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Since I discovered truly natural, non-toxic wine, I feel better about enjoying a glass in the evenings to wind down sometimes. There’s a way to make wine taste even better though and up the health benefits. Mulled wine, like mulled cider, is simmered with aromatic spices for a delicious, warming drink.
Curl Up With a Cup
There’s nothing quite like sipping on mulled wine on a cool evening. While it tastes good, the act of taking some time to enjoy sipping a drink is good for health in more ways than one. Taking a moment to engage in a little self-care reduces stress, helps the digestive system, and lowers cortisol levels.
You don’t have to sip mulled wine all alone on your couch though to see mental and physiological benefits. It’s all about having a positive mindset. Mulled wine is also a great drink for when company comes around.
An Inviting Home
Our family likes to make apple cider in the crockpot because it makes the house smell amazing! Mulled cider does much the same thing. Although the cook time is typically shorter for wine than cider, the smell of spices in the air is irresistible. This is a great drink to pull out when company is over since it helps the home smell more warm and inviting.
Best Cook Time
I browsed through various mulled wine recipes for inspiration and they all had one thing in common. They all had different cook times. So how long should you cook mulled wine? The answer is, it depends.
The longer the wine is simmered the more concentrated the flavors will be. However, the longer the wine simmers the less alcohol content will be in the final drink. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory, 40% of the alcohol remains after a 15 minute simmer time. If you want a little flavor to your wine, but don’t want to sacrifice too much of the buzz, then 10-15 minutes is a happy medium.
A Lower Alcohol Version
On the flip side, if you’re trying to reduce alcohol content and want a more intense spiced wine flavor, then up the cook time. After an hour the alcohol reduces to 25% and after 2.5 hours only 5% remains. However, after an hour or so there’s not much wine left to drink as it can evaporate pretty quickly. Longer cook times also require stirring or the wine can burn. Personally I wouldn’t go over 30 minutes.
Choosing Your Spices
You can buy premixed mulling spices or make your own. Ground spices are harder to strain out, so it’s best to use whole or crushed spices here, like cinnamon sticks and clove buds. There’s some wiggle room to experiment with what spices you like, but this is the recipe I liked best.
Feel free to play around with the ingredients to get your perfect mulled wine blend.
Mulled Wine Recipe
You can make up mulling spice bags ahead of time to use as desired for recipes to save time. Or you can get pre-mixed mulling spices. Wine is generally more tart than cider (especially the natural versions) so you can add honey if you prefer a sweeter drink.
- 1 bottle wine
- 1 orange (cut in quarters)
- 1 apple (cut in slices)
Mulling Spices: Use 1 packet of store-bought mulling spices OR the following
In a saucepan combine all the ingredients except the honey and bring to a boil.
Reduce the wine mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Strain the spices. Whisk in the raw honey to taste if desired.
For this recipe a 750mL bottle of red wine with a 12% alcohol content from Dry Farm Wines was used.
Serving: 5oz | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Instant Pot Mulled Wine
I love my Instant Pot because it saves me so much time. You can make mulled wine in the Instant Pot, but it isn’t necessarily a time saver for this recipe. And you miss out on your house smelling amazing from the spices. However, if you do want to opt for the Instant Pot method here are two ways to do it.
- Add the ingredients to the pot, seal the vent and cook for 1-3 minutes
- Add all the ingredients and use the slow cooker button for about 2 hours.
Looking for More Warm Drinks to Cozy Up With?
Have you tried mulled wine? What are your other favorite cold weather drinks to cozy up with?