A nice glass of wine by an open fire while Christmas Carols play in the background and the lights on the Christmas tree twinkle. Sounds like a perfect evening right? But sometimes you just need to spice things up a little and try something new.
So this year I decided to give Mulled Wine a try. I had never had it before and looked at a number or recipes but didn’t have all the ingredients on hand so I took a little look through my spice drawer and pulled this recipe together. For a little twist I used Ruby Red Grapefruit instead of oranges and lemon peel commonly used in traditional recipes.
First don’t go wasting a bottle of excellent and expensive red on a mulled wine. All you need here is a full bodied red like a Cabernet Sauvingnon or a Shiraz. I used a Shiraz for this recipe because, well that is what I had available and because I thought that the peppery notes that a Shiraz is known for would complement the spices and add some depth.
Simply pour the full bottle into a large pot, add 2 cups of water, the ruby red grapefruit slices studded with the cloves, 1 full cinnamon stick, the other spices, sugar bring just to a boil. Actually you want to turn it down to the lowest setting right before it starts to boil so make sure to not walk away and keep an eye on it. Once it has almost come to a boil turn down to the lowest setting and let barely simmer for about half an hour.
Then add the Cointreau and bring back the heat just to warm up again but not to a full boil. When complete strain the liquid over a large measuring bowl to ensure the wine is clarified and there is no pulp or spices hanging around.
Pour the Mulled Wine into some pretty glasses and decorate with a cinnamon stick and some left over grapefruit slices. Mulled wine is to be served warm however I prefer mine to be cooled to room temperature. I find it is much smoother this way but is all personal preference.
To store pour back into a wine bottle using a funnel and seal tight. It can be left in the fridge and gradually rewarmed for up to 2 days. Red wines lose their luster quickly and this is no exception.
- 1 750 ml bottle of red wine like Cabernet Sauvingnon or Shiraz
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 a ruby red grapefruit
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods lightly crushed
- 1/2 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Cointreau or other orange flavoured liqueur
In a large saucepan add wine, water, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, grapefruit with cloves, nutmeg
Heat on medium high heat until just before it reaches a boil - watch carefully
Turn down to lowest temperature and lightly simmer for 1/2 hour
Add Cointreau and turn add more heat just enough to gently reheat the liquid
Strain liquid into a large measuring cup
Serve warm or room temperature in fancy glasses
Garnish with cinnamon stick and grapefruit wedges