The age-old tradition of mulling red wine for the holidays is a fun way for adults to ring in the festive times with a little extra something. Here are some great recipes for some non-traditional mulled adult holiday beverages, and a few mulled drinks that anyone in the house can try.
Mulled Rosé Wine
The rich, full-bodied taste of a mulled red wine is a pretty typical holiday flavor, but if you like something a touch lighter and dryer, but with all of the holiday spices, this is a great one for you. Simply heat up one 750ml bottle of your favorite (or cheapest) rosé with 1 sliced ball of stem ginger, ½ teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1 star anise, 5 allspice berries and ¼ of a pink grapefruit (sliced). Bring everything to a simmer over medium heat, and then stir in2 tablespoons of crème de cassis. Strain and then serve in heatproof glasses.
Mulled White Wine
White wine takes its own special blend of spices, sweeteners and acids to make it work after heating. Heat up one 750ml bottle of white wine and 100ml of Madeira with 4 dried apricots, ½ a lemon (sliced), 1 star anise, 5 bruised cardamom pods, 1 split vanilla pod and 1 tablespoon of honey. Bring the mixture to a simmer, strain with a fine sieve and add some drops of rosewater before serving your milled white wine in a heatproof cup.
Mead is the classic honey wine that has been around forever and makes you feel at home in the past at at the Ren Faire. You can also substitute hard (or regular) apple cider for mead. Heat up a 750ml bottle of mead along with 1 strip of lemon peel, 3 tablespoons of brandy, 250ml of apple juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, and one sliced thumb-sized piece of ginger. Warm the mixture gently until it simmers, then train through a sieve before pouring it.
For the rest of the group, including kids and anyone else who doesn’t drink alcohol, mulling tea is a great way to fill up those holiday cups with cheer. Any good tea – whether black, green or herbal – can be used with this combination of spices to make a great mulled tea. The other bonus is that, unlike alcohol, you’re only limited by how many tea bags you have, you can serve a lot of this at your party. Head up one liter of water and add 4 cloves, 1 tablespoon of dried rose petals, 1 bay leaf, 2 handfuls of frozen mixed berried, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce and ½ of an orange (quartered). Let the mixture boil, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes or so, take the mixture off the heat and drop in one green tea bag, leaving it to steep for 2 to 3 minutes (any tea can be substituted). Strain the mixture through a sieve and serve your mulled tea up warm.