Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
The festive season is nearly upon us, and it means that there is a lot of time for festive baking, cooking, and creating. Compared to last Christmas, you might also be thinking of hosting some Christmas parties in the run up to the big day, which naturally means thinking about drinks and festive cocktails. What I find that there is a lack of when it comes to parties and drinks is that there aren’t too many options that are non-alcoholic for the people driving or for just those who drink. More and more people are making the switch to being tee-total, so it is a good idea to look at some recipes that taste good and can be served for them, without having to have any alcohol in sight.
Mulled wine is a classic at this time of the year, but the good news is that the mulled part isn’t the alcohol part, so you can make a mulled non-alcoholic drink for any parties or events that you have coming up. And hey, it could just be for the big day itself, or to have with the kids to make them feel all fancy as they wait for Father Christmas.
Making Alcohol-Free Mulled Wine
There are a lot of different flavours that you can use in your recipe, which is good news if you want to make it something that is sweet and that you will enjoy. When you have your fruit juices, they should be added to the saucepan, along with the mulling spices. Boil it all up until it is quite thick, with a syrup-like texture. Then you can strain the whole pan of liquid, making sure that you use some of the other ingredients as garnishes. It really is that simple to make. And like anything mulled, it is a drink that is best served warm.
The Spices in Mulled Wine
If you look at a Christmas market or at a supermarket, you can often find that there are mulled spices in a packet that you can buy, ready to make your own with. If you can’t find one of these packets, then the good news is that it is easy and straightforward to do it yourself. Some of the most traditional mulling spices that you are likely to find more of during the festive season anyway, are:
- Bay leaves
- Star anise
You can always mix these up and leave things out if there is something you particularly dislike. However, you can also think about adding in something like Allspice or even some vanilla extract, which can work well with the fruit juices (depending on which fruit juices you choose for the recipe). Basically, as you are making it, you get to keep tasting it and trying it and seeing what works for you.
Benefits of Mulled Drinks
Did you know that drinking mulled drinks can actually be good for you? At this time of year we can all be faced with coughs and colds (especially when still living during a pandemic). But if you feel a sore throat coming on, it can help to soothe it! Not only can it help with a sore throat, but it can also be comforting and warming, so it is a great option when coming in from playing out in the snow, after a festive walk, or when you just want to get cosy and warm and watch a Christmas movie with the kids.
Serving Mulled Wine
Once you have made your mulled wine, it is best to serve it in heatproof glasses, which might not be your traditional wine glasses. You could even serve it in mugs, especially if children are giving the non-alcoholic version a go. The drink just needs to be warmed through before serving, rather than being served at boiling point, and it can be reheated again and again until it is all used up.
Without further ado, here is the recipe to make your own non-alcoholic mulled wine. It is simple and easy to do, and guaranteed to be something that the whole family will love to enjoy making year after year.
Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine
To make enough to serve four people:
- 300 ml Cranberry juice
- 125 ml Apple juice
- 75 ml Orange juice
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1-2 oranges, sliced
- Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Star anise
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Bay leaf
- 15g ground ginger
- Zest of one orange
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- 2-3 pods of Cardamom
What to do:
- In a large saucepan, add the honey and the orange juice. Boil together until it all has the texture of syrup.
- Add in the mulling spices, as well as the apple juice, and the cranberry juice and bring it all to a simmer, taking approximately five minutes. Once simmered, turn off the heat and let it all sit and rest for approximately two hours in the pan, all ingredients and spices still in the pan.
- The next step, once it has been left to infuse for two hours, is to strain the mixture. You can keep certain things like the orange slices, cinnamon stick and Star anise to use as a garnish for the drinks, if you’d prefer.
- Gently heat the drink again before serving, as it is best served warm.
If you want to try something new with the recipe then you could think about adding in vanilla or Allspice, as was mentioned above, instead of using a mulled wine spice. You could also choose to use fresh ginger instead of ground, to give it a slightly different (and stronger) ginger taste. Naturally, if you are looking to make your own mulled wine (the alcoholic version), then red wine is best. You could even add some sloe gin in before serving, for a little something extra.
So there you have it. What are some of the drinks that you are most looking forward to enjoying over the festive season? It would be great to hear what you think and if you’d like to give this a go!
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.