Make Your Holiday Sparkle – Loosen Bros. USA Monthly Newsletter
When the spices clove, ginger, nutmeg, star anise, and cinnamon come together, there is no denying that the holidays are here—not to mention all the guests that are anxiously awaiting the delicious meal that will soon grace the dining table. As you finish your last preparations in the kitchen, tide your guests over with a warm mug of mulled wine. Those warm spices are sure to get everyone’s palate primed for your traditional holiday feast! We even have a mocktail recipe that is sure to make your holiday sparkle.
Merry Mulled Wine
It was the Romans who first created what we now know as mulled wine back in the second century. In the cold winter months, the Romans would heat their wine to protect themselves from the weather. As they traveled through Europe conquering all they came across, their love for mulled wine expanded across the Roman empire and beyond. While you likely aren’t conquering other civilizations before your holiday meal, satisfying your guests is no easy feat. Assemble your brigade of spices, your infantry of vino, and your troops of hungry and thirsty companions that’ll help you gobble your glögg (the term for mulled wine originating in the 1600s)! Our friends in Germany refer to mulled wine as “Glühwein” which roughly translates to “glow-wine.” This name comes from the hot irons that were used for mulling wine.
When it comes time for your family to gather at the table, you may be looking for a treat newer than the Roman Empire. Here are two fantastic new holiday cocktail (and mocktail) recipes that can give your holiday season a fun new flare.
Merry Mulled Wine Recipe – adapted from Cookie and Kate
The best wine to use for mulled wine will be dark, fruity, and full-bodied so that it can support the strong flavors of the mulling spices.
We suggest the 2021 Villa Wolf Dornfelder. This is a fruity, medium-sweet red wine with flavors of plums and cherries balanced by velvety tannins. Its intense color and lip-smacking flavor pair perfectly with holiday spices.
- 2 small oranges, or 1 large orange
- 1 bottle of Villa Wolf Dornfelder
- 1/4 cup Brandy
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey, additional to taste
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- Prepare the oranges. If using 2 small oranges, slice one orange into round slices and slice the other in half. If using 1 large orange, slice it in half. Take one half and slice it into rounds leaving the other half intact. Place the orange rounds into a saucepan or Dutch oven. Squeeze the juice from any remaining oranges into the pot.
- Add wine, sweetener, and spices. Empty your bottle of wine into the pot along with the Brandy. Add 1 tablespoon of your sweetener, either maple syrup or honey. Add in the cinnamon sticks, star anise, and clove. Mix gently.
- Turn up the heat. Warm the mixture over medium heat just until the pot begins to steam, about 5 minutes. Once tiny bubbles become visible at the surface, reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
- Taste and perfect. Carefully taste and add additional sweetener if needed for your liking. If it’s not spicy enough, continue cooking the mixture over very low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Garnish and serve. Serve in mugs and add any desired garnishes, like cranberries or oranges – get festive!
- (Optional) Storing leftovers. The likelihood of having leftovers is slim, but in case you need to save your glögg, cool the mixture and cover it before placing it in the fridge. Rewarm the mulled wine over low heat. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to two days, covered. Be sure to strain the mixture to remove the spices beforehand, otherwise, the mulled wine will continue to get spicier.
“Sparkling Snowfall” Holiday Mocktail
Perhaps your guests are looking to “chill out” this holiday season—and we’re not just talking about the weather! Your guests are sure to enjoy this icy, sparkling mocktail that features the newly released Dr. Lo Alcohol-Free Riesling with Bubbles. Whether your guests are looking to moderate their alcohol intake during the holidays or simply want to try something new, providing an alcohol-free alternative will undoubtedly place you in the hosting hall of fame!
“Sparkling Snowfall Holiday Mocktail Recipe – adapted from The Pretty Life Girls
- 1 bottle of Dr. Lo Alochol-Removed Riesling with Bubbles
- 6 cups apple cider
- 2 cups orange juice + peel of 1 orange
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- Pinch of ginger and nutmeg
- Apples, oranges, cranberries, etc. for garnish
- Combine ingredients. Combine the apple cider, orange juice, the peel of one orange, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and the pinch of ginger and nutmeg in a large saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer and stir. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 25-30 minutes with occasional stirring. Set the mixture aside allowing it to cool. Then remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peel.
- Cool and refrigerate. Once the mixture has cooled down to room temperature, pour it into a pitcher and refrigerate.
- Add the sparkle and serve. When it’s time to serve, add the Dr. Lo Alcohol-Removed Riesling with Bubbles to the juice mixture and then garnish with apple slices, orange wheels, cranberries, etc. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
From your friends at Loosen Bros. USA., we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and joy in the new year (with a glass of wine, glühwein, or mocktail in hand, of course!).