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Ollie’s Mulled Wine

Recipe by Ollie From Blackhearts & Sparrows

Winter’s almost over, and while we’ll all be guzzling pet-nats in the park before long, it’s still cold outside and sometimes we crave a different kind of brew.

This is my mulled wine recipe that I developed during my time bartending in Edinburgh. It’s simple and delicious, and I’ll give you a few tips to take your mulled wine game to the next level.

In regard to the wine of choice, I like to use Merlot, though you can use anything that is full-bodied and smooth. Don’t go crazy with price here too, you’ll be infusing lots of flavour into your winter brew so there’s no need for anything fancy. Ask our staff to run you through your local shop’s School Night section – they’ll help you pick something perfect!

  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine
  • 100-150 grams of castor sugar (depending on taste preference)
  • 2 mandarins (or 1 orange)
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1cm cube of ginger, peeled
  1. Peel both the mandarins and squeeze the juice through a strainer, keeping the peel of one (If you’re using an orange instead, peel it first and then squeeze about half a cup of juice, again keeping the peel).
  2. Push the cloves into the mandarin peel. This helps to perforate the skin, allowing the oils to better infuse. It also makes the cloves easier to retrieve out at the end.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the juice, peels, and spices, then cover with 100 grams of castor sugar. Pour a glass of wine over the top, or just enough to cover all the ingredients. Give it a good stir.
  4. On a low heat, cover the saucepan and gently bring the mixture up to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Be careful not to let it boil – boiling will cause the alcohol in the wine to evaporate.
  5. After the mixture has had time to infuse, add the rest of the wine and bring it up to serving temperature. Taste it – Add the extra 50 grams of sugar if you feel it’s needed.
  6. Rinse your serving glasses in hot water and dry them first so the mulled wine doesn’t cool down too quickly. Serve and garnish with a cinnamon stick if you’re feeling fancy.
  7. Grab your doona, and enjoy with some dark chocolate whilst binging Netflix and dreaming of the warmer months ahead!

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