Happy New Year! I hope 2017 got off to a good start for you. We rang in the new year with some of the white wine mulled wine I made yesterday for the blog, rather than with our usual glass of bubbly. This white wine version of Glühwein makes a nice change from the red wine variety, which we all know and love. It also makes a great gift – it looks very pretty filled into bottles with a stick of cinnamon, some star anise and a few berries.
Sugar and spice and all things nice
But don’t be deceived by its good looks – it’s every bit as dangerous as its red counterpart. The trouble is you guzzle down the first glass, remarking on how light it is, then go back to the pot for a quick top-up. At which point, the damage is done. Before you know it, you’ll be seeking out a quiet corner for a little snooze. The combination of the warmth, the sugar, the wine plus a generous dash of tipple from the liquor cabinet makes for a heady concoction. Cheers!
White wine mulled wine
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Storage: up to a week in the fridge (should it last that long)
- 1 bottle (750 ml) white wine (see note below)
- 300 ml apple juice
- 150 ml water
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (broken in half)
- 3 star anise
- 6 kumquats, sliced
- 60 g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 40 g sultanas
- 50 ml orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau) or brandy
– Pour the wine, apple juice and water into a large saucepan and add the sugar and spices. Then add the sliced kumquats and the fruit. Do not add the liquor at this stage.
– Heat the saucepan, but don’t allow to boil. Keep it just below simmering point for about 20 minutes.
– Now add the orange liqueur or brandy and serve.
– To serve, strain a few ladles into a jug and then pour into glasses. Add some of the fruit to each glass.
– If you’re bottling it as a gift, strain as before and pour into sterilised bottles. Then fish out some of the cinnamon stick, star anise and fruit and push down into the neck of the bottle. Some of the fruit will sink (kumquats, raisins), some will float (cranberries).
– For the wine, I use Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Any other citrusy wine would also work. Whatever you choose, please don’t go for the cheapest plonk from the bottom shelf of a discount store. No amount of sugar and spice can improve plonk!