Thursday, 16 August 2012

Why Not Heat & Spice Your Wine?

As summer comes to a close in the UK, we look ahead to the chilly winter and all of the tasty hot beverages which seems to be a tradition in the UK. One hot drink which Cara and I had not heard of before our travels is “Mulled” wine. It’s a popular concoction served in all the pubs and at all the winter festivals. During our visit to the Tower of London, I managed to pick up a sachet of mulled wine spices to mix on a cold winters night. Although winter is not here yet, I couldn’t resist trying it out early.

The term ‘mulled’ means to simply heat and spice a liquid. Red wine is the most common beverage to mull, but other drinks such as cider and mead are common too. Originally mulled wine was served as a medicine to keep people heathy over the cold winters. But it is now a popular winter beverage, most commonly drunk around christmas. 

One simple way to make mulled wine is to start with a cup of water (measurements may vary depending on how much you’d like to make). Add spices such as cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Boil the spices until most of the flavour has been extracted. Next add a cup of red wine, with a tablespoon of sugar. Bring the mixture to the boiling-point. Once all the sugar and spices have been dissolved, take the mixture off the boil. If you prefer a stronger drink, add a dash of brandy to the mixture. If you are a sweet tooth, you could also add honey with you mulled wine. If you fancy more citrus flavours, you could boil the wine with lemons or oranges. The flavours you add is only limited by your imagination. When serving mulled wine, It’s usually finished of with a slice of orange, but as mentioned, you have no limitations. Overall, you get a warming drink, which is a well balanced blend of spices and citrus flavours together with the smooth tannins of the red wine. 

I look forward to testing out some new mulled wine recipes over the winter. 

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