Had enough of the standard Christmas traditions and want something a little different this year? Let me introduce you to white mulled wine. Close enough to traditional red mulled wine to be considered festive but different enough to make things interesting, this mulled white wine recipe is just what you need to spice things up for Christmas this year.
If you’ve never been a big fan of red wine but you’ve always felt left out over Christmas when friends are sipping seasonal gluhwein, this recipe is for you. Red wine can often be bitter (especially the cheap stuff...and I would know!) but this white mulled wine is much sweeter and more enjoyable for people who aren’t really wine drinkers.
What kind of wine is best for white mulled wine?
The best wine for white mulled wine is a fruity, medium-sweet wine. A moscato, riesling or chardonnay is perfect. Dry white wine can take on a nasty acidic quality when you heat it up. This is why you need a fuller-bodied wine for this white gluhwein recipe.
I still say that the best wine in the world is the wine you like. Hate fruity, medium-sweet white wines? Then chances are you’ll hate this white mulled wine recipe if that’s what you use. If you’re a big fan of dry white wines like sauvignon blancs or pinot grigios, use that in this mulled white wine recipe.
In short: if you’re not a wine drinker, use a moscato, riesling or chardonnay. If you are a wine drinker and you don’t like the sweet stuff, use your favourite white wine.
Because white wine is usually pretty light in terms of flavour, the traditional spices used to make mulled wine easily overpower it. The result is a really concentrated drink that makes you pull a weird face. Not a good look for a Christmas party — unless you’re hosting a funny selfie competition. That’s where the orange in this white wine mulled wine comes into play.
The orange helps enhance the fruity citrus notes in the white wine, making the resulting white mulled wine the perfect balance of light and fruity, while still being festive and loaded with seasonal spice.
How do you serve this white gluhwein?
White wine is always served cold and mulled wine is always served hot. This gives you a big dilemma when it comes to how you serve this Christmas cocktail. Should you serve it hot or should you serve it cold?
I love it both ways. But then again, I’m a bit unusual because I prefer red mulled wine when it’s served cold. But if I had to choose the best way to serve this white mulled wine, I’d go for hot.
There’s just something so wonderful and festive about cuddling up under a thick and fluffy duvet cover, watching a Christmas film and sipping on a steaming hot mug of mulled wine, don’t you think? I think I’ve just decided on my plans for this evening!
How long will this mulled white wine keep?
This white mulled wine recipe will keep for up to 1 month. The best way to store it is to pour it into a sealable container, pop on the lid and keep it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can pour it into a jug, cover the top securely in plastic wrap and store the fridge.
When you’re ready to serve, pour a single serving into a microwave-safe mug/glass/cup/whatever, place in the microwave and cook in 30-second intervals until warm enough to drink. My microwave isn’t big enough to heat the entire jar in there, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, so best avoid it.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The longer you leave this mulled white wine to infuse, the better it is. So if you know you’re going to want to sip on it or serve it to guests throughout the Christmas season, I recommend you make it in November. That way the flavours will have had plenty of time to develop and you’ll be left with the best white gluhwein anyone’s ever tasted.
White Mulled Wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 whole cloves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 bottle/750ml medium-sweet white wine
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 orange sliced with the skin on
- Place the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar into a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir regularly until the sugar has fully melted. This should take about 5 minutes. Sugar burns very easily, so make sure you keep an eye on it and stir continuously.
- When the sugar has melted, add the white wine, vanilla and orange into the saucepan. The sugar will solidify at the bottom of the pan. Don't worry. Just carry on stirring and the sugar will eventually break off the bottom of the pan and dissolve.
- When the sugar has totally dissolved, leave to simmer for 15 minutes. This gives the flavours time to infuse.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and sieve the contents into a serving jug.
- Serve immediately or wait until the wine has cooled to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and storing in the fridge. Enjoy warm or cold - whichever way you prefer!