The last couple of weeks have just whizzed by as I’ve been rushing about to get everything wrapped up in time for Christmas. As much as I love the holidays, I’m also looking forward to the chance to relax afterwards! That said, I did get to clock off work this week (yeeessss!!) and had some extra time for festive activities. Namely making cookies for the kids and mulled wine for the grown ups (almost all of our holiday traditions revolve around food and drink, haha).
For me, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without mulled wine. There’s something very special about the unmistakable aroma emanating from the pot as it bubbles away on the stove. It wafts about the whole house, making me feel joyous and nostalgic and cozy all at once.
This particular recipe comes from Jamie Oliver. I’ve had a fair bit of practice over the years and this is hands down the best mulled wine recipe I’ve found. He describes it as “Christmas in a cup” and he’s not wrong! It’s super easy to prepare, but immensely flavorful. And always a hit with friends and family.
As far as I’m concerned, the only way to serve mulled wine is with mince pies. This usually creates confusion when I mention it to my American family and friends, so to clarify, a mince pie is a small, sweet pie
filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices. They’re commonly served at Christmas time in England. In America, you can pick them up at World Market or even make them yourself if you’re feeling adventurous. Either way, they are DELICIOUS!!
Well that’s enough rambling on my part. Read on for Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine recipe:
The Best Mulled Wine Recipe Ever
Total time required:
Prep time: 5-10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
What you’ll need:
- 2 clementines (or similar – mandarins make a great alternative)
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 200g caster sugar (see my note on this below)
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 bottles of Chianti or other Italian red wine
- 2 star anise
- Peel large sections of peel from the clementines, lemon and lime using a speed-peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. NOTE – since caster sugar is not typically available here in the US, I make my own by putting some regular granulated sugar in the blender. It’s very easy to do and you can read more about it here.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Halve the vanilla pod length-ways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine, then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. Jamie suggests doing this first to create a wonderful flavor base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.
- When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into heatproof glasses and serve.
So there you have it. Sumptuously festive mulled wine – cheers!!
Do you have a favorite drink for this time of year? I’d love to hear your suggestions!