Mulling wine is a tradition that dates back to the Medieval Times and, according to some sources, a practice born out of function rather than taste. Supposedly, mulling wine – adding heat and spices to wine – was considered to be more sanitary than drinking water. Whether this reasoning was based on scientific evidence or an incredibly clever marketing scheme by a business minded barkeep, we’re grateful that our favorite winter beverage made its way through the centuries and into our mugs.
There are no hard and fast rules when creating a mulling spice blend. You can start with our DIY blend below and soon enough you’ll be able to custom craft a blend that fits your palette.
MAS Mulling Spice Blend
3 sticks of Cinnamon Sticks
2 whole nutmegs
1 teaspoon of whole allspice
1 teaspoon of whole cloves
1 teaspoon of whole cardamom
¼ cup of agave
1 bottle of a dry red wine like an affordable Bordeaux blend
3 cups of apple cider
Place all the spices in the center of a piece of 5 inch by 5 inch piece of cheesecloth. You’ll want to have about 2 to 3 layers of cheesecloth so you don’t have too much spice debris floating around in your wine. Enclose the spices in the cloth and then use a hammer to break up the whole spices. Be careful at this stage. Whole nutmeg requires extra finger safety measures. Use cooking twine to tie together your satchel of spices.
In a sauce-pan, add wine, cider, agave, orange peels and the mulling spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 10-minutes. Serve in mugs with orange slice garnish.