So up until this week I didn't think I liked mulled wine. I thought it tasted like bitter vinegar that had been left out in the sun for months on end before being used to mop the floor. I thought the mop was then rung out into your glass and called 'mulled wine'.
Turns out I was wrong. So so so wrong. I absolutely love the stuff. Well, I absolutely love this recipe for mulled wine. Maybe it's because it's homemade, maybe it's because it's spiked with vodka, or maybe it's because I'm trying to savour everything festive before Christmas is over and it's Valentine's Day before we know it, but I seriously can't get enough of this vodka-spiked mulled wine.
I've been working late recently and come 5pm, I get up from my desk, pour myself a glass of this and return to my office for a final two hours. It's kind of like my reward/motivation, you know?
I will say one thing - this vodka-spiked mulled wine is pretty strong, in my opinion at least. So apologies if I've written anything weird on the blog lately, or made an unusual social media post. We'll just put it down to the wine and not my trivial personality, yes?
If you can hold off on downing a saucepan of the stuff the minute you've made it, I totally recommend doing so. I tried this vodka-spiked mulled wine the first day I made it and it was okay...I left it a day and it got better...I left it another day and it got even better...I left it another day and...well, the jug was empty, so I can't tell you about day four but on day three it tasted amazing!
So if you're planning on serving this vodka-spiked mulled wine for a special occasion - Christmas Eve sounds good to me! - I recommend making it in advance as far as you can and then serving it at room temperature.
I tried it when it was hot and apart from being terrified that it was going to crack my pretty wine glasses, I wasn't really into it. Maybe you will be, who knows? Whether you liked your mulled wine boiling or below zero, I totally recommend trying at least a sip of it at room temperature - that's my favourite way to serve this one.
Vodka-Spiked Mulled Wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 bottle of red wine I used the cheapest of the cheap and it came out wonderfully
- ½ cup grapefruit juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup vodka
- Place the first 4 ingredients together in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir frequently until the sugar is fully melted. Keep a close eye on the pan - the sugar can (and will!) burn very easily.
- When the sugar is melted, pour in the red wine, grapefruit juice and orange juice. The sugar will probably solidify at the bottom of the pan. Just carry on stirring and it will melt again eventually.
- When the sugar has melted, leave the wine to gently simmer for around 15 minutes to give the flavours time to infuse.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vodka.
- Sieve the wine into a jug and serve.