Four Easy Steps To Mulling Wine On A Dime

What is it for you? There’s something for everyone that signals holiday season is finally here. For the people that think with their stomach like me it’s usually the dishes that come out of the kitchen. If I’m at home, then it’s the abundance of cinnamon scented pine cones my mum places strategically throughout the house.
The wafting scent of pine cones doused in cinnamon scents combined with the mulling of wine warms my heart that the holidays are near, where gluttonous eating, drinking, and social love overflows my calendar. Yes, yes, I’ve advanced from the mulling cider to the mulling wine.
For the young families wanting to start a new holiday tradition or those daring enough to bring new traditions to your holiday routines, mulling wine is a sure win on a dime for large parties during the holidays.
First Step: Mentality
If your holiday tradition has become a burden over a joy, you may want to think about the phasing out and uprising of this new care free tradition of mulling wine. Your mind must be in the carefree mentality, enjoying the scents, the hustling, and the reward of the finished product.
Second Step: The Ingredients on the Dime
Red Wine
[Insert Image: Red Wine]
Not just red wine, cheap red wine, cheap fruity red wine. Take advantage of the holiday sales on wine, buy huge gallons of red wine or box wines, there’s no need to spend more than three dollars on a bottle. Whenever my friends come over and I am in the mode of mulling wines they want the low down on the process and they perk up when I tell them how cheap it is. Without fail, someone will ask if I buy more expensive wine will it be better. Fortunately, you have a huge incentive to purchase cheap wine because all the oak flavors which most people desire when picking out a wine disappear throughout the mulling process, so don’t waste your money.
The best places to buy cheap red wine either by the gallon or box are large wine suppliers like Liquor Mart who sell great deals on discount wine online, they also have great bottles for gifts. I also enjoy going to my local super market and scouring through the $1-3 wine they are trying to get rid of to make room for the holiday favorites. There’s no shame in getting a great deal on some cheap wine.
TIP: The best types of red wine to buy are: Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mulling Spices
This is where the fun begins. I have told this recipe to my friends, and they come back to me with a glass of their own wine mulling. There is always a variation that everyone puts to their spices, how can you resist when you reach into your cabinet and see another spice you love? It is so tempting to put a dash of something else in, and over the years you get bolder with the spice until it becomes a crucial ingredient in your holiday wine mulling.
These are the ingredients you will need for every 1.5 liters (2 bottles) of wine.
–          2 Oranges Zested and Sliced
–          Cloves
–          ½ Cup of Sugar or Honey
–          Whole Cinnamon Sticks (I get quite a few of these because they are cheap and great as decorations)
–          4 teaspoons of Ground Ginger or Allspice seasoning
–          Optional: Spiced Rum
Third Step: The Mulling Process
Add all the ingredients together except for a few cinnamon sticks (if you bought extra for added decoration) into one pot. If you don’t like sweet drinks, add a small amount of sugar or honey, and then taste it and add more to taste if needed. Slowly bring the concoction to medium heat never allow the mixture to boil. Preventing boiling will ensure that the spices don’t become bitter and that the alcohol does not cook out of the wine. The mulling process should not take any longer than an hour, in fact it is not recommended to mull over an hour.
Some wine mullers will tell you that you must keep a lid on the process in order to “seal” in all the scents and juices, though in my experience I have not found any difference except with the lid off the whole house feels ready for the holidays.
Fourth Step: Presentation & Drink Up
After the mulling has been completed, strain the mixture and it is ready to serve. Pour a serving into a coffee cups instead of a wine glass because of the added insulation. Keep the strained pieces, and add the slices of orange into each glass and top it off with a nice stick of cinnamon.
Voila! You’re ready to start a new holiday tradition on a budget. For me it is always important to find ways that I can create or make things for the holidays without spending significantly more on top of all the gift purchasing. Let me know how it goes, and be sure to throw in your own variation of spices.
The author of this article is Alisa Carscaden. I am a wine enthusiast, discovering my favorite wines while travelling the world, being frugal, and experimenting along the way. If you enjoyed this post follow on Twitter @liquormart. If you are looking for the best deals on discount wine go to my favorite online wine store.