Mulled Wine DIY Recipe
Here at Born to Shake we manufacture and sell DIY cocktail kits and products in Kelowna, BC, to help you elevate your bar game at home. You can make your own mulled wine using easily accessible and flavourful ingredients in your pantry. We teamed up with one of our favourite wineries in the Okanagan Valley, Volcanic Hills, and used their Lava Red for this recipe. This recipe was sent to all of our amazing Newsletter Subscribers – if you’d like to get in on this action and never miss a drink, join our list below! For all you cocktail nerds out there, scroll down past the recipe to see how we made the recipe and how to level up your mulled wine cocktail – cheers!
Will make about 4-6 glasses depending how heavy your first is…
1 bottle of red wine (750ml) - we used Lava Red from Volcanic Hills
2x star anise
4x green cardamom pods (leave whole)
2x allspice berries
2x cinnamon sticks
Small handful of cocoa nibs
2x orange wheel slices cut about 1/8” thick
4x brown sugar cubes (or to taste)
- Grab a medium sized saucepan or pot and add your wine and all of your dried ingredients to it.
- Take an orange* and cut off the top (or bottom) end of the orange using a sharp or serrated knife. Cut off enough of the end that the inside of the orange is exposed. Once the flesh is clearly visible, cut 2 slices about 1/8 of an inch thick and then cut these in half so you have 4 pieces all together. Add these into the pot with your wine and other ingredients.
- Heat the mixture on medium high heat. Just before it is about to boil*, reduce the heat to low and let it steep for about 15-20 minutes.
- Strain your mulled wine through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into another pot of equal size. This can be used to keep your mulled wine warm if you want to enjoy throughout the evening.
- Use a ladle and pour yourself a glass. Garnish with an orange wheel, cinnamon stick, star of anise or any combination you’d like!
*fresh orange is great to use, especially for garnishing your finished cocktail, but if you have dried orange wheels on-hand, these are great too and still add tons of flavour to your mulled wine; plus, they’re great for storing for future use!
**If you let your mixture boil or cook for too long, you will cook off all of your alcohol in the wine.
Want to level up your cocktail?! You’ve come to the right place!
Add 0.5oz of Benedictine to each glass of mulled wine.
Want to take it one step further?? Of course, you do…
Hang tight for our upcoming Cherry Bomb syrup dropping in under 2 weeks! Add 0.25oz to 0.5oz of this tasty treat into each glass and see the depth of flavour you can achieve!
Some tricks of the trade...
Mulled wine is not horribly complicated to make and it’s fun to try out new spices and ingredients based on what you have in the pantry or fridge. Start with a smaller recipe and see if you like it. Once you do, it’s easy to scale up from there by multiplying your ingredients list.
Pro tip: always have a paper and pen handy when you’re making a new recipe. Right down all your weights or volumes for your ingredients as you add them in, because we always think we’re going to remember what we included but by the time you get to the end, you’re a little spotty on at least a few items!
What wine do I use?!
Great question – the juicier the red, the better. We want a wine that has a lot of body, something that is going to be able to support all the flavours we infuse into it and when we take a sip, we know it’s going to warm our soul. Think merlot, zinfandel, or syrah! Blends could work well too, but be careful with overly bodacious wines as tannins can play an important and fun role here, but you don’t want the final product to be overly grippy and take away from the smoothness of your drink. We used Volcanic Hills Lava Red because it has a touch of sweetness on the finish. It’s Volcanic Hills' best seller for a reason. We wanted to play up on the nutty and dark bitter-chocolate flavours in the cacao nibs as well! A little secret though - our favourite wine to use is the one that’s been open for a couple days on the counter…
Choosing your flavours
You want a combination of aromatic and herbal flavours such as allspice, clove, or cardamom, and warming or soothing spices like cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Citrus plays a crucial role in balancing your flavours and a little too much can throw your equilibrium off like crazy! Don’t be afraid to combine citrus – orange with a touch of lemon goes a long way.
How sweet is too sweet?
Everyone’s palette is different. If you’re making a batch for you and your friends, remember, you can always ADD sweet to your cocktail, you can’t remove it. Air on the side of caution and under-sweeten your batched drinks so you can have room to add fun syrups or liqueurs without having too sweet of a final cocktail.
Remember, life’s too short to drink shitty cocktails – so, enjoy!!