MERRY CHRISTMAS | SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE

Merry Christmas everyone! Michael Bublé version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was on repeat on my phone as I finished bottling and wrapping two batches of mulled wine earlier. If you're thinking hard about what to prepare for a Christmas potluck or what kind of easy DIY gifts for your loved ones, this mulled wine may fit the bill! 

Speaking of those two batches of mulled wine, they were brewed with the same method but different concoctions due to the availability of the fruits in the supermarket. Brewing slow cooked mulled wine is a tradition to Ryan which he holds dear every Christmas. It all started when he was 18. Aunt Wendy sent a greeting card with a mulled wine recipe attached to it that Christmas. His memory of that recipe was in bits and pieces, what he remembered was that red wine, oranges, cinnamon sticks and cloves served the base of the drink.

With his experimental nature, this guy was toying with the idea of adding more spice, sweetness to dilute the potency of a traditional mulled wine for which his family are non heavy drinkers. In the end, port wine, cayenne pepper, heather honey and cranberry juice were the additional ingredients, none of them was bought from the supermarket with intent. They were the common items in their everyday kitchen. And that marked the beginning of his series of mulled wine journey... 

Every year, the zesty citrus touch and spicy kick remain in the mulled wine, except for this year, he created two versions. One with fresh cranberries and the other one with persimmons and grapes (they were never bought with intent again, we had too much to finish.)  If you fancy a spicy and bitter after taste of the wine, watch the video the above! For those who adore yours to be sweeter, go for the latter version😊 Believe it or not, we are stoked for making our third batch next week when the fridge is quarter filled with mulled wine now, hehehehe....

Wrapping my hands around a cup of warm mulled wine and indulging every sip are suffice to feel a lot like Christmas. The warm balmy liquid trickled smoothly down its way in my throat and sat quietly in my tummy of caramel waffles. Surprisingly, the punch of caramel that made me cringed was washed away with mulled wine. Having it alone or pairing with either sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers will not go wrong.

We were inspired to serve a warm, low alcohol content mulled wine for friends and family, allowing them feel the fuzzy glow and drift off to sleep. I called it the "sweet dreams wine"! Oh, it is advisable to drink it several hours before you hit the sack as any booze, disrupts your sleep after you visited slumberland for barely a few hours. We'll be guilty for causing people to wake up feeling groggy and kill the festive mood in an instant😪

What I like about mulled wine is that my Asian flush face hardly makes her appearance and I'm still wide awake, after 2 glasses, though, the giggly self never hides. Also, mulled wine was discovered as a home remedy for my coughs and colds. 

Below are some tips from Ryan to make the perfect home mulled wine:

  • The mulled wine consists of citrus base+ 3 spices + 1 sweet fruit+ 1 juice
    • Orange and lemon won't let you down. Tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit bring a more festive pump.
  • Do not put too much spice in the beginning. Sparingly is the key word and adjust accordingly to your palate. 
  • Avoid boiling the mixture, it will burn off alcohol and affect the taste. Always let it simmer. 
  • Keep in an air tight glass jar, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the deeper and robust it tastes.

SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE WITH CRANBERRIES

Ingredients (serves 14 cups)

  • 1 orange, in chunks
  • ½ cup cranberries, smashed
  • 2 bottles Cabernet Merlot
  • 240 ml cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, break in halves
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw eucalyptus honey

Directions

  • Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, red wine, dried chilli flakes into a stock pot. 
  • Turn on fire to medium heat and gently add honey and stir slowly till it dissolves. Pour in orange, cranberries and cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice in the mixture. Give it a quick stir and turn down to low heat. Close the lid to let it simmer for 40 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the mulled wine sit for at least 30 minutes. Put sieve in mulled wine to filter solids before scooping into glasses or airtight glass jars.
  • Once the mulled wine has cooled down further, keep glass jars in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to three months.
  • Reheat mulled wine before drinking, it is perfect to serve with sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers. 

SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE WITH PERSIMMONS AND GRAPES

Ingredients (serves 14 cups)

  • 1 orange, in chunks
  • 2 persimmons, in chunks
  • ½ cup seedless red grapes, in halves 
  • 2 bottles Cabernet Merlot
  • 240 ml cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, break in halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw eucalyptus honey

Directions

  • Add cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon cloves, red wine, cayenne pepper into a stock pot. 
  • Turn on fire to medium heat and gently add honey and stir slowly till it dissolves. Pour in orange, persimmons, grapes and cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice in the mixture. Give it a quick stir and turn down to low heat. Close the lid to let it simmer for 40 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the mulled wine sit for at least 30 minutes. Put sieve in mulled wine to filter solids before scooping into glasses or airtight glass jars.
  • Once the mulled wine has cooled down further, keep glass jars in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to three months.
  • Reheat mulled wine before drinking, it is perfect to serve with sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers. 

Gifts. Christmas songs. Christmas tree. Fairy lights in the house. All checked! I'm soaking in the joyous mood already, sooooo ready for a week of feasting and catching up with everyone. Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!🎄🎁💫

-Ally Xx