Skip to main content

Probably the world best mulled wine

Since quite a few years, I have had a quite unique idea, which popped up in my mind now and then - but particularly in the holiday season. Why not barrel age mulled wine?!

I have been growing up with German Glühwein and since I am working in the beverage service industry, I have been following a lot of recipes with increasing results.

I have been quite bold a couple of weeks ago, in a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs event, when I have paired barrel aged mulled wine with "quatre-epice foie gras". The real surprise however were the raving reviews and comments about the pairing as well as my mulled wine. Even more surprising was, that there were a lot of German members (here in the UAE chapter of this club), which know their mulled wine, and elevated it to the "best Glühwein they ever had".

Carried by this success, I'd like to share with you my "secrets", of making a pretty much kick ass mulled wine.

I don't give here some specific measurements - not due to a trade-secret, but because every red wine base is a bit different, hence you would like to add more or less spices and more or less sugar...

  • Red wine
    • Don't get out your fine wine here... a weekday/drinkable wine does the job. Medium-light to medium body (which is normal in this "quality range" does the job best.
    • I prefer pinotage/ inexpensive pinot noir, valpolicella - but any ok wine will do.
  • Sugar
    • White sugar (base)
    • Demerara sugar (about 20% of the white sugar)
  • Fruit
    • Oranges
    • Lemons
      • in previous years, I made a lot of lemon and orange twists and added the fruits devoid of their pith. However it is far easier to just add the full washed fruits into it (and the cross cut, will ensure, that some of the juice will also flavor the wine). It is far more effective. 
  • Spices (all whole)
    • Cinnamon (!!!)
    • Vanilla (!!)
    • Cloves (!!!)
    • Star anise (!!)
    • Mace (!)
    • Allspice (!)
    • Cardamom (!)
    • Coriander seeds (!)
    • Fennel seeds (!)
  • Fortification
    • Aged Rum

Heat up your red wine - don't let it boil - just heat it up to ca. 70C. Add directly all the spices (breaking up the cinnamon sticks, scratching out the vanilla pods, bruising the cardamom pods).
Cut into the oranges and lemons on the sides crosswise and add as well to the wine.
Sweeten to taste with sugar and Demerara sugar.
Let it infuse about 2 hours.
Add the rum.
Let it chill down and add the wine to seasoned oak barrels.
Age depending on the size  of the barrel, and on own taste for 1 week to 10 weeks.
Bottle the mulled wine and keep until (next) holiday season.

I have to be very honest here - there are two things, which make this recipe special:
  1. The spice mix
    I haven't seen mulled wine recipe with vanilla - but this addition makes it so good! Yeah - it makes it also far more expensive - but really, this is absolutely worth it (you wanna make the world best mulled wine here, correct?).
  2. The barrel aging
    Everybody in the event mentioned, that the Glühwein was also not so sweet. This was due to the balance, which the oak "added". I struggled before with the sugar content - it was either not sweet enough or too sweet (not depending on the recipe but on the guest) - I learned that the aging takes off the "edge" of the sweetness - just makes it superior.
You might ask yourself, why I don't make a secret out of it... that's also simple - I am tasting as I am going - hence the perfect balance of ingredients needs still a bit of experience  - and second, not everyone has (or want to sacrifice) oak barrels for their mulled wine (we have 2x virgin 20l+ oak barrels filled with the wine). And making a superior mulled wine, would help everyone of us!

At the end, it is the "not so much competitive" holiday season.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to use citric acid - and why you might not want to use it anyway!

To be honest, I shied away of this topic, because I think, people can misinterpret this - big time.


I don't want to be part of the problem - I want to be part of the solution! But when Chris, over at A Bar Above discussed this subject- I literally could not resist to join into "the discussion".

Here is the video:





I - however take a bit slower approach than Chris.
What is citric acid?
Chemical Compound
Citric acid is a weak organic acid with the formula C6H8O7. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and drinks.
Wikipedia Formula: C6H8O7
Molar Mass: 192.124 g/mol
Melting Point: 153C
Density: 1.66 g/cm3
Boiling point: 175C
Soluble in: Water
Why is it controversial?
In my "mixology world" it is controversial, as citric acid is the stuff, which makes the nightmarish sour mix [preferably in powder form] sour. Yeah - citric acid is the main ingredient in one of the most controversial [and in the modern craft bartending wor…

The "perfect" Martini Extra Dry Cocktail

The Martini cocktail is one of the most disputed drink of all times - and one of the drink, which dramatically changed through the times - I would say, not to its disadvantage.

I shied from this topic a long time. It is just a mammoth of a topic with a lot of controversy. But what has to be done, has to be done!

Lets first of all understand, about what we are talking about:

We talking about the original Martini cocktail - which is gin based!
We are also touching the topic of Vodka Martinis - and maybe throw some understanding of the Vesper Martini in it.






We are not talking about things, which have only the glass in common to this substantial cocktail:

French martiniDiverse fruit martinis [melon, strawberry, apple, raspberry or any other audacity]Espresso martiniBreakfast martiniChocolate martiniCosmopolitan [sometimes impudently called Cosmo martini]Marteanis [or however you like to call it.Any other B*S* martini, showing up on some cocktail menus throughout the world.A drink which is …

The "perfect" Whiskey Sour

After the high popularity of my Mojito post - as well as the also well liked post about the Diablo, I would like to highlight here, another bar staple: The humble Whiskey Sour.

Also: if you can make a proper Whiskey Sour, you can do a lot of other Sours - basically you can take any distillate and make a Sour out of it...

I call it the "perfect" Whiskey Sour to be obviously a bit provocative - but also, as you get often a less than perfect drink, when you are ordering one.

So what are the ingredients of a Whiskey Sour?

American Whiskey [yes - I say it: definitely no Scotch, also for sure no Canadian, no Irish and obviously no Japanese]Truth has to be told - there is definitely something like an adequate Scotch Sour. But it should simply not be called Whiskey Sour, as the character is totally different. Period!Lemon JuiceSugarOptional egg white Additional to the ingredients, these features are also important to consider: Balance between sweet and sourIngredient proportionsA prope…