Grab your barrel and an inexpensive bottle of Taylor Fladgate, and age the port for at least 2 weeks.
You’ll also need:
- 2 oranges, sliced (one for flavouring the wine and the other for garnishing)
- cinnamon sticks (you could also whisk in ground cinnamon if that’s all you have)
- whole cloves
- star anise
- cardamom pods
To make the mulled wine, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan or crock-pot and give it all a quick stir. (You can also peel the orange slices to reduce some of the bitterness.)
Heat until the wine barely simmers over medium-high heat but don’t let it bubble! You don’t want to boil off the alcohol. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the orange slices and spices. Give your mulled wine a taste and stir in your desired amount of sweetener (optional) – sugar is the traditional sweetener but I prefer a few tablespoons of maple syrup, agave syrup or honey.
Serve warm in heatproof mugs. Garnish with orange slices and a cinnamon stick.
Want to customize it?
Spike it with extra liqueur (optional but traditional): I like to add a bit of brandy, bourbon, Grand Marnier, Cointreau or cognac, but your favourite liqueur will generally do nicely here.
Use white wine: This recipe is also delicious (and lovely) when made with a dry white wine.
Add chai tea: In lieu of the cloves and star anise, steep 1 or 2 chai tea bags in the mulled wine (preferably caffeine-free as a courtesy to your guests if you plan on serving this in the evening).
Add fruit juice: If you’d like to add in some cranberry juice, consider making my ginger cranberry mulled wine recipe!