How To Make & Serve Mulled Wine

How To Make & Serve Mulled Wine

There's nothing like a steaming cup of spiced wine to get you into the festive spirit. A delicious blend of booze, citrus and spice, a perfectly brewed batch of warming mulled wine hits all the right notes. The secret is making sure you don't take the temperature too high, or your festive flavours will turn bitter and unpleasant. Follow our tips and check out Mike Tomkins' ultimate boozy mulled wine recipe below.


What to put in mulled wine?

Mulled wine needs something citrus, something spiced and something sweet. For the citrus, orange and lemon are essential flavours. Typical spices include cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise, but some people also like to add nutmeg and ginger. For the sweetness, add a little bit of brown sugar, honey or maple syrup to taste.

If you like your mulled wine boozy, brandy and orange liqueurs will give it a hearty kick.


How to heat up mulled wine?

The key to successfully heating up mulled wine is to take it up to a nice warm temperature without boiling it. Wine has a lower boiling point than water, and overheating it will cook off some of the alcohol, resulting in an unpleasant bitter flavour.

The easiest way to heat mulled wine is in a pan, so you can keep an eye on the temperature using a thermometer. But you can also heat mulled wine in the microwave — we would recommend doing it in short bursts, stirring and measuring the temperature in between to avoid overheating.


What temperature should mulled wine be served at?

Mulled wine evaporates at 80 °C, so make sure to keep it below this temperature. We recommend heating and serving it at around 65 °C, using a Thermapen kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature.

Serve your festive drink in warmed glass mugs to help the wine maintain its optimal serving temperature whilst drinking.


Can you reheat mulled wine?

You can reheat mulled wine as many times as you like, as long as it hasn't been overheated. Always use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

If you plan to use your leftover mulled wine at a later date, keep it in the fridge for up to three days. If it contains added fruit, it's best used the next day or it may start to ferment.


How to make mulled wine

This mulled wine recipe by MasterChef 2021 runner-up Mike Tomkins really pulls out all the stops when it comes to flavour. The Grand Marnier and brandy give it a strong kick that is sure to warm you up on a cold winter's day.


Mulled wine ingredients:
  • 1 bottle of Merlot or Shiraz
  • 120ml of Grand Marnier
  • 60ml of brandy
  • 4 tbsp of runny honey
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • A small nob of fresh ginger cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh grated nutmeg
Mulled wine recipe:
  • In a tall pan, combine your red wine, Grand Marnier, and brandy. Warm it over low to medium heat.
  • Alcohol evaporates at 80 °C so you need to make sure your Thermapen remains under this temperature to capture all of the flavours of the mulled wine.
  • After warming, add your remaining ingredients and gently simmer the mixture over low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Make sure the mixture remains under 80 °C. Once everything is well infused, remove it from the heat.
  • Strain the mulled wine through a fine sieve into another pan on a low heat to keep warm until serving.
  • Garnish each serving with an orange slice, a cinnamon stick, and a thin slice of apple.
Products to help you achieve perfection
" Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guess work out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
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