Mulled wine is one of my favourite things about the festive season, but I don’t drink. So every year I try and discover the best alcohol free one. Although I have come across some great versions, I thought that this year I’d make my own. It’s taken trial and error, anything to make it not taste like that awful spiced Ribena. But I feel I have found the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, (it took three recipe attempts to achieve.) Turns out cardamom was the missing ingredient to really make this sing. If it actually could, it would sound like Michael Bublé’s Christmas album.
This mulled wine encompasses everything festive for me, it warms your senses with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. I’ll be drinking plenty of it, surrounded by twinkling fairy lights and the tones of Nat King Cole. This time of year is just delicious isn’t it? I really hope this alcohol free mulled wine alternative warms you from the inside out and fills your senses with Christmas. This recipe can be made for alcohol drinkers too, simply swap out my liquid choices with a red wine and you’re good to go. If you do that, be sure to not let the liquid boil as the alcohol will evaporate.
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
- Half litre of red grape juice
- Quarter litre of cranberry juice
- 200ml water
- 11 cloves
- 3 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods, one completely crushed, the others only gently
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 large slices of orange
- 3 grates of fresh nutmeg, or 1/8th a tsp of ground nutmeg
Make ahead, this mulled wine makes perfect Christmas gifts. It’ll keep for months in a sterilised air tight bottle. The recipe makes 1 litre.
- Add all ingredients to a pan, steam on a low light for 20 mins, stirring a couple of times. Do not let the liquid simmer or boil.
- Once 20 mins is up, cover and leave to infuse for 40 minutes.
- Strain through a sieve and leave until ready. Re-heating when needed. Serve with your chosen garnish. I like a slice of orange and a cinnamon stick to stir.
*If wanting to double liquid quantity, leave the spices to infuse over night before heating. But I’d leave to infuse overnight anyway, because I LOVE the spice kick.