However I am a business savvy person - and I know, that a lot of people like to come into the mood of xmas with some awesome xmas drinks.
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland I can't think of anything [liquid] which expresses more xmas memories like mulled wine. Its warm, spicy, syrup'y smells imbues the air and brings you into the mood of the festive season - if you drink it - well - one brings you into the mood, two are even better, three are taking you off the feet [doesn't mean, that it takes anything away from the mood - maybe only the morning later].
There is no need of using a premix - it is so simple.
Use a wine. Don't use a fancy one. A dry, "working day" wine is more than adequate [however you don't want to use bad hooch - it will even worsen your hangover as if you would drink it normal].
You need an orange. You need spices. And sugar.
- 2 l dry, inexpensive but adequate red wine
- 10 cloves
- 10 allspice berries
- 10 cardamom seeds [green]
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1 scraped out vanilla bean
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 orange [peel only]
- optional: 100 ml dark rum [use a good one]
Add the red wine into a pot. Wash and peel the orange, using only the zest [be carefully with the pith- it will make your mulled wine bitter]. Add a couple of allspice berries, a cinnamon stick or cassia bark, 10 or so cloves and cardamom seeds, a vanilla bean [scrape out the vanilla seeds and use them for another application]. Add sugar [to taste] and heat it up. Don't boil - just simmer [I usually put cling film over the pot and not a lid - this keeps everything in the pot and the evaporation is minimal]. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Let it cool down with the spices. Strain when cold. Thats it.
In the bar, we are heating up the mulled wine with an electric water cooker - just don't let it cook. At home, you could put it a couple of seconds into the microwave or if you have a party, you could directly heat it on the stove.
And well - we also add a couple of shots Gosling black seal - it just compliments the flavors and boosts a bit the alcohol [be even more carefully to have a second one].
I can live with these kind of holiday feelings...