There's nothing like a mug of mulled wine to take the chill off a cold winter night and enhance a convivial gathering of friends. The word "mulled" means "heated and spiced." In medieval times, mulled wines were called Ypocras or Hipocris, after the Greek doctor Hippocrates. Mulled wines were believed to be healthy drinks -- and compared to the water generally available at the time, they undoubtedly were. The purpose of the sachet is to allow the flavour of the spices to infuse the wine without actually mixing the spices into the wine.
Things you need
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 5 ml (1 tsp) whole cloves
- 1 Small piece of ginger root
- 5 ml (1 tsp) whole allspice berries
- 5 ml (1 tsp) dried grated orange peel
- 3 Cardamom pods
- Cheesecloth or muslin
- Kitchen twine
Cut out two 15 cm (6 inch) squares of cheesecloth or muslin and layer them one on top of the other.
Place the ingredients (from the cinnamon stick to the cardamom pods) in the centre of the doubled fabric square.
Gather up the sides of the square and tie with kitchen twine.
Tips and warnings
- Add a ribbon and a spray of holly or evergreen to the sachet, and tie it to a bottle of wine for a holiday or hostess gift. Include a recipe card that reads "To make mulled wine, remove the ribbon and greens from your mulling sachet. Pour a bottle of red wine into a non-aluminium pan. Add the sachet and simmer the wine gently for 15 minutes. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!"
- Mulled wine recipes are wonderfully varied. Here are some other ingredients you can mix and match with those listed to make different sachets: nutmeg, grated lemon peel, star anise, rosemary, peppercorns or vanilla bean. And try adding brandy or cognac when the wine is heating.
- Use the same ingredients and directions to make mulled cider, except lengthen the simmering time to 30 minutes.
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