Mulled wine is warmed wine steeped with spices to make a festive, comforting holiday beverage. Mulling works best almost exclusively with red and dark fruit wines like Madeira, blackberry merlot, dark cherry wines and pinot noir. The spices complement red wine's deeper, more acidic flavours. Mulled wine gifts are usually well-received during cold months and throughout the holiday season. Take a little time to create the gifts yourself to add a whimsical touch.
Home made gift set
Gift sets work well for mulled wine lovers, especially those who enjoy trying new recipes. Line a hinged wicker basket or decorated acid-free cardboard box with colourful, holiday tissue paper. Add a bottle or two of good red wine. If you know the recipient's favourite, use it. If not, use your favourite sipping wine or the wine called for in your favourite recipe. Place spices like cinnamon sticks, cardamom, allspice and orange peel onto a square of cheesecloth. Wrap the cheesecloth around the spices and tie it shut with a piece of decorative natural twine. Tuck the spice bag into the box along with a decorated recipe card. Adding a small mason jar filled with a shortbread or other pastry recipe will finish off this mulled wine gift box.
Aged mulled wine
True Medieval mulled wine is also called Potus Ypocras for the Greek physician Hippocrates. To properly enjoy this version of mulled wine, you should make it early and let it age for several months before serving. The recipe involves boiling sweet red wine, honey, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon together. Alternatively, use your favourite mulled wine recipe and bottle that instead. When bottling the mulled wine, seal the bottles tightly so they do not mould. Make a big, fresh batch of cranberry muffins or cinnamon sugar cookies and place a bag of them in a festive Christmas tin with your home made mulled wine. Include instructions for gentle heating on a hob before serving.
Mulled wine party favours
Mulled wine party favours serve as original, inexpensive gifts for holiday parties and friends. The favours travel extremely well via mail and cost so little, make as many as you like. Write or print your favourite mulled wine recipe on festive recipe cards. Include wine suggestions, starring your favourite, plus the heating and serving instructions. Place fresh spices from the recipe into small, plastic bags to preserve their aroma and flavour. Tuck everything inside decorated parchment envelopes along with an appropriate holiday card. Slip the each small package into a padded envelope for mail transport.
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