Glühwein – Mulled Wine

What an absolutely beautiful day we had today, just like you wish every winter day was – snow still piled high outside, not too cold, sun shining brightly.  Quite a fitting day to make some mulled wine, especially as I’m expecting guests tomorrow night, so we’re all set for an aperitif with this.

The recipe for this mulled wine is my friend’s husband’s “secret” recipe, and I had to sort of get on my friend’s nerves to weasel it out of her.  Her husband is in the wine business, selling Argentinian wine, but I had to forgo that as I only had Sicilian Shiraz among my stock.

Something else I weaseled out of someone are the pretty tea / punch glasses.  They used to be my mother’s, and she had them standing around on their little tray in the dining room for ages, intending to either sell them or get rid of them.  So I persuaded her to get rid of them by handing them over to me.

So – couldn’t feel better, could I?  Beautiful day, secret recipe, pretty glasses.  And very tasty mulled wine.

Glühwein  – Mulled Wine

1 bottle of fruity red wine, preferably Shiraz
approx. 10 cloves
1 organic mandarin (or clementine)
1 cinnamon stick
honey and/or maple syrup and/or brown sugar
some herbal liqueur / bitters (like Jägermeister or Ramazotti)

Stick the cloves into the mandarin.   Pour wine into a pot, add mandarin and cinnamon, then add honey, maple syrup, or sugar (or a mixture of all three) as well as some bitters according to your liking.

Heat the wine until it almost starts boiling, then turn off heat and let the mixture cool slowly.  After a couple of hours, pour the wine through a coffee filter and pour back into the bottle with a funnel.

Reheat before serving.

This is so quick, takes only a couple of minutes to prepare and then you can leave it to infuse.  I recommend not to let infuse for more than a couple of hours as the cloves will become too dominant otherwise.

As for the sweetening, I decided to use just maple syrup, and I started out with 1 tbsp, trying every 15 minutes to see how it turned out, and adding about 3 – 4 tbsp more along the way.  The reason for using maple syrup was that I liked that it’s already liquid, so it wouldn’t need to dissolve like sugar or honey.

For bitters I used Ramazotti, but only about 1 ½ tbsp.

Even though I had this mulled wine at my friend’s a year ago, the memory of its taste is still vivid, because it didn’t have any hint of bitterness, and it was the most fruity mulled wine I ever had.  Thus my goal also was to retain the fruitiness of the Shiraz, and to have a pleasant balance between the cloves and the maple syrup.  Goal achieved. 🙂