Published: March 23, 2016

    Spice Up Your Winter Wine

    Sure, the holidays have come and gone, but while it’s still cold outside you have every reason to spice up your winter wine with a fun mulled wine. Mulled wine recipes, with their warmth and signature spicy kick, mix the pungent aromas and flavors of cider, hot cocoa, and rich wine to deliver a unique drinking experience.

    When choosing your wine to mull, don’t go for a heavy oaky wine, as the flavor can sour and bitter during the mulling process. Basic Portuguese red wine works nicely, as does an inexpensive Corbières wine. Be sure to add at least the amount of filtered water specified in mulled wine recipes to the wine, otherwise you’ll find yourself overly inebriated very quickly. Read on for a truly unique mulled wine recipe that adds a punch of citrus to the mix:

    Orange and Cardamom Culled Wine

    This delectable recipe makes 14 to 16 glasses of wine, depending on serving size, which is enough for a hosted dinner or winter book club!


    • 18 fl oz. (510ml) filtered drinking water
    • 2 (2 x 75 cl) bottles rich, full-bodied red wine
    • Thinly pared rind from half a lemon
    • 1 un-waxed orange, studded with cloves
    • 5 oz. soft brown sugar
    • 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • Nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste
    • 5 fl oz. orange flavored-liquor
    • Orange slices, to garnish

    Depending on how fruity and soft your wine of choice is, you may want to dial back on the sugar. The fudgier flavor created with the brown sugar is rich, and a mulled wine that’s ultimately too sweet may spoil the recipe.


    Add the water, then the wine, to a large saucepan. Add the lemon rind, orange, sugar, and spices and heat the mixture until it’s almost boiling. Keep the heat low and warm the mixture slowly so the spices have time to infuse. Do not allow the mixture to boil, as this will create a bitter taste in the mulled wine.

    On the lowest heat setting, simmer for 30 minutes. The surface of the mixture should barely tremble. Add the brandy or orange liquor, and then slowly reheat. Once everything is properly infused, strain your concoction into a large warmed bowl.

    Float a few orange slices on top of the mulled wine for zest and showmanship. Ladle into smaller cups or wine glasses to serve. A great food pairing with orange and cardamom mulled wine is British mince pie. However, if you’re not feeling in the mood for a heavier dessert, any pastry with fruit filling will accomplish the same effect.

    When preparing your orange and cardamom mulled wine, cleaner filtered water is the best ingredient for a truly refreshing beverage. An easy-to-maintain under-the-counter water filtration system from Pelican Water is a terrific way to deliver reliably fresh filtered water to your home for daily drinking and use in countless other recipes. Mulled wine is appropriate well after Christmas. Spice up your wine and enjoy!