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how to make mulled wine (glühwein)

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  • warm spicy mulled wine is a perennial favorite for those cold winter nights and is great for sharing amongst a group
  • the process of making it whilst camping adds to the pleasurable experience but you will need a 1.5L medium sized lidded pot and a range of ingredients and a cooker with enough fuel such as a wood stove or a larger gas bottle BBQ stove (hiking stoves are probably not going to cut it as it will use a bit of gas).
  • mulling is the process of adding fruits, spices and sugar to a hot drink
  • if camping with large groups you may wish to triple the size of this and thus a 3.5-5L pot will be needed plus a ladle


  • each batch below gives 5 serves
  • whole spices, rather than ground, are key to nice mulled wine (and can also be used for spiced ginger tea or hot toddies)
  • go easy on the spices - they can be over-powering!

usual ingredients

  • 1 750mL bottle red wine
    • mid-range ($10-20), medium to full-bodied red, like Zinfandel, Merlot, Grenache or Shiraz
    • do not waste money on expensive wines as you will camouflage it with all the mulling
    • look for wine described as “jammy” or with “notes of vanilla.”
    • avoid red wines that are high in tannins or very oaky in flavor, like Cabernet Sauvignon
    • avoid very light red wines, like Pinot Noir, because they don’t offer enough body to carry the spices
  • 80-100mL brandy (but can use spiced rum, whisky, Cointreau, Amaretto, or even tawny port instead)
  • ½ stick of cinnamon
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 pods of star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • ½ orange (sliced)
    • optionally, peel first to reduce bitterness
    • optionally also squeeze some juice in
  • optionally add ½ lemon (sliced)
  • 15 to 100mL honey or maple syrup according to taste (or sugar)
  • optionally, add 10g (or 5 tea bags) rooibos tea

usual optional garnishes

  • 1 citrus slice (orange, lemon or lime)
  • extra cinnamon stick
  • extra star anise
  • fresh nutmeg (microplaned)


  • add all ingredients into a medium pot eg. heavy bottomed Dutch oven or stainless steel pot
  • put the lid on and heat on low stirring periodically
  • warm the mixture over medium heat until steaming (about 5 minutes), and keep an eye on it.
  • when you start seeing the tiniest of bubbles at the surface, reduce the heat to the lowest of low
  • ideally you don't want the temperature to go ever 70degC otherwise you will evaporate the alcohol
  • simmer for 30 minutes to up to 3 hours
    • heat it too long or too high, and eventually your wine will taste too spicy, syrupy and almost raisin-like, and the alcohol will evaporate over time
  • use a fine mesh strainer and strain into large pre-warmed jug (discard the citrus and spices)
    • optionally, place all spices and citrus in a cheese cloth to avoid the need to strain it
    • or just ladle it out taking care to avoid the spices
  • pour into pre-warmed glass coffee cups or similar
  • garnish with an orange peel and a grating of fresh nutmeg

other variations

  • dry white wine instead of red wine
  • 1-2 caffeine free chai tea bag instead of the cloves and star anise
  • also consider trying ginger slices, nutmeg, or allspice
  • sprinkle some fresh cranberries in the pot a few minutes before serving as an alternate garnish

consider snacks to have with it

  • nuts
  • maple popcorn
  • etc
australia/mulled_wine.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/02 17:50 by gary1

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