Perfect for Christmas, this vanilla chai spiced mulled wine blends citrusy flavours with aromatic cinnamon, star anise, and a dash of vanilla chai. Your senses are about to be blown away, and so are your guests!
I don't know about you, but spiced mulled wine is one of the things that remind me of childhood in a very poignant way. Not that I used to drink it as a child, but I do remember how my mother used to make it during the winter months and the whole house smelled like Christmas.
Now that I'm an adult, I'm in charge of my own mulled wine and I do like to experiment with it quite a lot, particularly when it comes to spices.
This vanilla chai spiced mulled wine was born from my love of red wine (duh) and tea. These are the two best drinks in the world for me, so why not mix them up?
What's in this mulled wine?
I used some organic vanilla chai teabags from Pukka, which I absolutely adore on their own, to make this mulled wine, but you can use whatever kind of chai you like.
For the citrusy aromas, I used two small lemons and one medium orange, all sliced and deseeded. Brown sugar works perfectly as a sweetener as it brings a very subtle caramel taste to the drink, something that you won't obtain if you use white sugar.
What kind of wine can I use?
To make the perfect mulled wine, you should not simp on the quality of the wine. That's not to say that you need a very expensive bottle, but try to avoid the "value" type, as you want to really feel bold flavours in the hot drink.
Mulling wine changes the taste of the wine, so don't expect to be able to feel all the delicate nuances of the bottle of red you choose. Malbec, Shiraz, and Merlot are all full-bodied red wines that are perfect for making mulled wine.
What's the secret for making perfect mulled wine?
The secret to making the perfect mulled wine is not to boil the wine. I know that lots of recipes say to bring the wine to a boil and then simmer until you get a thick syrup, but that's the fastest way to remove the alcohol from the wine.
So unless you want to be left with a drink that won't get you very far on your journey to be merry, don't boil the wine. Even simmering the wine will remove some of the alcohol, but boiling is very likely to turn your mulled wine into a glorified grape juice.
Can I make this mulled wine ahead of time?
Mulled wine is best served fresh, but you can make it and chill until you want to use it. Allow the wine to chill at room temperature and transfer it into an airtight bottle.
You can safely store mulled wine in the fridge for up to three days. When you're ready to serve it, pour the wine into a saucepan and rewarm on low heat, again avoiding boiling.
- 1 bottle (750 ml/25.4 oz.) red wine
- 2 lemons, sliced and deseeded
- 1 orange, sliced and deseeded
- 100 g (½ cup) brown sugar
- 2 vanilla chai tea bags
- Star anise (3-4)
- Cinnamon stick (1-2)
- Put the red wine, sugar, fruit, and spices in a large saucepan.
cook on medium temperature until the sugar dissolves, without bringing to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the tea bags for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the pieces of fruit, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and the tea bags and serve hot.