Recipe

Orange and cranberry spiced mulled wine

If you’re looking for pure comfort in a glass as winter closes in, you can’t go too far wrong with mulled wine. This recipe combines the fruity flavours of orange and cranberry with subtle spices to create a luscious, warming tipple.

By Sophie Gray
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
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Keep in mind our top tips for making mulled wine:
  • Just because you're heating it, don't think of mulled wine as a way to use up a cheap, leftover bottle – the wine itself is still central to the drink. By the same token, don't go for a really flash vintage either, as its flavour will be diluted by the fruits and spices.
  • When it comes to the grape, personal preference is key. Ideally you want something fairly dry, fruity and full-bodied, so it can withstand heat. Shiraz or cabernet sauvignon are good bets. And don't forget to try white versions (riesling is good for this), cider variations or even non-alcoholic options with grape juice.
  • Keep it low and slow. When heating, you want to warm rather than boil – as the latter will burn off the alcohol and affect the flavour.

Ingredients

  • 750 ml full-bodied red wine
  • 500 ml water
  • 300 ml orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries
  • 150 g brown sugar, approx
  • sliced oranges and mint sprigs, to serve (optional)

Method

  • 1
    In a large saucepan combine the wine, water, orange juice and brandy, if using.
  • 2
    Stud the orange with cloves and add to the liquid with the mixed spice, star anise and cinnamon quills; heat gently until simmering.
  • 3
    Add the cranberries and sugar, adjusting the sweetness to your taste. Keep the mulled wine on the stove on a very low setting and serve piping hot, decorated with sliced oranges and mint sprigs, if desired.

Notes

Ensure your mulled wine maintains the perfect temperature by keeping it warm in your slow-cooker. This also reduces evaporation. Serve mulled wine in small cups or mugs with handles, as stemmed glasses can become too hot to hold.