Add a little extra buzz to your mulled wine this winter by adding a shot or two of vermouth! Get the recipe below.
The spirit of Christmas
Mulled wine has always been a staple at Christmas. In fact, the history books tell us that mulled wine originated in the Roman era when they drank it to keep them warm over the winter months. The Romans really were quite clever! The second the temperature drops and the Christmas lights get switched on, I start mulling a bottle of red wine. Cinnamon, cloves, star anise and citrus fruits are all key components of this festive drink but this year I’m kicking things up a notch.
Because mulled wine started with the Romans it is probably no surprise that it’s enjoyed all over Europe and even further afield.
Mulled wine variations around the world.
- The French drik ‘Vin Chaud’ – mulled wine with Cognac.
- Scandinavians drink ‘Glogg’ – mulled wine spiked with brandy, sugar, fruit and spices.
- Germans drink ‘Gluhwein’ – mulled wine spiked with sugar and rum.
- The Portuguese drink ‘Vinho Quente’ – which uses a mixture of Madeira and port!
- Canadians drink ‘Caribou’ – mulled wine that has been sweetened with maple syrup.
As you can see there are lots of variations on class mulled wine.
I’ve decided to start spiking my mulled wine with one of my favourite spirits; Vermouth.
What is vermouth?
Vermouth is actually a fortified wine that has been infused with brandy, herbs and spices so adds extra complexity to the drink. Vermouth has a lower ABV than spirits like brandy and rum so this is actually a lower alcohol version of most mulled wine cocktails.
There are two main types of vermouth: red (sweet) and white (dry). Given that red wine is already on the sweet side I advise against using red vermouth for this recipe, it would just get lost.
A couple of glasses of this mulled Vermouth and the stresses and strains of Christmas will just melt away.
- Place the red wine, caster sugar and vermouth into a sauce pan.
- Cut the orange in half. Add the juice of one half into the sauce pan and bring the mixture to the boil slowly. Once it's reached a boil reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Slice the remaining half of the orange and the whole line and add the slices to the saucepan along with the whole spices. Let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pour the mulled vermouth into mugs or heatproof glasses and enjoy while still hot.
More festive tipples
If you’ve enjoyed my recipe for Mulled Vermouth you’ll love these other Christmas cocktails!