I am looking forward to the return of the famous German market. I love the atmosphere of the markets and of course, a warming mug of Gluhwein! Glühwein is essentially Mulled Wine; a warming drink made with red wine, winter spices and citrus.
So, do you need to use a particular red wine or syrup to make your winter mulled wine? The answer is no. You can use any red wine to make mulled wine, however I would recommend you follow a few basic guidelines.
Firstly, don’t spend a lot of money on your red wine! Choose a wine that is lower in alcohol, around 12% would be best. Wine with low tannin is also preferable, you want your mulled wine to be smooth without the drying, coarse textures of tannic wine.
Below is my basic recipe. Feel free to use any combination of spices and alcohol! Most importantly, don’t use ground spice as this will give your mulled wine a gritty, unpleasant texture.
Combine two bottles of your chosen red wine, with 2 sliced oranges, 6 cardamon pods (bruised with the side of a knife), a teaspoon of whole cloves, 4 star anise, 3 sticks of cinnamon in a saucepan or slow cooker and slowly warm over a low heat. Before it starts to boil, remove from the heat and stir in 4 tablespoons of Demerara sugar or another sweetener of your choice. Let the blend of wine and spices sit for up to 30 minutes filling your kitchen with delicious aromas. After 30 minutes, strain and serve. Garnish with a slice of orange and a stick of cinnamon.