like Jamie. The recipe on the channel 4 website differed slightly, in that it didn’t make syrup first, but I have amended it below.
Mulled Wine (adapted from channel4.com):
- 2 clementines
- Peel of 1 lemon
- Peel of 1 lime
- 250g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 fresh bay leaves (1.5 dried)
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 whole vanilla pod, split down the middle
- 2 star anise
- 2 bottles of good red
1. Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough water to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the water and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with wine, you’ll burn off the alcohol.
2. When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.
If this isn’t boozy enough for you, feel free to add a shot of brandy to each glass!