Mulled wine is a Christmas highlight but done poorly you are better off putting the kettle on. The trick here is releasing flavour as well as bringing unexpected flavour. By toasting your spices, as you would for a curry, you release the aromatic compounds that make mulled wine. It also means you can reduce the simmering time, if required, meaning it’s ready for your guests sooner and more alcohol is left in the wine. The unexpected flavour of the peppercorns add the kick needed at the end. It is not to everyone’s taste so experiment with how much peppercorns you find works.
This works well with red or concord grape juice as a non-alcoholic alternative. It can be stored in the fridge for a few days to be reheated as required.
750ml of Red Wine
2 Star Anise
10 Black Peppercorns
4 Cardamon Pods
4 Juniper Berrries
1 Large Orange or 2 Clementines
3-4 tablespoons of Honey
- Add the peppercorns and star anise to a large pot and toast for 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and the other spices. Score the rind of the orange/clementines and add.
- Simmer softly for 40-60 minutes.
- Add sugar to taste and serve. Dilute with hot water if you have lost significant volume whilst simmering.